Stainless Steel Arcades Framing Olympic Park's Runner's Station

A runner's station frames a public square inside Beijing's Olympic Forest Park. Like others around China, this sports park that held the 2008 Olympic Games were tasked to install supporting services that better serve the locals. Hosting most Beijing runners around the year, the park commissioned TEMP to design a stop where runners can store their belonging, buy drinks, meet, and shower. Full Service for Runners

On one of the park's open plots, the architect erects two structures that house female and male shower rooms respectively. They mark the perimeter of a public square and open it up to visitors.

During onsite studies, the team observed runners stretching with whatever natural props nearby–stones, trunks, branches. To address this need, the architect proposed to install multiple stretch bars, bars that curve up and down, left and right, for all body and all people. The slender white curves serve dutifully among the trees, blending into the curvy branch lines and white trunk paints.

Arcades that Open and Enclose

Across the site, arches take on various functions and shapes, balancing the rigidity of these rectilinear structures.
Several parabolic arches form an arcade that shelter lines of lockers. With both sides opened, the arcade welcomes traffic from all sides and merges with the plaza. Raised by flat and steep curves, the arcade yields a powerful symmetrical presence in the open air.

A repeating series of arches enclose the showering rooms, with translucent glasses guaranteeing privacy as well as natural light during the day. As one walks the interior passage, the inverted blind arcades underscore the building's role as a communal place.

Stainless Steel for a Touch of Modernity

While arcades have always identified civic centers throughout history, TEMP adds a touch of modernity as a contrast. Colors of changing nature and lights cast onto stainless steel cladding, adorning the facades with different washes throughout the day and year.

The same stainless steel embeds futuristic kiosks that automate shower room management, insulating the hot shower cubes while ensuring longevity in the humid air.

As one of the first public showering facilities in Chinese parks, the building serves its users more than functionally. It also elevates aesthetically, with a clarity and order of expression that befits its civic nature.