Under construction Raimund Abraham JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center Beijing, China

Under construction
Raimund Abraham
JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center
Beijing, China

“Since the designated site in Beijing, only a few blocks from the Forbidden City, had been voided of its urbanistic memory, I was forced to create my own site, my own memory, in order to provide the essential perimeters for the architectural intervention.”
Raimund Abraham

Photo courtesy Raimund Abraham

The JingYa project is located on one of the main avenues in the center of Beijing, a few blocks from the Forbidden City.
Despite its central location the site lacks any specific historic identity and, combined with the absence of a distinct urban typology, it denies a bold architectonic intervention.
Instead, it necessitates a different strategy whereby the new building block becomes “Site” itself by being transformed into an architectural landscape, provoking the metaphoric association with the ocean, its awesome power, its peaceful tranquility, constantly in flow between the transparency of water and air.
A tectonic landscape is literally carved into the building block, facing the main avenue toward east and Gan Maian Hy Tong Street to the north.

Drawing courtesy Raimund Abraham

The main facade creates a unique image as a suspended curtain-wall. Translucent from the inside during the day, and from the outside during the night, it obscures and reveals the underlying structure of the building; simultaneously ambiguous and clear.

An outside ramp or ‘Sky-Walk’ connects the sixth and seventh floor.
As an abstract intervention in the topography of the curtain wall, it realigns the imaginary vertical plane of the rectangular building block.
The “Sky-Walk” not only provides the experience of being suspended above the city, allowing a view of the suspended landscape above, but also gives an unscreened view of the outside world.

Drawing courtesy Raimund Abraham

The main entrance lobby at the north-east corner of the building forms a dynamic vertical space and connects with an open stair the main activities of the center, a generous circular stair continuous the vertical flow connecting the upper floors.
The south and west facades are defined by an abstract topography of volumes projecting the interior functions to the outside; a dialectical opposite to the suspended curtain-wall of the main facade.

Projected completion: 2007

Drawings and models for the “JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center” were on view at the Frederieke Taylor Gallery in New York this Spring.

Photo courtesy Frederieke Taylor Gallery

“The architectural drawing occupies a central position in the evolution of Abraham’s work in challenging the predominant notion of built architecture…Abraham’s drawings and projects as well as the built realizations reflect the roots of a concise architectural theory.”
Kenneth Frampton
Reality and Representation in Contemporary Architecture, 1982

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