Mixed-use Building, Dongguan China, February – March 2013
Green Beams is a mixed-use building that is composed of ten meter-high concrete masses that perform as exterior load-bearing beams. These beams are thoughtfully stacked on top of each other to form a directional constellation.
The beams vary in length and program, and each one is oriented towards a locally or globally significant landmark. The beams on street level enhance pedestrian flow. Their orientations form gates towards local landmarks and other buildings on the site. The beams located directly above the street level follow the orthogonal north-south grid of the city, which corresponds to the orientation of all elevator and staircase cores in the project. The beams on the next level up are oriented towards mountains on different continents, such as the local Qi Feng Mountain, the Swiss Alps, the Rocky Mountains and Kilimanjaro in Africa. Above the Mountain level, the beams point to capital cities, such as New York, Paris, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. The highest level of beams is oriented to align with the sun. Every year on the 21st of March, September and December one experiences a spectacular sunrise and/or sunset that penetrates through the full length of the corridors leading to the apartments.
Each Green Beam houses three floors, offering 124 generous duplex apartments with double exposure and private loggias, large office lofts in the middle, and double-height public and cultural spaces on street level. On the roof of each Beam long Dongguan grass blows in the wind, uniting the heterogeneous mass in a collective sway.
Steven Holl Architects and Studio Christian Wassmann
Project Team Studio Christian Wassmann: Joana Bem-Haja and Zach Cohen