MICHAEL MARQUEZ ARCHITECTS
In late 2002, MMA was invited to develop a Master Plan for
the heart of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The 160-acre site
was located near the Forbidden City and contained an existing
soccer stadium (which later became the "Bird's Nest) and an
indoor arena for basketball and gymnastics.
The site was being underutilized and the developers wanted to
use the opportunity of the upcoming Olympic Games and
create a high energy area as the primary focal point for the
games. Besides the renovation of the two major venues, MMA
was asked to study the location for a new venue for the
swimming events, athletes housing, administrative offices and
an entirely new shopping center.
The southeast corner of the site was the logical location for the
primary entrance. It was also the best location for the new
shopping district. However, to preserve the visual importance
of this Grand Entrance and the views to the stadium, it was
decided to place the shopping below the main level of the site.
A ceremonial bridge was created to deliver the people from
the street directly to the stadium. The bridge passed over an
expansive circular open area which unveiled the main shopping
space below. To further enhance the shopping experience,
MMA added glass exhibit pavilions above ground that were
inspired from the site's kinetic energy, enabling the shoppers
to view the outside world and natural light to flood the
shopping areas. It also allowed the people passing by to view
the shopping areas directly below them.
Robert Jacques was the Principal-in-Charge for the project and
organized one of the most complex presentations ever created
by MMA. Besides making several visits to Beijing, along with
other MMA staff members, Robert made a historic final
presentation to the Mayor of Beijing, a private selection of
Chinese Party leaders and other special local Dignitaries.
This project still stands as one of the greatest Master Plans
ever conceived by this office and one of our proudest
moments in the Architectural community.
Beijing Olympic Park