10 Year Award of Excellence: Linked Hybrid, Beijing

Yin Chen
Executive Director & Chief Technical Officer
Modern Land (China) Co., Limited, Beijing

Roberto Bannura
Steven Holl Architects, Beijing

Reconnecting the City Grid With a Porous Urban Space

The pedestrian-oriented Linked Hybrid complex, sited adjacent to the old city wall of Beijing, was among the first new-build projects to counter the predominant trend in China – building massive, walled superblocks cut off from the city grid -- by instead creating a new 21st-century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side. A filmic urban experience of space; around, over and through multifaceted spatial layers, as well as the many passages through the project, makes the Linked Hybrid an “open city within a city”. The project promotes interactive relations and encourages encounters in the public spaces that vary from commercial, residential and educational, to recreational.

Elevators displace like a “jump cut” to a series of passages on a higher level. From the 18th floor a multi-functional series of skybridges with a swimming pool, a fitness room, a café, hotel bar, and an art gallery, connect the eight residential towers and the hotel tower, and offer views over the city. The shops at the grade level are complimented by the programs at the bridge level and work together to be semi-lattice-like rather than simplistically linear. By bringing diverse programs together both on the ground floor and in the bridges, the project stresses ambulatory circulation. Rather than skybridges that drain street life, the aim is for a base route and sky route that will constantly generate random relationships like the richness of metropolitan density; functioning as social condensers in a special experience of city life to both residents and visitors.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center