Galaxy SOHO is an Urban complex structure. It is the first of two structures planned by Iraqi-British planner Zaha Hadid, alongside Wangjing SOHO. It is located in the southwest corner of Chaoyangmen Bridge in the second ring street of Beijing, China.

The complex features highlight a curvilinear plan comprising of four asymmetric constant designs. Certainly, it covers a space of 330,000m2. The parametric plan of the structure is the evolution of old-style Chinese yards. The perplexing offers shops, workplaces, and entertainment facilities.

Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid

Case study of Galaxy SOHO

  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Architect: Zaha Hadid
  • Construction: 2008-2012
  • Building Height: 64 METERS,
  • Plot Area: 46,965
  • Build up Area: 330000

Context of the Building

Traditional Houses-Siheyuan

Beijing is generally perceived for its conservation exertion for its unassuming nearby design, for example, Traditional Alleyways known as Hutong and Courtyard Houses named as Siheyuan.

The Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center felt that the expansion of the new mind-boggling made extraordinary harm to the general appearance of the exceptionally old Neighborhood found in the old Beijing Streetscape. Thusly, the nearby association went against RIBA’s choice to grant the Beijing Galaxy SOHO project. Because of the reactions, ZHA clarified that their plan is another translation of joining the current present-day way of life of local people and the traditional highlights of the Siheyuan, permitting guests to encounter a vivid excursion all through the capital city of China.  

old neighborhood context


The basic and traditional architectural elements are the concept of the Urban Community. Like, open sky middle courtyards, natural topographical rice fields, and canyons.

The structure is interconnected with the bridges in the base and in the middle. Further, this concept creates the continuous interior space in the building. For example, ancient terraced agricultural fields. Also creating the canyons like water bodies in-between the towers.

Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Concept Evolution

Design and Planning of Galaxy SOHO

The Galaxy SOHO building involves four primary domed constructions, intertwined by connecting like Bridges design. Therefore, it is the stage between curved floor plates to establish a fluid environment that encompasses a progression of public courtyards and a larger central canyon.

Above all, the Architect depicts the construction as “a re-examining of the old-style Chinese courtyard which creates a vivid, encompassing involvement with the Heat of Beijing”. According to the Architect, the plan is meant to “react to the changed relevant connections and dynamic states of Beijing”.

There are 18 stories generally with three basement floors. The lower levels are for public facilities for retails and entertainment. Likewise, the basement floor 1 and 3 stories are retail shops. subsequently, the upper fourth to twelfth floors have a commercial office and business spaces around 100 to 300 sq. mt of each.

Moreover, the two sequential floors in the basement are a parking area with 1275 vehicles leaving distribution. Consequently, the upper three stories are for the bars, cafés, and bistros which will give the view over the city.

Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Master plan
First-floor plan
Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Third-floor plan
Seventh-floor plan
Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Ninth-floor plan
Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Top viewpoints

Also, Read: Habitat 67 – Rethinking modularity with Safdie Architects.


The extraordinary inside courts of the undertaking are an impression of traditional Chinese design where courtyards make an inward universe of nonstop open spaces. Therefore, the architecture is not, at this point made out of unbending squares. Yet rather included volumes that mix to make a universe of constant shared transformation and smooth motion between each building. Moving levels inside the plan sway upon one another to create a profound feeling of inundation and envelopment. As clients enter further into the structure, they find personal spaces that follow a similar intelligible conventional rationale of persistent curve linearity.

Materials used in Galaxy SOHO

  • Exterior:  3 mm aluminum cladding with insulated glass and stone.
  • Interior:  Glass terrazzo, stainless steel, gypsum ceiling including the decorative wall, and board painted.

Sustainable Features

A progression of green structure methodologies for the accomplishment of the LEED certificate. Therefore, it is required for LEED-CS 2.0 Silver affirmation. As a result of that, the structure incorporates a cooled rooftop that decreases the warmth island impact. Water proficient apparatuses and utilization of dark water lessens about 20% of the water utilization in the structure. Similarly, proficient lighting gear, twofold silver low-E glass, and chillers can save almost 14% of the energy costs yearly. The green refrigerant substances reduce the unnatural weather changes and ozone exhaustion.

Construction of Galaxy SOHO

The ZHA group began to examine how they could build the complex. Through trucks the pre-assembled fabricated parts are shipped to the site, the group determined that 9% of the complete bent outside divider must be twofold-sided while the excess bit will be single-sided. The group accepted that it was a reachable strategy, thinking about their spending plan and specialized impediments of makers in delivering these dividers. In addition, that the ZHA group in the end changed over most of the outside drape divider into single-sided parts under the master’s suggestions. Delivering twofold-sided pre-assembled dividers is excessively costly.

Later, the group welcomed territorial development organizations to take an interest in the development of the aluminum and glass unit model. During the gathering, they examined every maker’s creation capacities, shape controlling abilities, and establishment time through the model unit. At the point when they gear towards the development stage, the ZHA group shared their Building Information Modeling (BIM) information with their chose development maker, giving precise estimations to guarantee a smooth development measure.


In 2013, the Royal Foundation of British Architects designed Galaxy SOHO for the Lubetkin Prize. Subsequently, the selection drew an analysis from the Beijing cultural heritage protection center, which expressed that the advancement had made incredible harm to the conservation of the old Beijing streetscape, the first metropolitan arrangement, the conventional hutong, and courtyard houses. Similarly, the landscape development, and the style and shading plan of Beijing’s remarkable vernacular design.

Galaxy SOHO Beijing-China, the Marvel of Zaha Hadid
Public gathering
View from inside


In conclusion, “The design responds to the varied contextual relationships and dynamic conditions of Beijing,” says Zaha Hadid. Also, “We have created a variety of public spaces that directly engage with the city, reinterpreting the traditional urban fabric and contemporary living patterns into a seamless urban landscape inspired by nature.”


Also, Read: Re-Coding Smart Building in Damascus, Syria by Reparametrize Studio

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