In a country of ancient culture such as China, it is difficult to build such buildings, which with their modern facades and forms will blend with the country and its character. For Zaha Hadid similar challenges had never been a problem; While creating Galaxy Soho, located in Beijing, she presented the Chinese yards from a whole new angle and without corners and sharp transitions, brought to a harmony with the city.
SOHO is the largest developer of office spaces and the real estate in China and co-operates with such well-known architects as Zaha Hadid and are Kengo Kuma.
The company’s one of the most significant “products” is Galaxy Soho. Like their other buildings, it is also located in the most strategic place, in the center of Beijing; Easily accessible to all types of vehicles, there are a lot of bus stops in the close proximity, while the underground floors are directly connected with the metro.
Construction began in 2009 and ended in 2012. The complex is built on about 50,000 square meters, and its total area is 330000 square meters. The building has four domed towers with a maximum height of 67 meters. They are connected with bridges and platforms and along with rounded, undulating shape create a quiet, harmonious environment around the yards and a larger central “canyon”. The complex has 18 floors, 15 above ground and 3 underground; It is a combination of office areas. B2 and B3 two underground floors are used for parking spaces and can house 1275 cars; There are office spaces until the fifteenth floor while restaurants and bars occupy the others. Distance between the office floors is 3,5 meters, while for the others 5,4 meters.
To meet the needs of different users, the size of office space is different, ranging from 100 square meters to 300 square meters. The corridors have an oval atrium shape and are lit with natural light. On the upper floors, there are both internal and external spaces, and people can enjoy a wonderful view. The building has a standard cement structure; For the exterior aluminum and stone are used, while in the interior – glass, terrazzo stainless steel and glass-reinforced gypsum.
Galaxy Soho could not withstand the criticism either; For many it did not fall in the overall appearance of the city, and the cultural heritage was completely ignored. However, with this building Zaha Hadid sent a clear message to the world of modern architecture. She defined the shapes, colors, designs, and in general, what should be in the 21st century architecture. Criticism is always, everywhere and in everything, but the modern architects should only think about creating something valuable, important and characteristic for this century. Every time has its charm and modernity should create its own authentic and valuable, which will distinguish it from other periods.
Author: Meri Khamkhadze
English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze