A former cement factory
is given a new lease of life
A former factory site is to become a lively campus
On the site of the former Jinyu Xingfa Cement Factory in northern Beijing across an area of over 60 hectares a new component of the Huairou Science City is to be created: a campus for the Xingfa Beijing Institute for Mathematical Sciences. The idea of creating a lively campus with all the facilities needed for dwelling, learning, working and enjoying a high quality of life is what makes this project so unusual.
left: existing buildings, right: supplementary new buildings
Renewal rather than demolition
The sustainable renovation of existing buildings has been common in Europe for decades and is also becoming ever more popular in China, because industrial monuments in particular, like the Jinyu Xingfa Cement Factory in this case, are historic reminders and narrate the development and evolution of industrial sites.
The new district will be defined by numerous supplementary new buildings and high-quality free spaces. Besides laboratories and research facilities there will be residential space for teachers, researchers and students of the institute. Other campus facilities will include seminar buildings, a library, a conference centre, offices and administrative buildings, shops, cafés and a sports centre with swimming pool.
The existing buildings characteristic of their industrial past will remain and be fully integrated and renovated. In this process the historic structures will be given fresh content, whilst retaining their distinguishing features. In this respect the design symbolises sustainable renovation: because in China too awareness of the finite nature of resources is driving the idea of using what is there.
The project covers an area of over 60 hectares with an overall overground GFA of 182,200 square metres. This includes 54 existing buildings with a total area of around 70,000 square metres. Within this massive project, the historic traces of an industrial culture will be carefully preserved whilst at the same time a new, lively campus is created. The existing and defining axis of the central north-south railway lines will link the five functional clusters of the site.
As much as possible of the original factory site beside the mountain is to be retained. The embedding of mountains and rivers into the teaching and research building creates a harmonious spatial relationship with the protected natural environment in which it is situated. As an 'ecological landscape’ the campus provides users with a delightful green environment and numerous public recreational spaces.
A particular highlight is conversion of the large silo plant: on the ground floor under the old silos there will be lounge areas, convenience stores, cafés / bistros and conference centres. Above the silos, on a new crossbeam, residential space will be created for professors and researchers.
Multifunctional Science Park
Overall, five functional centres will be created: the Beijing Institute of Applied Mathematics, a comprehensive management services centre, the Institute for Advanced Study, apartments and office buildings. This conversion of a former cement factory will create a networked building complex for scientific and technological research and development on the site.
Industrial monuments bear witness to urban development over many decades