The first United Nations trade headquarters based in China.
Research institute, conference center, offices, lecture halls and laboratories
390,000 sq.ft. (36,000 m²)
"The United Nations offers a bamboo branch to China"
— World Architecture
"The first international, non-profit inter-governmental organization to be based in China"
— People's Daily, newspaper, China
"The form provides a dynamic expression of the organization …and at the same time expresses its role as a major international institution."
— Archi Volta Magazine
The building was the winning design in an international competition and was built in central Beijing.
This is the world headquarters for a United Nations trade body, INBAR, the first U.N. headquarters in China. It’s goal is to define and implement a global agenda for sustainable development and it is dedicated to improving the social, economic, and environmental conditions of less developed countries through the use of renewable forestry resources. The organization’s administrative, conference and research facilities are housed at the focal point of a new Beijing development area and will serve as an urban catalyst for the district.
The building was seen as a flagship for environmental conservation and sustainability. The program required a number of distinct uses, which needed to be expressed as both independent and yet interrelated bodies. These elements find their expression in the massing of the building, formed from individual wing elements which are brought together in one overall composition around a tower. The building had to be recognizable and provide a suitable symbol for the organization. It needed a landmark identity.
The lacy openness of the tower element and the textures of its detailing allude to the the materials promoted by the organization. The slender, bladelike proportion of the tower element allows natural light to reach all the interior spaces, improving the work environment and reducing power usage. The tower is symmetrical in one direction but has a directionally that gives it a dynamic and sculptural quality.
The project was carried out with a local partnering firm in China, MCA International.
- Venice International Architecture Biennale, Italy
- American Institute of Architects Exhibition, USA
- Royal Institute of British Architects, RIBA San Francisco, USA
- American Institute of Architects, invitation, USA
- World Architecture, UK
- The New Architectural Language, China
- CCTV State TV, China
- People’s Daily, China
- Time Space Existence, Italy
- Archi Volta, Poland
- Artindex, Russia
- Beijing Architecture and Design, Spain