Phoenix International Media Center

Chinese architects Biad UFO build Beijing's latest architectural feat


Hand in hand with China’s overall rapid growth and explosive urbanization, recent years have seen a wave of high-design architecture. The
Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s
spectacular CCTV tower, opened in 2008 to house the nation’s central television headquarters, is a fantastic example of forward-thinking architecture exploring contemporary concepts of shape and form. Now another Chinese media mogul is taking a swing at making their mark on Beijing’s urban landscape, picking up where projects like the CCTV building left off after the boom spurred by the 2008 Olympics. The Phoenix International Media Center, scheduled to be completed in 2012, currently stands half complete adjacent to Chaoyang Park, signaling the ongoing development of radical architecture in the country as well as Chinese architects themselves, not to mention the strength of Chinese TV networks.


Phoenix, a large satellite TV provider, will eventually move their programming operations there, in addition to housing other businesses, offices and restaurants. The shape of the building recalls yet another famously stunning example of what’s been happening to Beijing’s cityscape of late, the Herzog and De Meuron “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium. Here, the architects have managed to give the basket-like shape a sense of movement, reminiscent of a sea sponge or jellyfish. Digital renderings have the feel of the command bridge on a futuristic space station. The ambitious project has already drummed up a lot of interest, putting it on the shortlist for the 2009 World Architecture Festival and in the Verso Est Chinese Cultural Landscape exhibit at MAXXI in Rome.


Unlike the CCTV tower, the Media Center was designed by BIAD UFo, a firm based in China. An impressive example of the nation’s homegrown architectural talents in the country, it hints at the potential future of Chinese design as more and more buildings spring up.

Photos via Designboom

Story via 120Walker

Additional reporting by Meghan Killeen and Greg Stefano