Digital Beijing

Digital Beijing, Beijing - China, Pei Zhu + Tong Wu + Hui Wang
Construction year: 2007
Address: Beijing Olympic Park | BEIJING | China
Latitude/Longitude: 39.9955, 116.388

It might seem unusual to create a façade that graphically represents digital technology, but with the Digital Beijing Building, the Beijing-based firm Studio Pei-Zhu has done so in several ways.

In this 57m-high structure, which will provide communication and information services during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the northern and southern sides represent barcodes. Meanwhile, the western and eastern façades replicate the look of an integrated circuit board. When vertical grooves in those facades take a diagonal jog before straightening out again, they resemble the routing of wires on a circuit board.

At the Digital Beijing Building, four reinforced concrete and steel frame blocks line up like dominoes and rise 11 storeys, with two additional levels underground.

The four blocks interconnect in a large central area, but from some exterior vantage points, the blocks look disconnected. That is, it appears as though three voids separate four solid entities. In alternating between void and solid, the building creates the effect of a barcode.

Exterior materials include curtain walls of precast concrete panels and glass, as well as metallic grids covering open shafts between the four blocks.

Touting the building s green features, the firm maintains that the LED lighting system can significantly reduce electricity usage for lighting and that the building collects rainwater.

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