TIAN YUN Office Complex

Photo © Feng Shuxian
Photo © He Lian
Photo © He Lian
Photo © Feng Shuxian
Photo © He Lian
Photo © Feng Shuxian
Photo © Feng Shuxian
Praxis d'Architecture
5-20 étages

This industrial real estate development targets at private small and mid-sized research and technological enterprises to provide them with affordable office spaces at the fringe of big cities. These private enterprises, albeit non main economic actors comparing to state owned enterprises, are playing an essential role in building a real economy, as Chinese society has come to realize after 30 years of a booming real estate backed economy. The design applies concept of module to achieve budget control while offering green, flexible and interactive office spaces that nurture creativity.

Project Background

In the outskirts of the second and third-tier cities in China, some areas have been defined as industrial sites by the government’s zoning plan to accommodate manufactures to serve for the city’s development. However, due to rapid urbanization, more strict environmental pollution control and industrial upgrading, large-scale manufacture plants must move away from major cities. Consequently, new industries are in demand to fulfill these industrial sites in the urban fringe. It is difficult to alter the nature of these properties planed as industrial by the government , so the main industries and functions that are filling up the spaces are now research and technology businesses relevant to manufacturing industries.

Our client is a private investment company who has procured the land from the local government after conducting market analysis to develop products of office architecture that meet market demand: a technological research and development office park that contain mainly single office units and with a fraction for commercial facilities. This is the premise of the design. Target sales and leasing tenants of the office compound are small and medium-size private enterprises. Some of these companies need to upgrade to bigger cities from fourth or fifth-tier cities. They would choose to rent or buy an independent office building of their own on the fringe of city at an affordable price than paying for expensive downtown rent. Moreover, the large-scale industrial plants aforementioned that have moved away still need some functions such as showrooms or clearing houses to remain at the previous location to maintain the bond with big cities. Such market demand hence becomes the backbone of business operation of the office park.

The influx of new businesses will bring unprecedentedly higher tax revenue to local governments. Thus the local governments are more than willing to offer the land to real estate developers with rational proposals at a bargain price, which makes it possible for the sales and leasing prices of the end product affordable to private enterprises. This business model benefits local government, developer and private companies, creating a virtuous circle under market mechanism.
Tianyun Office complex is a principal and sample complex completed in Beijing. It is used in testing markets to future large-scale implementations in other cities.

Unit Study

Our design started from studying the basic office unit. The concept of Modularization is applied in the design of office unit. The floor plan is defined by either one or two 8.4m by 8.4m structure frames with an additional 3.3m cantilever to facilitate office use. Combined with it is an efficient functional core containing one set of stairs, one elevator and one bathroom. The functional cores have solved the puzzle of connecting office units and maximizing the office space use to achieve a room rate at minimum 90%. Units can be arranged to form several basic geometrical forms: I-shaped, T-shaped and cross-shaped, which can be mixed and configured in masterplan to achieve a rich architectural forms and urban spaces. The height of each building can be 4 to 7 floors above ground.

Application in Architectural Scale.

The design of Tianyun complex is based on the characteristic of the site. L-shaped form was chosen from the four basic geometries to enclose the site to generate a central plaza. Each L-shape building is made of two office units, one small and the other large, that have seven floors above ground and one basement level. The total floor area of the large unit is 2600 sqm, while the small unit is 1900 sqm.

The architecture facade is also based on modularization. Rounded corner emphasizes fluidity as well as symbolizing harmony in Chinese traditional culture. We have made analysis on the gradual changes of five types of curve boundaries in the vertical direction and then reduced to an alternate repetitions of two curve boundaries. An office unit with less modules is to maximize the efficiency of duplication and to minimize construction cost when high-frequency repetition is anticipated in a bigger scale development. The alternation of two curve boundaries is sufficient in providing more sunlight to the interior while enriching an individual’s experience of spatial change on the balcony.

The curved balconies with planters embrace the glazed office spaces and creates fluid social space during work breaks. The clean office space offers maximum flexibility for future tenants when they envision their own interior design. Parking and restaurants are built underground. The glass roof in the plaza provides daylight for underground restaurants.

Application in Urban Scale

Since completion of the Tianyun Complex, it has received great results in test marketing. PRAXiS d’ARCHITECTURE is now working on the next phase of design using this product as the main typology to incorporate it into a land parcel of approximately 13 hectares in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.

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