TAIMIAO - BEIJING, CHINA
In 2010 GCAM was retained by The Beijing Workers Labor Union, which has the legal responsibility for the management and operation of the Imperial Ancestral Temple and Peoples’ Cultural Palace Complex located in Beijing, to develop a Cultural Master Plan and conduct a Concept Development Study for the Complex, in collaboration with the architecture firm Studio Zhu Pei. The Beijing Workers Labor Union has long operated Taimiao as a place of amusement, relaxation, and culture for its members and for the Chinese people in general, and desired to refocus the complex.
Taimiao is situated on the east side of Tiananmen Square and occupies 197,000 square meters (48 acres) surrounded by three red walls with pines and cypresses inside. In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties Taimiao it was used by royal family members to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The Complex, which resembles the Forbidden City's ground plan, is a cluster of buildings in three large courtyards separated by walls.
The Master Plan combined world-class architecture together with art, architecture, and educational programs, and revenue-generating activities such as restaurants, art galleries, retail, and high-end offices. The extraordinary existing historical buildings of Taimiao were to be renovated and used for art exhibition purposes – minimal modifications were to be made, respecting their historic value, to address improved lighting systems and to accommodate the installation of art work. Three new buildings were to be constructed with a design that was inspired by Chinese traditional culture and virtually invisible from outside the complex.
An art and exhibition program was developed to include classical, Modern, and contemporary exhibitions; a commissioning program; a permanent exhibition showcasing the role of the Workers Union and the Complex’s rich history from Imperial times to the present; and a Center for the Study of Chinese Civilization.