UK practice Sparch Architects has completed the first mixed-use scheme of the Raffles City development located in Beijing, China.

The Raffles City development is being built by Asian real estate company CapitaLand.

The development features a 21-storey office tower, five-storey retail podium, a 15-storey residential block to the west and 17-storey serviced apartment block to the east.

The retail block and ‘clubhouse’ form the entrance to the apartment block.

The ‘Crystal Lotus’ is a cantilevered structure above the food court that is supported by the glass roof and is enclosed by the main lift shaft. It features shops on the upper levels.

The ground floor underneath the ‘Crystal Lotus’ cantilever can be used as event space.

Various measures such as the public plaza in the north-east have LED screens embedded in the façade making the development accessible to its surroundings.

The north-eastern corner has been designed so that the office tower and podium are placed at a 45° diagonally opposite the urban plaza in front of the main retail entrance.

A vertical view is created between the retail podium and the lower levels of the office block.

This space has an enclosure that serves as the lobby to the office block and a link between the retail and office block.