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The Beijing Galaxy Soho.


Zaha Hadid, known for her fluid, bold, and dynamic buildings, was the first female British-Iraqi architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. She was also recognized as a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to architecture. Her projects can be found in cities around the world, including the London Aquatics Centre in the United Kingdom, the MAXXI Museum in Italy, and the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan. In this article, we will be featuring one of her other iconic international works: the Beijing Galaxy SOHO in China.

Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. © FG+SG–Fotografia de Arquitectura | | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Design Philosophy


Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) described the Beijing Galaxy SOHO building as four domed volumes that comes together through bridges and platforms, creating a fluid and dynamic world of continuous open spaces within the complex. The extensive structure embodies the concept of "fluidity" as its four main wings seamlessly merge with each other by avoiding sharp corners and sudden changes in space. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) also recognized the building as "demonstrating a rare generosity in a country determined to outdo the west in terms of commercialization


Digital Representation of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Design Concept. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Section of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Section of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Elevation of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Elevation of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Top View of Beijing Galaxy SOHO. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Top View of Beijing Galaxy SOHO without Surrounding Landscape. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Materials & Façade

The most striking feature of the Beijing Galaxy SOHO complex is its clean and pristine organic form. The ZHA team had to choose materials that could achieve this sculptural aesthetic while staying within their budget. They considered various materials including fiberglass-reinforced plastic, glass-reinforced concrete, and shipbuilding steel plates by creating samples. These three materials seemed capable of creating precise curves with the fewest seams. However, the team ultimately decided to use aluminum and stone for the exterior cladding because these materials were more readily available and had skilled local producers. As shown in the diagrams and photographs, the layout of each floor plan includes a void space that forms an atrium for natural sunlight to enter through the skylight. This feature helps to naturally illuminate the spaces within the four domes. The interior spaces use glass, terrazzo, stainless steel, and glass-reinforced gypsum to achieve a smooth, curved appearance.

Classifying Beijing Galaxy SOHO Wall using Modelling Software. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

3D Digital model of Beijing Galaxy SOHO components. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Experimenting Beijing Galaxy SOHO Wall with Different Materials. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Exterior. ©Iwan Baan | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

The Construction

After completing the final design plans, the ZHA team began to consider how they could construct the complex. They determined that 9% of the total curved exterior wall would need to be double-sided, while the remainder could be single-sided. This approach was deemed feasible given their budget and the technical limitations of manufacturers in producing these walls. However, after consulting with various construction specialists, the team decided to convert the majority of the exterior curtain wall into single-sided components, as the cost of producing double-sided prefabricated walls would be too high. Later, the team invited local construction companies to participate in the construction of an aluminum and glass unit prototype, which they used to assess each manufacturer's production capabilities, shape control skills, and installation time. The team also spent a significant amount of time working with the construction firms on how to install and connect the individual units to form the entire complex. When it came time for construction to begin, the ZHA team shared their Building Information Modeling (BIM) data with their chosen construction manufacturer, providing precise measurements to ensure a smooth construction process.

Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Construction Process. ©CRIENGLISH.com/William Wang | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Photographs of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Construction Process. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Axonometric Drawing of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Exterior Wall. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Axonometric Drawing of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Exterior Wall. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Photographs of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Aluminum and Glass Unit Prototype. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Photographs of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Aluminum and Glass Unit Prototype. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

3D Digital Model of Beijing Galaxy SOHO in BIM. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Axonometric Drawing of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Roof Systems. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Axonometric Drawing and Detailed Sections of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Bridge. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Sustainable Practices

The Beijing Galaxy SOHO building was designed to be sustainable, earning it LEED Certification for its green efforts. The mall encourages visitors to be environmentally conscious, with amenities such as bike storage and preferred parking for green vehicles. The roof has a cooled system to create a pleasant microclimate for visitors, and the complex has water-efficient systems that recycle greywater, reducing overall water usage by at least 20%. In addition, the Beijing Galaxy SOHO building reduces its energy consumption by 14% through the use of energy-efficient lighting fixtures, air ventilation systems, and a double-glazed exterior envelope.


Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Interior. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Interior. ©Zaha Hadid Architects | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Interior. ©FG+SG–Fotografia de Arquitectura | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com


Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Interior. ©FG+SG–Fotografia de Arquitectura | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

Photograph of Beijing Galaxy SOHO Interior. ©FG+SG–Fotografia de Arquitectura | Image Sourced From re-thinkingthefuture.com

 

Sources Used:


  • https://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/galaxy-soho/

  • https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/rtf-design-inspiration/a1839-beijing-galaxy-soho-by-zaha-hadid-modern-approach-to-traditional-chinese-architecture-2/

  • https://www.dezeen.com/2012/10/29/galaxy-soho-by-zaha-hadid-architects/

  • https://www.archute.com/galaxy-soho-stunning-urban-landscape-zaha-hadid-architects/

  • https://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/attraction/galaxy-soho.htm

  • https://www.archilovers.com/projects/68618/the-galaxy-soho.html

  • https://www.huftonandcrow.com/projects/gallery/galaxy-soho/

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_SOHO

  • THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF GALAXY SOHO 过程与挑战 ——银河 SOHO 的设计与建造, 撰文 大桥谕 梁灏翔 Zaha Hadid Architects

  • http://www.china.org.cn/travel/2011-12/05/content_24074663.htm

  • https://www.joelsternfeld.net/a-book-of-justified-true-beliefs-bibliographies/2018/7/11/galaxy-soho-mall-no-7a-small-arch-hutong-beijing-china



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