DESIGN: ZAHA HADID’S INCREDIBLE GALAXY SOHO BUILDING IN BEIJING
Seemingly the hub of all economic development these days, China is leading the way in architecture with some of the world's most modern & beautiful structures popping up in the country at breakneck speed (unfortunately, there's also a lot of really ugly, empty ones, unsafe ones, too). Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid's newest and easily most beautiful structure to date, the 330,000-square-metre Galaxy Soho retail/office/entertainment complex in Beijing now tops that list. Completed late last year, the sprawling development is comprised of 18 levels of gorgeous flowing biomorphic forms that exemplify Hadid's incomprable Saarinen-esque futurist style throughout a mixed use structure that includes retail space, offices, and restaurants. In the words of the architect, "The design responds to the varied contextual relationships and dynamic conditions of Beijing. We have created a variety of public spaces that directly engage with the city, reinterpreting the traditional urban fabric and contemporary living patterns into a seamless urban landscape inspired by nature."Commissioned by China's visionary modern development firm, Soho China, led by the powerhouse design connoisseur Zhang Xin, the building marks the first in a series of three developments to be completed by Hadid's eponymous firm, with the next two projects set to open in Shanghai this year and Wangjing in 2014.
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