MCM to Design Redevelopment of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace

Feb 10, 2010 | Press Room

At the invitation of the Beijing Haidian Urban Planning Bureau as well as the Old Summer Palace Management Commission, MCM Group International has received approval for its proposed development plans for Beijing’s Old Summer Palace.

Extolled as the “Garden of Gardens,” the Old Summer Palace – Yuanmingyuan – was destroyed in 1860 by troops from a coalition of eight countries that included Britain and France. The structures are nearly all gone but the gardens remain, in basic shape and form, and the area is now a public park.

“Cultural preservation of the site has to be seen in the context of the entire garden quarter of western Beijing,” said Michael C. Mitchell, CEO of MCM Group International. “The guiding principle for the park’s development is to transform the lakes and streams and plant trees on a large scale, while accentuating the importance of the historical ruins as a prominent feature of Yuanmingyuan and to do so in the context of responsible sustainability.”

Mitchell’s vision includes a world-class amphitheater, which retells the story of the gardens; a cultural lifestyle collage that showcases the arts, crafts and foods of Beijing; and an ultra-luxury boutique hotel modeled on the layout of traditional Chinese temples. As with all of their projects, MCM Group International’s design first considers the economic feasibility and then thoughtfully layers sustainability and aesthetics into the design plans.