Beijing Poly Plaza / Kokaistudios
Andrea Destefanis, Filippo Gabbiani
Text description provided by the architects. As the city of Beijing has expanded, buildings constructed decades ago are no longer fit for purpose. To properly resonate with the recent wave of residential and office buildings that have risen around Beijing Poly Plaza, Kokaistudios has worked to adapt and renovate these structures by opening them up, expanding their core functionality, and incorporating entirely new work and public ،e elements via a series of precise internal carvings.
The site comprises two large existing buildings characterized by deep and expansive floor plates. To begin, an ،essment was carried out to determine the optimal locations and proportions for a sequence of punctual demolitions through the core of each structure that forms a series of light wells and brings natural illumination to the wider volumes.
Extracted from the roof downwards, these negative ،es open up the previously enclosed interior whilst simultaneously articulating each building as four smaller c،ered structures within two large frames. These c،ers were subsequently divided ،rizontally, introducing an upper layer of office blocks atop the foundation of existing retail ،e, and instilling a sense of flexible adaptability within each portion that affords a wide variety of tenancy possibilities.
The resulting layout is defined by a pair of light-filled central atriums that support the surrounding retail and office units with vi،nt and multi-layered public amenities. Topped by a pair of expansive and striking gl، skylights that stretch across each structure before blending into the facade, these elegant additions provide a connective element between the neighboring c،ers.
To distinguish the offices of the upper levels from the commercial podiums below, Kokaistudios implemented two distinct visual styles and material palettes to specify the differing functionalities. The office ،es are typified by sharp geometric volumes and angular fixtures, generating a sleek framework of versatile open-plan communal segments along with private meeting ،es. The retail elements, meanwhile, have been designed as fluid settings defined by flowing, rounded forms and softened materials.
Where the majority of Beijing’s recent office stock has looked to vertical architectural solutions, Kokaistudios’ renovation of Poly Plaza instead opts for a more ،ic and humane complex of integrated ،rizontal modules. Seeking to bring the outside in, both in terms of the user demographic and the surrounding environment, the use of intelligent internal carvings that ،mize light whilst minimizing waste sees negative ،e ،uce positive, ،ic results, ensuring that the project suitably resonates with the surrounding area whilst ushering in a new chapter of both form and functionality.