Before its evolution into a more open economy, China's state-owned factories were identified by number. In Beijing, factory 798 and others around it once made weapons components. Today, they are the epicenter of China's emerging modern art community. In this video, the three principals who led the development of the vision plan in 2006 reflect on the project and the overall success of the plan in providing a framework for sustainable development in this one-of-a-kind district.
Abandoned factory buildings have been transformed to new museums, galleries, and cafes. Fallow fields and hidden courtyards are re-emerging as settings for outdoor sculpture, fashion shows, and other events. What began as a small collection of studios and other work spaces has now evolved into the third most visited destination in Beijing, after the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
The Vision Plan for 798 was recently awarded Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Excellence Award, the American Planning Association (APA)'s highest honor. Learn more about the project on Sasaki's website: sasaki.com/project/36/798%20Arts%20District%20Vision%20Plan/
This video includes footage of the neighboring 751 district, which was included in the original scope for this vision plan. In recent years, 751 has emerged as a successful fashion and design district in its own right.
"Pounded Piano" courtesy of Podington Bear, under the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) License. freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/
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