Project team:

Architecture and design:
hyperSity office – Shi Yang, Zhang Guoling

18. Oct 2017

The redesign of the 751 D-Park office building in Beijing/CN gives rise to a very special partnership.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: hyperSity office

In order to structure and strengthen political, social and economic development in China in the 1950s, the country introduced a series of Five-Year Plans. The first five-year plan, which came into effect in 1953, focussed on industrial change and growth. Companies were nationalised and funding provided to promote their activities. This led to economic success on many levels. The 13th five-year plan is now underway: the time has come to renovate specific buildings to bring them in line with modern-day China …

The complex that today houses the administrative office of 751 D-Park was one of the industrial projects funded by the state back in the 1950s. The site area is very large – it was formerly a gas plant – and located to the northeast of Beijing. Being part of China’s first five-year plan, the plant became hugely important, at peak times delivering one third of the country’s overall gas yield. At some point in time, the importance of the region declined, and it took until the 21st century for it to discover new potential as more and more innovative companies began to consider it the right location for their urbane activities. In the meantime, 751 D-Park has become “home” to a large number of creative minds. You could go as far as to say it has become a cultural hub.

As can be seen and felt across the entire site, the harsh industrial environment of days gone by still features big time on the top floor in one of the threestorey redbrick buildings. What used to be the control centre for all gas operations is now an ultra-modern, daylit office space. Formerly harsh and static, today smooth and flexible as far as the quality of the work environment is concerned.

The true showpiece in the main space in the complex is a large table that appears to wind its way through the series of long office spaces that the overall floor area has been divided into, separated by appropriately designed partitions. But it is not only its size, flexibility of use, and what it is made of – varnished chipboard – that makes the unusual desk so striking, but its “partner”, a row lighting system in the form of a pendant luminaire suspended from the ceiling, which winds its way through the spaces in sync with the desk, thus underscoring the atmosphere of partnership and team spirit.

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 106 as well as in our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store).


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