Raffles City Beijing sales office
by SMC Alsop Asia



SMC Alsop Asia have completed the sales office for Raffles City Beijing, a new shopping mall currently under construction in the Chinese capital.


The showroom incorporates exhibition space, offices and meeting rooms.


The Raffles City mall is due for completion early in 2009 and will consist of three towers providing retail, residential, hotel and office space.


The following information is from SMC Alsop Asia:


Raffles City, an introduction.

Building Location

Raffles City is located on the junction of Dongzhimen NeiDaJie and Beijing’s 2nd Ring Road. The site is at the heart of Beijing’s developing business district and sits on one of the city’s most important cross roads. The site sits diagonally opposite the existing DongZhimen transport interchange that is currently being upgraded to service the new Capital Airport. The Raffles City development will be linked with this interchange between basement levels B1 and B2.


The interchange sits on the confluence of Line 2 (circle line) and Line 13 part of the city’s over ground network. The parcel of land that Raffles City sits on is 105metres wide (along DongZhimen ), and 145 metres long (along the 2nd Ring Road). The overall organization of the Raffles City development is designed to be straightforward well connected and clearly expressed. It is an unmediated layering of distinct elemental volumes:

  • the retail podium
  • the thin vertical-slabs of apartment hotels accommodation
  • the commercial office tower

raffles-city-beijing-sales-office-by-smc-alsop-asia-img_75162.jpgSignificant emphasis has been given to the design of the north east corner of the development to provide a dynamic visual connection from the interchange site and the north south/east west City Boulevard approaches.


Building description

The intention of this Raffles City design proposal is that the architectural arrangement promotes and exposes an open, interconnected, safe, exciting, clear and easily legible design solution for building users. It is also different to its competitors in a way that make it a destination.


The experience of entering and moving around the retail areas of Raffles City is intended to be surprising, memorable and enjoyable. The shopping mall is a sculptural, five storey sweeping day lit enclosure. At the heart of the mall is glass “crystal lotus” shopping wedge that links the two retail wings together. It is the defining centrepiece of Raffles City and a statement of the ambition of this unique shopping experience.


The glass-wedge is the tallest free standing structure in the building. This "non-building" (can be programmed in a number of ways) is the beacon of the retail activity. Highlighting perhaps what is important, that most commonplace but most significant of public activities inside the building can be celebrated and become an expression of free-fall circulation, free-flow communication, free flow vision; human interaction in all its creativeness.


The retail shop fronts, which could be fitted out according to the retailers’ imagination and creativity, curve through the space horizontally, articulating the atrium in a dramatic volume of light and movement. The shopping galleries, which extend along both wings of the mall, add colour and texture to this exciting space. Bridges span the atrium via the crystal wedge, affording views down through the volume towards the ground floor and lower level retail floor.

The Retail podium is wrapped by a continuous patterned "pixelated glass-paper" that extends around into the office lobby and onto the lower levels of the office building (the infill panels will change to suit the nature of the activity behind, i.e. commercial office or food and beverage).


From arrival at lobby level and the journey to the workplace the experience will be one of world class quality.
The intention is to use the high transparency of non-reflective "colourless" -- ultra-clear (low-E) glass to provide an environmentally efficient façade system. The glazed panels will have a colour frit pattern applied onto a certain percentage of the glass that bleeds naturally into the vision panel zone, creating a kaleidoscopic and vibrant effect throughout the entire elevation.


Apartment Hotels
The 2 apartment hotels hover over the retail podium rooted to the podium garden in places by the residents Clubhouse.
The thin slabs of apartment hotels accommodation enclose and embrace the roof terrace, creating a private urban garden for the residents. The two buildings provide a variety of apartment types from single bed studios to 3 bedroom units all of which have a garden view or a view to the city, some towards the Forbidden City.

The Clubhouse which is accessed from a dedicated street level controlled lobby or from the residents dedicated car park zone; contains a variety of resident amenities from swimming pool and gymnasium to crèche and lounge. The central area of the garden contains the retail mall roof glazing, a mounded faceted surface that reads as part of the garden landscape. The crystal wedge punctures the glazed roof further exaggerating the sculpted surface of the garden.

Public access and amenities

Outside the building, parallel strips of level and reclining triangulated planter surfaces provide a gentle articulation and protection to the building fore court from the surrounding roads.

These triangulated strips stage a sequence of distinct spaces that give definition to the primary building entrances, driveways, drop off points and the dedicated event space.


Each day inhabitants of Raffles City will penetrate the building layers as they progress from the street to their destination teasing out precipitous potentials of the spaces created. They will judge the effectiveness of juxtaposed elements as they move from the MRT basement levels to the high, deep, light and airy retail, apartment hotels and workplaces in a daily grand tour.

Project Data

150,000 sqm CFA, 97,000 sqm above ground. Consisting of 35,000 sqm Office, 35,000 sqm Retail, 20,000 sqm Ascott Serviced Apartment, 7000 sqm Residential
Design Start June 2005, Construction Start July 2006, Completion Retail August 2008, Full completion February 2009


Client: Capitaland China Holding
Lim MingYan, Dr. Mao Daqing, Cheng Ming, Han Wei, Ding Tong, Liu Ziang, Liu XiaoYun, Xia Tao, Xun Tao

Architectural, Landscape, and Interior Design: SMC Alsop Beijing
Stephen Pimbley, Jan Felix Clostermann, Sofia David, Tan MingYin, Nico Bornman, Damian Chan, John Curran, Alvin Foo, Torrance Goh, He Wei, Ho Hsiu Yan, Gyn Kong, Lee SiHyung, Victor Lee, Li Renjie, Peter Sim, Sven Steiner, Sun Penghui, Christian Taeubert, Wu JianYun, Jacqueline Yeo, Zhang Hua

Local Design Institute: Sunlight
Yang Tong, Chen Lan, Cui Shimin

Quantity Surveyor: DLS
Hu Ping

MEP Engineer: Arup
Lewis Shiu, Jeff Po, Chris Wong, Mini Sun, Ivan Lam

Specialist Structural Engineer: Arup
Rory Mc Gowan, Chas Pope, Fei Tong

Façade Engineering: Arup
Dr. Andy Lee, Fanny Chan

Traffio Engineering: Arup

Fire Engineering: Arup
Dr. MingChun Luo, Dr. Rachel Yin, Marcus Ngu

Lighting Design: LDPi
Tewa Srilaklang,

Signage: Beijing ShiYu
Lan KaiTao

Interior Design Ascott Hotel: Steve Leung
Steve Leung

RCB - Raffles City Beijing Retail Showroom Program:
Exibition Area (90 m2)
Office Space (36 m2)
Meeting Room Large (38 m2)
Meeting Room Medium (12 m2)
Meeting Room Small (9 m2)

Total Area:
185 m2

Construction Period
6 weeks

Posted on Sunday August 10th 2008 at 1:13 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Paul, Yorkshire

    House of horrors, looks like the set of a slasher movie.
    Sat in any of those rooms would give you phsycolgical trauma.

  • chris

    loooooool :)

  • lk


  • Zenza

    I’m lost in here. This is craptastic.

    I mean… What the hell is this?

  • kurosheep

    Its a what? … Sales office? What kind of image does the designer want to convey?
    Another gesture for gesture sake in our sad sad contemporary design world.

  • zhengyunfei

    cool…..i like it

  • Very creative and Modern. can compare with Raffles city in Singapore. well done job. Good luck.


  • Artistic Interiors

    Lovely as an example of great art. As a functional space, however, I feel that it lacks any human warmth and would be a bit disconcerting to move about in.

  • Bozo

    For Shame.

  • Azeem

    Strange place!! The ceiling light is interesting though!!

  • M-Boogie

    Yay disco!

    Very neat high-gloss images! I would like to see it in real if it’s still that convincing when you’re able to see the details and walk through it. I hope the lighting does a space ship like humming… :-)

    It is really cold and sharp but I would take it as a quality since it’s so pure in that kind.

    Luckily I’m heading to China soon :-)

  • Charlotte

    this is just ugly

  • edward

    Really don’t know what to make of it. I expect some would be deeply irritated by it…or even disoriented.

  • James

    i’m dizzy… mommy make it stop.

  • Richy

    Another kitshy, stylistic, non-intellectual, frivolous project from Alsop……they have basically degenerated since peckham library…

    Usage of artistic nomenclature like “crystal lotus” etc are always the norm in Alsop project which translates to ” highly complex and expensive but with not much purpose for the user”

    Grow up SMC alsop and start doing responsible architecture

  • sam


  • alberto

    …it looks like 2008 office of Adam Family…

  • Richy

    If you think this looks shit, you should see the whole building..its Federation square meets “oh so overused pixellations” with a few free form pimples trying to stylistically funky…. the “blob” period is over as fast as it came..get over it.. if its not parametrically thought out with some justification..please do yourself a favour and keep it for your dreams.. the whole alsop team should be ashamed..

  • Will Alsop

    I am so ashamed of my team, please forgive me.

  • Roark

    maybe we need more junk architecture to appreciate generic architecture…. :)

    when idealist become capitalist….

  • Norman Foster

    I like it.
    If any of the design team would like a job with me, give me a call.

  • Plasma Studio

    Hmm.. I think you copied my work badly…

  • Mies Van de Rohe

    What are you kids doing nowadays…visual masturbation?

  • Qian Long

    Believe it or not, the showroom is much better than the actual building. Talk about a pile of crap……………..

  • Mr Hanky

    I like ALsop work as it looks like my friends…HAIDEEE HOOOOO

  • PrettySandesigns

    a shattered mirror reflecting a house of cards?
    yikes! where would you go to find your lost mind if you had to work in this place? mcdonalds?
    I guess that being said, one does need a HQ to sell organs to the rich.

  • this project is nothing to do with Alsop.
    It is a tragety.

  • John Jan Lyall -Stormer

    Then why do u use it in your lectures, publish it on your website, and include it on your proud list of award winning buildings Mr Alsop? Must really be a “tragety” for u to lose so many staffs and studios

  • orlando felinska

    Its quite smart really, there’s a subliminal message here, Alsop is offering multiple mirrors reflecting the warped ethos of contemporary China. HQ for the body part industry does come to mind, a wonderful set for a psychodrama, if only it all was fiction…..Faust rules OK!

  • HydrangeaGirl

    It obviously takes an educated eye (and mind) to understand a space like this. I'm surprised so many people have commented so negatively on this. The fact is that the absence of human contact makes it seem so sterile, but the literal addition of people visually being in the environment literally reflects back and makes the space.


    Thought it was a barber shop :P