Jianianhua Center octubre 1, 2008Posted by christian saucedo in Media facade.
Tags: Media facade, Media facade - Auto active
Autor. SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Autor instalación. SOM Skidmore
Edificio. Atrium Office Park Budapest
“It’s a dusty, dirty, and foggy city,” says Michael Duncan, an associate partner at the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), describing Chongqing. But he notes another aspect of the city that is just as prominent: ubiquitous billboards that give Chongqing something of a “Times Square quality” and compensate for the sometimes bleak backdrop. Commissioned to design a new building for the Jiangbei commercial district, SOM interpreted these two competing aspects and produced a project that mixes office space, a shopping mall, and dazzling graphics.
Completed in 2005 and already the icon of a redevelopment area, the Jianianhua Center combines a 15-story office tower with an 8-story retail block at the center of a new park. SOM took advantage of the interplay between the park and people working indoors by keeping the office building largely transparent and simply sheathed in glass curtainwall. By contrast, the firm treated the retail volume as a colorful gift box wrapped with 2,000 meters of enclosed, changing billboards.
The billboards, which use a motorized system of rotating three-sided panels, turn the retail box into a visually exciting civic landmark. Part of the beauty of the system is that the graphic is constantly changing (images at right and opposite). While SOM designed distinct graphics for each side of the triangular panels, the most interesting moments are those, more abstract ones in between. The 148 panels do a full rotation in 33 seconds and take five minutes to go through all the configurations. The billboards do not utilize the latest high-definition-screen technology, but are much less expensive and easier to maintain. Together with the clear-glass curtain wall set in front of it, each billboard forms a double wall protecting the building from temperature changes.
While the billboard is primarily used for advertising, the client commissioned SOM to design another graphic for the Chinese New Year in 2005. Created by associate partner, Lonny Israel, and SOM’s graphic design department, the scheme features a kaleidoscopic mix of flowers presented in eye-popping shades of red, blue, and green. According to Israel, the goal was to create a scheme that would be “international, open to interpretation, but something strong that could be a celebration.” It is appropriately titled 100 Simultaneously Blooming Flowers and foreshadows the arrival of spring a few weeks after the lunar new year.
An indication of the building’s success is that during the graphic’s unveiling in 2005, the park filled with thousands of people. In 2006, SOM was asked to create a new graphic, a further sign of the client’s appreciation of the civic value of SOM’s design.
By Diana Lind