Beijing-based property developer China Resources Land Limited (CR Land) makes money by managing residential, commercial, and civic projects across China. For its Guanganmen Green Technology Showroom in Beijing, CR Land commissioned Vector Architects to create a 500-square-meter temporary showroom for the company’s residential properties in the area. With the showroom, Vector aimed to design a space that makes a case for affordable, attractive, and ecologically sensitive living.
At the client’s request, Vector set out to minimize the building’s environmental impact. So, the firm’s design team lifted the showroom’s steel structural system off the ground with columnar supports that punctuate the building’s base at regular intervals. Then, the design team specified permeable pavers for the area beneath the new structure, to reduce rainwater run-off. Inside, a pared down aesthetic and an airy, wall-free space greatly reduce the amount of material used and, thus, trash generated later.
The showroom’s most prominent feature, though, is its green wall system, which helps to reduce the structure’s solar-heat gain and rainwater run-off. It’s also a bit of architectural spectacle that serves the dual purpose of announcing the building’s mission and helping reduce its carbon footprint. “When the building is dismantled, the grass panels will be used in the landscape designs of residential compounds. So the grass will continue to benefit the community,” explains Vector partner Gong Dong. The green wall is irrigated via an embedded system behind the grass, explains Dong.
The firm also incorporated a variety of other sustainable features, including low-e glass, a green roof, and a “self-balanced ventilation system,” says Dong. And, since the building is meant for temporary occupation, “the structural system can be dismantled and reused elsewhere,” says Dong.
Since the showroom opened in September 2009, the adjacent residential project has been CR Land’s best-selling to-date, says Dong. “Visitors have responded positively to the showroom,” says Dong. “And most of them have made a remark about the ‘green box.’”