The construction for Conrad Hotel by MAD architects in Beijing, China, is nearing completion. Scheduled to open in 2012, the venue will contain 300 guest rooms, recreational facilities, restaurants, a rooftop bar and spa.
Although the complex is within close proximity to the lively pedestrian shopping boulevard, the immediate surroundings of the central business district are a conglomeration of mundane office buildings whose exteriors are lined with a grid of curtain wall windows.
MAD’s Conrad Hotel is a catalyst, a beneficent virus introduced to subvert the urban grid and revitalize Beijing’s central business district. The façade element, which looks like nervous tissue, is planted into a simple cubic. It is a digital toxin that infects and transforms the surface into an organic envelope. The window pattern is disrupted, its rhythm heightened and warped. The mass of the building melts away in a gradual slope to the entrance; it is a gesture of inclusivity, a form which invites entry and cultivates a relationship to the streets around it.
If architecture speaks to the evolution and energy of a city, Conrad Hotel’s aesthetic form has far-reaching implications for Beijing. It intrudes upon the redundancy of the grid to a new course for city life. It is a new species of architecture that demands interaction and breathes new life into the heart of the city.
Location: Beijing, China
Site Area: 7,779 sqm
Building Area: 56,994 sqm
Building Height: 106 m