With the 2022 Winter Olympics fast approaching, Beijing has been pushing to refurbish old buildings and redevelop identified areas. Recent years have seen many such examples, including the 798 Art Zone — a former military factory complex that now serves as a hub for various art and commercial spaces. In a similar post-industrial vein, the city’s newest project is the No. 3 Blast Furnace of the Shougang Group, which will become the country’s first blast furnace museum.
Project architects CCTN Architectural Design plan to preserve as much of the original building as possible, from the decaying paint to the aging furnace. According to the firm’s Bo Hongtao, the Chinese people have ‘gradually realised’ that the recent past, such as the ‘fifties, sixties and seventies are all part of history too’. To restore as much of this past as possible, the team will undertake extensive high-pressure dust removal to create an amber-like finish.
And to create a balance between the natural environment and the building’s past, the reconstruction will include a show lake, underwater round garden and the furnace as a centrepiece. Visitors will also be able to view the steel-making production line through an underwater corridor, perfectly tying together the property’s industrial past and present-day transformation.
Text / Kristy Kong