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
Beijing, China