According to some accounts, the Panjiayuan Market spontaneously formed in a Chaoyanghutong during the “opening-up” of China in the 1980s.The Market has from the beginning dealt with a diverse miscellanea: antiques, crafts, second-hand items, curios,… a great jumble of “stuff”. An active, bustling place, its atmosphere is an attraction in itself, a “must-see” destination for any visitor to Beijing.
It was evident from the beginning of our design process that the Panjiayuan Market is no ordinary development and that the greatest danger in its redevelopment is becoming so. Therefore, our first task was to delineate a list of basic developmental premises, toward the objective of protecting the market’s unique character and atmosphere, that would guide future design decisions both on the macro and the micro scale:
- Upgrade the basic facilities of the market, but maintain a balance in this regard since a certain “untidiness” is an inherent part of the market’s nature.
- While protecting the core function, introduce supplemental functions, such as an exhibition centre, a craft school, and/or an antique assessment centre.Such functions will lend support and diversification, making the market more of an urban hub than merely a specialized exchange.
- Develop the market into an important venue both at the international scale as a tourist attraction and at the urban scale as a cultural-commercial-civic hub.
The resulting design unified the two plots of the site by extending the antiques trading floor below the dividing road, which also allows for a larger single exchange space than would otherwise be possible. The buildings in front simulate the scale and texture of the original hutong, while a large multi-layered building lies to the back, culminating in a unique “floating” tower element.
Client: Beijing Panjiayuan International Folk Culture Development Co., Ltd.
Location: Beijing, China
Site Area: 40,000 m2
Building Area: 180,000 m2
Design Date: 2013