Location: Beijing, China

Client: Beijing CBD Administration Committee (formed by Beijing City Government)

In 2001, Chinese authorities selected Johnson Fain’s plan as the winning competition entry from eight submittals by internationally-recognized design firms for a four-square-kilometer area of Beijing near Tiananmen Square.

Johnson Fain’s concept envisioned a Central Business District (CBD) with multiple unique districts. Each of these districts would have self-sustaining balanced land uses, be linked by physical adjacency, share multiple transit options, have distinct street grids for pedestrians and vehicles, and feature a major park network containing a “necklace” of premier cultural institutions. The plan is respectful of its context, drawing from eight historic organizing principles which give Beijing its distinct identity: lakes linked by canals, strong plan geometry, axial views, large “super-block” development areas, through-block walking streets (hutongs), gateways, environmental sun access, and thematic open space.

The scheme also establishes a unique tower skyline for the CBD while fully integrating it with the surrounding City fabric. The plan encompasses more than 100 million square feet of mixed–use development including office, residential, retail, a wide range of cultural uses and more than 500 different buildings anchored by a central “city within a city,” featuring a landmark 140-story tower.

Since 2001, Beijing’s CBD has emerged over the past decade as China’s primary global business address. It has drawn 117 Fortune-500 businesses in the financial, media, information technology, consulting and service industries. More than 60% of overseas-funded companies in Beijing are located in the CBD. A majority of foreign embassies are now concentrated in the CBD and its neighboring areas.

The Beijing CBD has also emerged as China’s national media center. It is home to the China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters, the Beijing Television Station (BTV) headquarters, and the Television Cultural Center. The Beijing CBD has provided Beijing with its own unique sky-line of notable architecture, including the China World Trade Center Tower III (the tallest building in Beijing), the Beijing Yintai Centre complex, and the unique CCTV Headquarters building.