Zaha Hadid's Wangjing Soho complex
nears completion in Beijing


These new images by German photographer Robert Herrmann show the near-complete external structures of Zaha Hadid's Wangjing Soho complex, which is scheduled to open later this year in Beijing (+ slideshow).

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

The retail and office complex, for real-estate developer Soho China, comprises three large pebble-shaped buildings positioned beside the main road leading from Beijing Capital Airport to the city centre.

When the design was unveiled in 2011, Zaha Hadid Architects compared it to a trio of Chinese fans that "appear to move around each other in an intricate dance".

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

"This interplay creates a vibrant architectural complex that is enhanced by an equally dynamic external skin, which continuously varies in density creating a shimmering, exciting presence," said the studio.

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

The new photographs, taken three weeks ago, show that most buildings in the group appear to be finished, while surrounding landscaping is still in progress.

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

Once complete, the structures will accommodate 37 floors of offices, three storeys of shops – one of which will be underground – and two basement parking levels. At its apex, the complex will reach a height of 200 metres.

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

Wangjing Soho made the news in early 2013, when it was revealed that a developer in Chongqing had copied the design and was intending to complete its own project sooner. Recent reports indicate this building is also still yet to complete.

Wangjing Soho by Zaha Hadid

Photography is by Robert Herrmann.

  • K

    I’m literally suffocated by the sheer size and blankness.

  • Michelle JY Seo

    I live in this neighbourhood… the building doesn’t really fit the context.

  • Sally

    Huge and obnoxious.

  • numstead

    Let’s talk about the photography aesthetic copycatting.

  • Surprise! Zaha’s building is a stark contrast to the surroundings! But is Zaha to blame here?

    Following the example of western major cities, Beijing is pushing for the gentrification of working-class areas, thus pockets of eerily contemporary developments are popping up in decadent neighbourhoods.

    The mass of a tower is determined by the developers requirements and zoning codes allowance. I think the designer did a decent effort to mitigate the size impact, and created an engaging public space in the process.

    This is how China rolls. Later on the surrounding buildings will be replaced by seemingly commercial towers, SOHO won’t be so out of place by then.

  • Burrlamb

    Looks like it was designed for robot vacuum cleaners. More poorly conceived shape making for the sake of shape making by ZHA.

  • Arjay Cee

    Another of her sadistic hives. Abandon all identity ye who enter here.