Curved Glass Project Wins USGlass Commercial Interiors Design Award

This year’s USGlass Magazine Annual Design Awards also recognized one outstanding project in the commercial interiors category, in addition to a number of exterior project categories (See the January 2022 issue). Completed December 3, 2020 and designed by asap/Adam Sokol Architecture Practice, the interior space of the Zhen Fund offices in Beijing won in the commercial interiors category.

According to the architects, the project “takes advantage of immersive urban views while also conveying a sense of the significance and dynamism of the client’s work and the tremendous joy and enthusiasm that is so characteristic of this company.”

While the project begins as a fairly typical office build-out, what was unusual, according to the architects, was the significant number of conference rooms of all sizes, as well as what’s called the “XL” room, which seats up to 100.

“Given the U-shaped space we had to work with, it was clear that the challenge would be to avoid interminable and dull corridors,” says the architect, adding that the space also needed to reflect a sense of optimism, ambition, and an embrace of the future.

The firm adds “Much of our recent work has explored various types of curves, and so we began to explore how that strategy might work with this project as a solution. While seemingly inefficient at first glance, the curving glass conference rooms became the signature of this project. It accomplished several things: they avoided the monotony of long double-loaded corridors that we all dreaded; they gave the design an immediately bold, unique, visionary quality, deriving as much from the forms as from the ever- hanging reflections and refractions they created; lastly there was the happy benefit of the pockets of space created where the rooms meet, turning what could have been an awkward passing moment in a hallway into a gracious pocket of space that also lends itself to informal but private side conversations.”

The glass is integral to the design, function and appearance of the project, in terms of enclosures, daylight, views and reflections. It is irregularly curved in plane along a parabolic path, including the doors, according to asap. The project features 12-mm tempered low-iron glass. Glass suppliers on the project were Beijing Zhongding Kechuang Decoration Engineering Co. Ltd. and Shandong Jinjing Technology Co. Ltd. Indeco was the installer.

“We always seek opportunities for geometric exploration in our work. Much of our work over the past decade has explored spheres, ellipses, ovals, arches of various kinds, even Bézier curves,” the architect adds. “In this project we took the opportunity to study a new geometry: parabolas. We found that these not only worked well to accommodate the spatial requirements but also give the corridors the bouncing tennis ball quality that makes them so pleasurable. Contrasting this is a single giant circle which encapsulates the building’s core and serves as a unifying gesture that connects the disparate and distant elements of the program.”

To read more about all of the Design Award winners, see page 36 in the January 2022 issue of USGlass magazine.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.