HBT urban feasibility study
HB Town is a feasibility study for a development of headquarters and film production facilities in Beijing’s Shunyi area.
The project is part of a 5 year plan set by the H. Brothers to become one of the leading culture and entertainment groups in China, the proposal is aiming to achieve planning permission from the local authorities. The site is currently zoned as agricultural, therefore the emphasis has to be on a beneficial impact on the local economy and community. The proximity of the Capital Airport is an advantage in regard to attracting an international client and tourist group. The surroundings of the site have a considerable natural/rural beauty and should be used to compliment the development.
PROGRAM: the functions where split into 4 categories:
- DEVELOPMENT (commercial & residential)
- $$$; Long-term profitable investment.
- Image; create a new recognizable HBT brand.
- Leisure; a place for the public to use and enjoy
- Education; set a benchmark as a culture institution and promote the future of the entertainment industry
- Green; a state of the art sustainable project in harmony with the nature of the site
- Community; a valuable contribution to the city.
- Film as the centerpiece of HBT, but not its only quality.
- Noise from overhead airplanes landing at Capital Airport (backlots and outdoor filming impossible. Studios and recording spaces have to be very well sound insulated)
- Height of development not to exceed 36 m due to proximity to site.
- Access to site is difficult. New exits from surrounding highways will be a necessity. Further public infrastructure necessary (subway, bus) to bring visitors from the center to the site.
- Surrounding is bound to be developed (village, farmland) – therefore there are limited things to relate to the immediate vicinity of the site.
We set the following intentions:
- CONNECTED; as well as a visual, we want a functional whole, where varying functions overlap and feed into each other, enriching the HBT experience and strengthening its competence.
- DYNAMIC; the project should be able to change and adapt to the ever evolving media and entertainment industry.
- TRANSPARENT/ACCESSIBLE; as the public face of the H. brothers, HBT should appear open and approachable, both to attract visitors as well as investment, and promote the brand
- VISUAL UNITY; we want to shift away from the standardized urbanism on sites of similar size, where buildings are single separate volumes and often unrelated. The goal is to create a homogeneous architecture, which is recognized as whole.
- STIMULATE physical and intellectual interaction between the public and the industry.
The chosen typology is the irregular grid due to its flexibility within a framework. It can also be arranged freely to incorporate qualities of the other schemes (stripe, network, branch), and facilitates the interior and exterior circulation. The multiple units within the irregular grid, can be as close or as far apart as necessary by its functions, and can also be connected (offices) or isolated (studios). The patchwork-like quality of the typology is well suited to the rich program of HBT.
Project Name: HBT urban feasibility study
Location: Shunyi District, Beijing
Client: H. Brothers
Architect: crossboundaries architects, Beijing
Building Area: 36 hectares
Design Period: October – November 2010