March 2001

Beijing Times Square

Located on Xi Chang-An Jie, not far from Tiananmen Square, Beijing Times Square is a mid-rise structure with a large footprint.

On the square 13,470 sq m site a symmetrical building whose formal proportions are in line with those of the stately neighbourhood has been designed, with entrances in the middle of each facade marked by an imposing, five-storey-high portal frame engraved with the Times Square logo. Shops line the Chang-An Jie frontage to the north, which is connected to more retail outlets in the south via passageways running through two atriums.
        Taking into consideration a more pleasant working environment which could be achieved through the provision of some form of contact with the outside world, a 34 m by 38 m central courtyard was created. This device brings natural light into what would otherwise be the dark core of the structure. Extensive landscaping was applied to the courtyard, which features pavilions, a bridge, a pebble stream and lots of plantings.
        To assist orientation and encourage a bustling atmosphere, the vertical circulation inside the retail podium is made visible by means of two atriums, one in the north and the other in the south. A sense of space is created by the volume as well as the use of bright materials such as mirror-finish steel, with a coffer ceiling contributing to a courtyard feel.
        Between the two strips of retail outlets are two office lift lobbies which are accessed via entrances to the east and west respectively, a simple and tidy arrangement which helps circulation within the building. The west entrance is marked by a clock tower, a feature which gives the development its identity.
        Both office entrances lead into a spacious, 10-metre-high lobby featuring fan-shaped screens made of timber paneling. A large reception counter leads to the lift lobby on each side. The office floors are served by 16 lifts divided between the east and west cores. The eight lifts serving each core is further split into two zones with four lifts each. According to Wong & Ouyang Associate Director Otto CY Lee, the lifts were divided into four zones on each floor even though the building is not very high because of the need to reduce walking distance in a 89 m by 89 m building.
        In compliance with municipal regulations, the building features a traditional Chinese tiled roof. In order to reduce the sense of bulk engendered by the horizontality of the large building, a series of setbacks were introduced on the roof, to break up its volume and add a sculptural effect. Another device employed to reduce the bulk is the use of splayed corners, which also soften the building's
        The facades adopt different colours and materials to break up the bulk, with pink stone cladding contrasting with blue tinted glass spandrels.

ground floor plan

        The 13-storey building has a total gross floor area of 78,500 sq m, which does not include the basement. The three-level basement serves several purposes: the first level accommodates four multiplex cinemas and bicycle parking; the second contains an exhibition centre and a loading/unloading bay; and the third contains a carpark.
        The project was developed at a cost of HK$790 million. A soft opening was held recently for both the retail podium and the office block.

client Wharf (Holdings) Ltd
architect Wong & Ouyang (Hong Kong) Ltd
main contractor China State 1st Construction Bureau No 2 Construction Co
structural engineer Wong & Ouyang (Civil-Structural Engineering) Ltd
e&m engineer Wong & Ouyang (Building Services) Ltd
quantity surveyor Davis Langdon & Seah

-- Building Journal