South West Hotel, Beijing design by Henn Architects

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South West Hotel, Beijing from HENN on Vimeo.

Client: South West Hotel
Location: Beijing, China
Program: Hotel, Conference, Office, Retail
Net Area: 100.000 sqm
Competition 2010: 2nd Prize

Design Team Henn Architects & Research Studio HENNStudioB: Leander Adrian, Daniel da Rocha, Martin Henn, Markus Jacobi, Daniel Kraffczyk, Klaus Ransmayr, Max Schwitalla, Rainer Sladek, Sun Wei, Wang Zhenming
Local Partner: China Academy of Building Research (CABR)
Facade Design: Priedemann Fassadenberatung, Berlin, Germany
Media Facade Design: Thismedia, Berlin, Germany
Climate Engineering: Transsolar Energietechnik, Stuttgart, Germany
Structural Engineering & Building Services: China Academy of Building Research (CABR)

The site of the South West Hotel is located next to a major traffic junction of the West Fourth Ring Road and Lianhua Road in Beijing. The project is a multi-functional building complex, integrating three major programs: hotel, commerce and office. The South West Hotel sets new standards for contemporary sustainable building design creating a green landmark for the city of Beijing.

Design Concept – Oasis:
The basic functions of the five-star hotel include accommodation (340 rooms) for business clientele with supporting facilities such as conference rooms and a multi-function hall. The commercial part comprises street shops, flagship stores, a department store, cinemas, restaurants, clubs and cafés. The office part is intended for short term leasing of high end enterprises.

All the program units loop around a central courtyard peaking in a five-star hotel. From the distance the overall complex creates a clearly identifiable landmark. The ascending curves of the volume are a reference to the dynamics of the context. The internal courtyard shields from the noise and the hectic pace of the city creating a retreat for guests and customers- a green oasis. It is a shared communal space connecting the various programs.

The different spatial qualities between the exterior (city) and the interior (courtyard) are reflected in the building envelope. The inner façade appears open and transparent. Horizontal bands form balconies and outdoor gardens – secluded getaways for exchange and relaxation.

The outer façade is a double layered multifunctional skin. It consolidates the miscellaneous programs behind a homogenous, large scaled surface. This surface serves as the screen for media and light installations during day and night. A matrix of LED light units supplements and surrounds a central high-end LED screen displaying commercials. The low resolution media installation (LED lights) works as a visual amplifier augmenting and abstracting the commercial content over the entire building façade.

For enhancing the visual presence and transmittance of advertising to the surrounding, Henn Architects proposes the construction of an “Architectural Advertising Amplifier” (AAmp). A very large scaled matrix of LED light units supplements and surrounds a central high-end LED screen displaying commercials.

Specialized artistic software is used to automatically analyze and transform the moving images on the commercial LED billboard into an ever changing visual color-echo displayed on the surrounding low resolution AAmp screen installation in real time.

By overlaying the displayed content with an aluminum mesh, the light gets abstracted while focusing the eye on the sharply displayed images and videos of the high resolution screen. In this way the low resolution media installation works as a visual amplifier augmenting the commercial content over the building’s facade and reaching a scale which is relevant to the architecture as well as to its urban context.

References: Henn ArchitectsResearch Studio HENNStudioB
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