SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING10 Feb 2022
Material Focus: Laminam clads the external facades of the Olympic Village in Beijing
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20,000 square metres of Laminam ceramic surfaces cover the exterior of the Village built for athletes from all over the world.

Beijing, China – Large slabs of Laminam 3+ thickness defy gravity with their lightness; the Oxide Moro texture with its three-dimensional metallic effect conveys an urban yet refined style.

South of the National Olympic Sports Centre, the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Village, home for 53 days to the athletes who have come to the Chinese capital to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is the result of the complete renovation of a former steel mill in the heart of Beijing’s industrial district and consists of 50 buildings serving different purposes.

Set apart from the rest of the city, this is also where the athletes will spend their valuable time before and after the competitions, immersed in the almost mysterious atmosphere of an architectural complex that conveys to viewers the character of those living there: solemnity, intensity, and exclusivity.

The majestic ceramic-clad facades, whose rhythm is punctuated by large windows, welcome visitors with the signature Made in Italy design of Laminam.

These include the external façades of the building reserved for the Organizing Committee headquarters and the structure where the BIG AIR, freestyle ski and snowboarding competitions will be held.

Underlying the construction of the complex, which started in September 2018 and concluded in mid-2021, is the ambitious design of Bo Hongtao, Chief Architect of the project which, with the renovation of the former factory in Shougang, was aimed at exploring contemporary architectural solutions by embracing the legacy of the existing industrial site. The Olympic Village was therefore created from the preservation of the original steel and concrete structure, enriched by striking landscape corridors created to build a dialogue between the internal and external scenario. In a skilful interplay of reclamation and integration, the Village design gives new life to the original structural site, reinterpreting it in a modern and above all sustainable way, as required by government guidelines designed to assess the environmental impact of every building project.

However, the new structure remains true to the urban context in which it is set.

And it is precisely within this context of conservation and innovation that Laminam’s involvement fits in.

If, from an aesthetic point of view, the ceramic cladding chosen for the external façades gives a nod to the mood of the entire district, on the other hand, their inherent prestigious qualities are the calling card of a state-of-the-art technological frontier. The 1000x3000 mm, large-size Laminam slabs with a reduced Laminam 3+ thickness, bring together a high resistance to mechanical stress, chemicals, wear, scratches and severe abrasion. Furthermore, by their very nature, they are hygienic, and resistant to frost, mould and the effects of UV rays.

The surfaces, in the colour Moro from the Oxide series, mimic the effects of different weather conditions on iron, creating impressions of great texture enhanced by the play of light. A texture that is the result of extensive aesthetic research, combining multiple decorative technologies and enriching them with metallic-looking natural pigments.

“The design of the Beijing Olympic Village rests on three major pillars: continuity, innovation and sustainability,” explained Bo Hongtao. “When looking for materials, I didn’t have much doubt about the choice. While steel offered the most consistent aesthetic solution, I couldn’t count on its reliability in terms of weather resistance. Excluding glass due to its excessive weight, I found all the stylistic and functional characteristics I was looking for in the Laminam slabs, first and foremost their lightness and texture. Meanwhile, the specific texture of the Oxide series creates extraordinary plays of light that ultimately give further prominence to the entire complex.”

PROJECT DETAILS

Project Name: Olympic Village | Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Product Used: Oxide Moro

Slab Size: 1000 x 3000 mm

Slab Thickness: Laminam 3+

Architect: Bo Hongtao - CCTN Architectural Design

Photos: Courtesy of Laminam