Mass housing in China has historically been standardized and repetitive. Steven Holl Architects‘
Linked Hybrid project in Beijing should break the pattern. The complex will house 2,500 people in 700 apartments and feature one of the world’s largest geothermal cooling and heating systems, which will regulate the temperature within the eight buildings, all linked at the 20th floor by a “ring” of cafés and services. Dual pipes pump water from 100 meters below ground, circulating the liquid between the buildings’ concrete floors.
The water-circulation system will serve as a giant radiator in the winter and cooling system in the summer. It has no boilers to supply heat, no electric air conditioners to supply cool.
At night fountains give off steam, while a sort of floating projector in the centre of the complex projects bits of the films showing at the local cinema onto the water and the clouds of steam.
Scheduled for completion in 2008.
Via Shangaiist and a Business Week list called 10 Wonders of the New China which include Herzog & de Meuron‘s Olympic Stadium and Arup’s fabulous National Swimming Center in Beijing. The Water Cube’s skin, made from ETFE is designed to react to lighting and projection (tons of pics).