Qianmen SOHO B6/B8 with a building area of 2478 sqm, is a commercial project which was developed by SOHO China in 2011.
Located in Qianmen, a historical area of Beijing, the projects architecture is consisting of traditional grey brick, which is well known from Beijing’s old town, in certain areas the bricks are assembled to form patterns; grey framed windows merge in. Bridges span over courtyards and allow views down to small plazas and up to pathways, this arrangement reminds of small winding alleys of old Chinese towns.
Scope of work for crossboundaries architects was the environmental design for the building area of B6 and B8. After analyzing the main character of this project and taking into consideration the requirements of the client in regard to signage and advertisement, we came up with a leading idea of using the Chinese “Go” game (围棋 , pinyin “weiqi”) as it relates to the Chinese culture and is a direct link to communication.
Even today the “Go” game is one of the most popular board games in China and you can see it being played in the Hutongs of Beijing, especially in the summertime, where people can gather around the players outside.
The game is played by two players who alternately place black and white stones on a game board. The board consists of a grid of 19x19 lines. The stones have to be placed on the vacant intersections (called "points") of the grid lines rather than within the squares. The object of the game is to use one's stones to surround a larger portion of the board than the opponent.
Do not disturb the main atmosphere and mood of the given building ensemble we wanted to apply a simplified and clear signage design. The “Go” game seemed to be an ideal base to develop a design taking advantage of a strong graphic using only the colors black and white. The round shapes for the different icons refer to the black and white “stones” in the real game. The design for the area map uses the flexibility of an underlying grid, which functions similar to the lines in the game.