MVRDV, Chongwenmen M-Cube, Beijing, Beijing architecture, shopping mall, pearlescent, pearlescent facade, Jacob van Rijs, bespoke tiles, pearlescent tiles, iridescent facade, atrium

Located in one of Beijing’s busiest areas, the 44,000-square-meter Chongwenmen M-Cube sits on prime real estate near popular tourist destinations including the historic hutongs, Temple of Heaven, and the Beijing Railway Station. To maximize the commercial value of the comparatively small plot, MVRDV first designed the building to its maximum size limits and then cut away parts of the volume to bring the building down to a pedestrian-friendly scale and establish visual connections with surrounding landmarks. For instance, the facades, which are equipped with LED panels to double as advertisement space, are strategically oriented towards The Forbidden City and the Beijing Rail Station to maximize commercial exposure.

MVRDV, Chongwenmen M-Cube, Beijing, Beijing architecture, shopping mall, pearlescent, pearlescent facade, Jacob van Rijs, bespoke tiles, pearlescent tiles, iridescent facade, atrium

The multi-faceted facade accentuates the shimmering colors of the ceramic pearlescent tiles, each of which are unique and hand-glazed, and radiate a whole spectrum of color depending on lighting conditions and the angle from which they’re viewed. The specially developed tiles were created in collaboration with manufacturers NBK and HDTC and took over a year to develop. The interior of the building is organized around a large central atrium, while an accessible landscaped roof terrace tops the building.

MVRDV, Chongwenmen M-Cube, Beijing, Beijing architecture, shopping mall, pearlescent, pearlescent facade, Jacob van Rijs, bespoke tiles, pearlescent tiles, iridescent facade, atrium

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“The façade design balances between the desire of the client to create a striking building and the restrictive architectural conditions in that part of Beijing, demanding greys and beiges.” says MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs, “Depending on the viewpoint both parties can be satisfied as the façade material appears differently when looking at different angles, it varies from subtle grey to all colours of the rainbow.”

+ MVRDV

Images via MVRDV