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Phoenix

Wrapped in a latticed glass and steel skin, this ring-shaped building by architecture studio BIAD UFO provides the new headquarters for Chinese broadcaster Phoenix Television. Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Un-Forbidden office – BIAD UFO for short – designed the Phoenix International Media Center for a plot on the corner of Chaoyang Park in the Chinese city.

Two bulbous towers with kidney-shaped floorplans are enveloped by the glass and steel skin to create the building’s doughnut-shaped form.

The angled profile of the volume accounts for one tower being several storeys taller than the other. The architects liken the design to the twisted form of a Möbius strip.

This outer shell encloses snaking elevated walkways and staircases that connect lobbies with the two blocks containing broadcasting studios, and offices for production and programming. The curving volume peels away from the ground in areas to open up an access route to an open-air atrium in the centre of the building. From here, escalators lead down into the basement levels and stairs up to the towers.

Interiors throughout are finished with light-coloured flooring, white walls and gridded glazing. The unusual form of the Phoenix International Media Center comes despite a call from Chinese president Xi Jinping for an end to “weird architecture” in the country.

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