Beijing Cultural District

Studio Egret West worked in collaboration with Tshinghua University and Farrells to develop a conceptual masterplan for the Central Culture District in Beijing.


The scheme proposed a new anchor on the city’s north south civic axis to mirror the Forbidden City and to create a new destination; the site has both national and international significance and thus the design was focused around establishing a benchmark for the Cultural City.

The Bird’s Nest is described as a novel and radical spatial experience, yet of an almost archaic immediacy. Not only does the proposal connect into this on a 2-dimensional plan form, it creates a 3-dimensional interpretation of its weaving structure to articulate the main public space – The People’s Gallery.

The ‘roof’ of the public realm provides physical and metaphorical bridges between all of the cultural plots, uniting the site and promoting solidarity, collaboration and interdependence amongst the Institutions of the Cultural District.

The space in between becomes the fusion and the focus of interactions and responds to complex programmatic and circulation requirements. The scheme provides an elegant setting for the new buildings and a dancing foreground of small scale informal pavilions that connect the site to the lake and afford stunning views.