Architecturally Speaking: Linked Hybrid

As many of you know or are starting to figure out, I am more than a little obsessed with unique architecture. I am always in awe of the talent and skill it takes to design such important sculptures in the sky. The architecture of bridges blows my mind even more than that of buildings. The weight of such beautiful sculptures supported by amazing engineering feats is beyond amazing and far outside of my realm of understanding. I wrote about the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (shown below) in a previous post. If you know of any great structures that I should investigate then please comment and let me know! 

The amazing Linked Hybrid complex combines both skyscraper and bridge to form one of the most unique complexes that I have ever seen.Linked Hybrid was completed in 2009 by Steven Holl Architects and is located in Beijing, China. The complex includes 644 apartments, public green spaces, commercial zones, a hotel, a theater, both a kindergarten and Montessori school, as well as underground parking.

“A spectacular complex of eight residential towers with a hotel, cinema and school – all connected by bridges that will form a street in the sky.” – Aric Chen, Whitewall

The 220,000 square meter pedestrian-oriented Linked Hybrid complex, which is adjacent to the site of old city wall of Beijing, aims to counter the current privatized urban developments in China by creating a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side.

Filmic urban public space; around, over and through multifaceted spatial layers, as well as the many passages through the project, make the Linked Hybrid an “open city within a city”. The project promotes interactive relations and encourages encounters in the public spaces that vary from commercial, residential, and educational to recreational. The entire complex is a three-dimensional urban space in which buildings on the ground, under the ground and over the ground are fused together.

© Shu He

“The bridges are spectacular, inside and out, and one can imagine that there will be an allure to walking in the air from tower to tower that having a cup of coffee on the ground can’t match.” – Paul Goldberger, The New Yorker

The ground level offers a number of open passages for all people (residents and visitors) to walk through. These passages ensure a micro-urbanisms of small scale. Shops activate the urban space surrounding the large reflecting pond. On the intermediate level of the lower buildings, public roofs gardens offer tranquil green spaces, and at the top of the eight residential towers private roof gardens are connected to the penthouses.

© Iwan Baan

All public functions on the ground level, – including a restaurant, hotel, Montessori school, kindergarten, and cinema – have connections with the green spaces surrounding and penetrating the project. The elevator displaces like a “jump cut” to another series of passages on a higher levels. From the 12th to the 18th floor a multi-functional series of skybridges with a swimming pool, a fitness room, a café, a gallery, auditorium and a mini salon connects the eight residential towers and the hotel tower, and offers spectacular views over the unfolding city. Programmatically this loop aspires to be semi-lattice-like rather than simplistically linear. We hope the public sky-loop and the base-loop will constantly generate random relationships. They will function as social condensers resulting in a special experience of city life to both residents and visitors.

© Iwan Baan

Geo-thermal wells (655 at 100 meters deep) provide Linked Hybrid with cooling in summer and heating in winter, and make it one of the largest green residential projects in the world. According to GQ, Linked Hybrid is “One of the ten coolest eco-friendly buildings in the world – One of the largest geothermal projects on earth’.

AWARDS:
Popular Science Engineering Award for Largest Geothermal Housing Complex, USA, 2006
AIA NEW YORK CHAPTER SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AWARD, USA, 2008
CTBUH 2009 BEST TALL BUILDING IN ASIA AND AUSTRALIA, USA, 2009
CTBUH 2009 BEST TALL BUILDING OVERALL, USA, 2009
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD CHINA, “GOOD DESIGN IS GOOD BUSINESS” AWARD, BEST RESIDENTIAL PROJECT, USA, 2010

© Iwan Baan

The bulk of the text for this post comes from Steven Holl Architects website and unless otherwise noted the photos are from their website as well.

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2 thoughts on “Architecturally Speaking: Linked Hybrid

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