Key Dates

23 March - Launch Deadline
15 June - Standard Deadline
14 September - Extended Deadline
22 September - Judging
11 October - Winners Announced
21 November - Awards Presentation

Time River Experience Center

Image Credit : HZS

Project Overview

Time River Experience Center is located in the Jinzhan section of Chaoyang District, Beijing, adjacent to the sub-center of the city in the east, CBD and Wangjing in the west, the National Cultural and Creative Experimental Zone in the south, and Beijing Capital International Airport in the north. It is located in the Jinzhan business district, which is an important gateway to the northeast of Chaoyang, and is also the fourth embassy district under planning.
On the east side of the site is the junction of the new channel of the Wenyu River and the old bend, and these two channels with different curvatures form a paradise. Following our pre-design research, interpreting the Wenyu River and the old river bend, and understanding urban development and natural growth have become the main line of this project.
The design of the exhibition area is based on the theme of "Superposition Record of Time, Philosophical Exploration of Light and Shadow". In our proposal, we tried to combine local culture and historical heritage to express our unique understanding and cognition of nature and culture. In terms of overall planning, we intended to interpret the general understanding of time in the language of architecture, and endow the building with the task of carrying space. In this way, time is transformed into a perceivable entity, encouraging people to pursue their own ideal life.




Second Design Division, Beijing

Project Brief

Water and soil are two important elements of the local culture of this project, which have evolved into architectural clay bricks and high-transparency glass respectively, and together constitute the light and shadow expression of local culture in architecture. The dry-hanging terracotta bricks suspended on the outside of the glass curtain wall cast different shadows with the changes of light brought by the sunrise and sunset and the alternation of seasons, just like the sparkling water on the surface of a river bend, flowing endlessly. The glass curtain wall is arranged in an array. When a little light slowly emits through the holes, it will arouse people's curiosity and desire to explore.
The simple moldings extend wirelessly, forming regular but different surfaces one after another. Each surface has its own texture and represents a different space. The free combination of multiple spaces gives the building facade a multi-layered aesthetic perception. The two-story pure glass curtain wall perfectly guarantees the visual effect and transparency under the control of the division size of 1.8m. Bathed in the pure light of the sky, it is easy for people to think of happy things. The daylighting skylight at the top is faceted, and its gaps become channels for daylight diffusion, producing poetic rhythms of light as the time changes throughout the day. The pouring daylight breaks the full surface of the roof and separates the vertical from the horizontal, enhancing the depth of the space.

Project Innovation/Need

Space folding is an important design technique of the project, and we use it at the two entrances to strengthen the layering of the space. The overhanging building corners and the retracting and outward-facing walls form a multi-level three-dimensional space, highlighting the drama and conflict of the building, and time is recorded in such a blend of physical expression and space.
At the beginning of the architectural design, we took the interior design into consideration, and tried to meet the requirements for the changeable space and the rhythmic ups and downs of the structure to the greatest extent. In the early stage, the building mainly meets the needs of building sales, and in the later stage, it will be operated as a library to meet the surrounding needs for supporting facilities. In the atrium patio that occupies most of the view, the natural light from the roof meets the natural lighting requirements of the atrium space, reduces the overall energy consumption of the building, and conforms to the low-carbon concept.

Design Challenge

There are several famous humanities and art sites near the project, including five art districts (798 Art District, Winery International Art District, No. 1 Land International Art District, Huantie International Art District), seven art galleries (CAFA Art Museum, Red Brick Art Museum, Luohong Photography Art Museum, Song Art Museum, Hanfang Art Museum, Yongyang Art Museum, He Yang-Wu Qian Modern Painting Museum), five museums (China Film Museum, China Railway Museum, Guanfu Museum, Civil Aviation Museum, International Exhibition Center). They are all red brick buildings with strong artistic and cultural atmosphere. Architectural design is essentially environmental design, so it must not only be practical, but also adapt to the surrounding environment and reflect certain characteristics derived from cultural context.
The project will be transformed from a sales office in the early stage to a community cultural center in the later stage, and there are obvious differences in functions. In order to take both into consideration in the design, we used books as the carrier and space as the link to create Philyard Answers, a cultural and artistic exchange and sharing platform, and a new cultural and spiritual coordinate in Beijing.


The facade of the building is designed with a double-layer curtain wall. Padlock terracotta bricks and fired bricks form the first layer of exterior wall design, which is eye-catching, thermally insulated, and reduces building energy consumption. Double-layer insulating glass forms the second outer wall to meet the needs of indoor lighting and ventilation. Such a double-layer curtain wall system solves the contradiction between natural lighting and energy saving, and echoes the trend of the times for low-carbon, environmentally friendly and green buildings.
At the beginning of the design of the scheme, we were thinking about how to use light energy, the cleanest renewable energy. We finally chose to design a light well above the atrium to occupy most of the view, and use the texture effect of the folded plate to absorb the light that changes angles throughout the day. All light is refracted inside the atrium for full use. The natural light sprinkled from the roof can meet the natural lighting demand of the atrium space, reduce the overall energy consumption of the building, and conform to the low-carbon concept.
The interior design was considered to meet the space requirements and structural requirements of the interior design to the greatest extent. Through full communication with the receiver, we add changes and structural ups and downs to the interior space on the basis of agreement. The building will be operated as a sales office in the early stage and a library or a cultural center in the later stage.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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