The COFCO Research and Innovation project located in the Bei Qi Jia Town, Chang Ping District, Beijing will comprise of 117,000 square meters of proposed program consisting of research and testing facilities, offices, a food and culture museum, a food experience center, apartments, and several other supporting facilities. Located in the New “Science City” development, the complex is a visible symbol of the companies commitment, as a major manufacturer and exporter of food products, to research and development of cutting edge and sustainable farming and production processes.
The design creates a harmonious integration of the human and the natural. This is done through the creation of research-agrarian landscapes that provide interpretive opportunities throughout the building as well as opportunities for year-round agrarian research. The use of greenhouse-atrium spaces allows for transition spaces between the building and the landscape, and allows for plant growth (such as such as corn, wheat, and sunflowers) during the cold winter months. By creating interpretive opportunities for visitors as well as informal collaborative spaces for researchers, the greenhouse-atrium spaces provide an excellent opportunity for community outreach and interaction.
The building located on the southern portion of the site represents the Conference and Exchange building, and is comprised of The International Exchange Center, The Food Experience Center, and The Food and Culture Museum. The recreation facilities are located on the uppermost level of the icon building and create a unique and lively space, with access to a rooftop terrace allowing for views out into the Future Science City.
The curving gesture of the exchange building gradually transforms into a more privatized research conference area extending through the towers, acting as the binding element between the research towers and the icon building, while also framing the central public park. A series of shifting levels within this curving form creates a main atrium area which extends under Research Towers, creating a direct visual and experiential relationship between the open public park, the greenhouse, the high bay laboratories, and the main atrium space.
Extending out into the public space are 4 main research towers which engage the park, with their major facades having highly efficient north and south orientations in order to maximize daylight a views. Greenhouses extend from below these research towers and into the park, exploring the nature of integrated public and private shared space. The greenhouses also extend vertically, transforming into a highly efficient double skin facade in an integrated ventilation, daylighting and shading strategy. The double skin facade provides the building a buffer zone in the summer and winter seasons while assisting with stack driven ventilation in the spring and fall seasons – when natural ventilation is a viable option for this building. Plants can grow between the two glass skins providing warmth and moisture in the cold dry winter conditions and further celebrating the connection between research and nature. The main entry into the complex is located along the East side, and extends horizontally across the site, slowly sloping into the underground parking level located on the West side. Situated above the parking is a concourse level, where researchers can enter into the building facility.Location: Beijing, China