China is now the hotspot for some of the most avant-garde architecture and contrary to what is often claimed by criticizing China for not being considerate towards the environment and pollution issues in general, there are today more and more developments and complexes being opened which are among the most avant-garde in the world in terms of being eco-friendly. The great part of Chinese newspapers and TV programmes in fact focus around pollution awareness and new architectures address these issues.
a Steven Holl Architects project
Today’s focus is on the Linked Hybrid, a Steven Holl Architects project, an innovative housing complex in Beijing opened in 2009 and housing 2,500 new residents. It is also referred to as the MOMA project or as the eco “city-within-a-city”, a self-sustainable complex fully dependent on its own resources.
The Linked Hybrid is one the largest geothermal heating and cooling systems in the world. A Ground Source Heat Pump system, one of the largest in residential construction, provides most of the heating and cooling loads. It is comprised of 600 geothermal well, 100 meters deep underneath the basement foundation. Also, gray water from all apartment units are recycled and reused for irrigation, toilet flushing and pond water rebalancing. Minimized energy consumption and maximized comfort for apartment units is also achieved by the use of radiant cooling and heating, displacement ventilation, exterior window shade, localized FCU and humidification, and high performance exterior building.
The complex is fascinating due to one of its most unique features: from the 12th to the 18th floor, all the eight towers are connected to one another via an open architectural ring. This ring, a skybridge, flows diagonally from one tower to the other, creating a fluid movement inspired by Matisse’s La Danse.
The linkage of the towers and the many gardens and open spaces not only bring movement to the structure but also encourage interaction among the inhabitants. The skybridge also provides a breathtaking view of the ever-changing skyline of the beautiful city that is Beijing. During the evening the complex’s colors light up through a fascinating effervescent lightening.
If you are in Beijing and want to visit the Linked Hybrid, you find it easily by googling on google maps: 当代MOMA百老汇电影中心. It is exactly at the corner between the North 2nd Ring Road (北二环) and the East 2nd Ring Road (东二环) at Dongzhimen North Bridge (东直门北桥).