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MAD imagines innovation center with "biomorphic, clover-like green roof" in Beijing

China Architecture News - Jun 18, 2024 - 13:21   2837 views

MAD imagines innovation center with

Global design firm MAD Architects has imagined an innovation center with a "biomorphic, clover-like green roof" in Beijing, China.

Named ZGC International Innovation Center, the building was built to house the annual Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum). The center has a total floor area of about 65,000 square meters and a green roof reaching 17,000 square meters.

MAD imagines innovation center with

Image © CreatAR Images

The center blends the natural site on a corner plot with its smooth edges, fluid volume, and expansive green roof. The back point of the clover-like triangular roof merges with the landscape and becomes walkable.

Every year, the ZGC Forum, an international conference centered on innovation and technology, takes place in Beijing's Haidian District's Zhongguancun neighborhood. This region combines modernity and technological advancements with history and the natural world. 

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Yuquan Mountain, the Summer Palace, and Yuanmingyuan Garden are nearby historical sites. Prestigious universities like Peking University and Tsinghua University are also in nearby area. 

Zhongguancun, sometimes referred to as China's Silicon Valley, is a significant tech center home to a large number of high-tech businesses, startups, and research facilities.

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Since its founding in 2007, the ZGC Forum has focused on "Innovation and Development," bringing together scientists, businesspeople, and up-and-coming talent from across the globe to exchange and debate cutting-edge concepts on a range of subjects. It has developed over time into a preeminent worldwide forum for high-tech innovation, collaboration, and exchange.

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Image © Zhu Yumeng

MAD Architects created the ZGC International Innovation Center, which promotes a close relationship between people, the city, and the environment. 

When viewed from the surrounding mountains, it completely disappears into the cityscape thanks to an accessible green roof park that is made up of trees, gardens, walkways, and architectural elements that extend the surrounding hills and gardens.

The cantilevered roof of the biomorphic, clover-shaped center is made up of soft, flowing shapes. The shape hovers above, offering protection from the sun, cover from the weather, and a gathering area that strengthens the bond between people and the building.

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Image © CreatAR Images

The transparent façade curtain wall traces the natural curves of the building's sculptural form, exhibiting lightness, transparency, and fluidity. 

The large glass panels and hidden framing system promote a smooth transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces, resulting in a seamless integration with the surrounding environment.

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Image © Arch Exist

In order to create an open and airy environment appropriate to the sharing of creative ideas, MAD designed a simple interior with clean lines. 

Two enormous ETFE membrane skylights at the ZGC International Innovation Center flood the space with natural light, improving the way that users perceive light and space. 

The interior's minimalist design strives to create places that are easy to use, foster engagement, and improve social interaction. The building's curves are lit by adjustable color-temperature lights that converge in the center luminary sculpture. This integrated lighting design creates a distinctive futuristic setting defined by the use of cutting-edge technologies and an innovative spirit.

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Image © Arch Exist

The functional space is arranged in a zigzag pattern, with a series of smaller meeting rooms and VIP lounges on the basement level to accommodate meetings of various sizes and privacy needs. The main venue, with banquet hall and multi-function hall on the first floor, serves as the main space for events.

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Image © CreatAR Images

2,769 fluorocarbon-coated double-curved honeycomb aluminum panels make up the building's roof. These panels cover the structure and help collect rainwater because they are arranged in different patterns of density. At night, the roof lines and lights concealed within the roof louvers line up.

They further blend into the urban landscape by emulating the ceaseless traffic on the city roads and generating a sense of movement. By extending the surrounding hills and gardens, the green roof transforms the city into a serene green space.

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Image © CreatAR Images

The ventilation system of the ZGC International Innovation Center is concealed beneath the green roof and suspended ceiling's concrete "veins," giving the structure an airy and uncomplicated appearance. 

Lightweight soils and low-maintenance vegetation on the roof satisfy requirements for roof loading, landscape appearance, and quality while lowering landscape operating costs. 

Additionally, the center makes use of renewable energy sources like ground-source heat pumps and solar photovoltaic systems. In addition, it creates a zero-energy conference room with secondary energy-efficiency electromechanical equipment, cutting carbon emissions from the nearby public buildings by more than 50 per cent.

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Image © CreatAR Images

The building's design complies with the 12-meter height restriction, softly expanding from north to south to blend in with the surroundings. 

The "clover-shaped" layout of the center features a number of outdoor areas that are linked to the natural world. Free access and use of urban public spaces are provided by the overhanging roof and outdoor areas. 

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Image © Arch Exist

On the northeastern side of the plot, a historically significant tree has been preserved and incorporated into a sunken courtyard to create a peaceful area amidst the busy metropolis. 

The subterranean conference rooms and public areas are lit by natural light thanks to the sunken garden design, which gives the impression that they are above ground.

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Image © CreatAR Images

In August 2022, the permanent site of the Zhongguancun Forum saw its groundbreaking, with design work commencing in 2020. The new center hosted the 14th Annual Meeting of the Zhongguancun Forum from April 25–29, 2024.

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Image © CreatAR Images

MAD Architects’ design for the ZGC International Innovation Center establishes it as a global focal point of scientific, technological, and cultural exchange. It serves as extension of the environment and an open space for the city, community, and public.

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Image © CreatAR Images

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MAD imagines innovation center with

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MAD imagines innovation center with

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MAD imagines innovation center with

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MAD imagines innovation center with

Image © Zhu Yumeng

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Image © ChillShine

MAD imagines innovation center with

Image © Arch Exist

MAD imagines innovation center with

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MAD imagines innovation center with

Site plan

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Exploded diagram

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Technical diagram

MAD recently released a construction update for the Hainan Science Museum in Hainan Province. The firm unveiled design for the Cloud 9 Sports Center resembling "a luminous cloud" in Shijiazhuang. Moreover, MAD revealed design for a new airport with bird-like volume in Lishui, China. 

Project facts

Project name: ZGC International Innovation Center 

Architects: MAD Architects

Location: Beijing, China

Date: 2020 – 2024

Site Area: 59,099m2

Building Area: 64,998m2 (Above ground: 20,000 square meters, Underground: 44,998 square meters)

Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano

Associate Partners in Charge: Fu Changrui, Kin Li

Design Team: Zhou Rui, Zhuang Fan, Hu Jing-Chang, Liu Yiqing, Xue Yawen, Yang Xuebing, Edgar Navarrete, Zheng Chengwen, Wang Shuobin, Wu Qiaoling, Alan Rodriguez Carrillo

Client: Zhongjie (Beijing) Development and Construction Co., Ltd.

Executive Architect: Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Co., Ltd. | The First Architectural Design Institute

Curtain Wall Consultant: Inhabit (Beijing) Ltd.

Interior Design: MAD Architects, Beijing BIAD Decoration Engineering& Design Co., Ltd.

Landscape Design: MAD Architects, Guangzhou S.P.I Design Co., Ltd.

Floodlighting Consultant: TORYO International Lighting Design (Beijing) Center Co., Ltd.

Interior Lighting Consultant: Beijing TaiFu GuangDa Lighting Design Inc.

Signage Consultant: To Three Design

Acoustic and Video Consultant: Radio, Film and Television Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd

Top image in the article © Arch Exist.

All images © Arch Exist, CreatAR Images, Zhu Yumeng, ChillShine.

All drawings © MAD Architects.

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