In Summer 2011 we assisted a large international architecture practice on a developer-led competition for a new business district in Hongqiao on the outskirts of Shanghai. Main image courtesy of BDP.
The city of Shanghai has been ‘carved up’ by natural forces. The scheme for Hongqiao reflects the natural forces such as water, sunlight, people movement, wind etc which have the effect of ‘carving up’ what would otherwise be a single large block of development into a more human scale of architecture, giving views, daylight, ventilation to the heart of the design.
The design is based on carving up what would be a maximum height city block development and creating a series of seperate buildings. Outwardly the buildings create a barrier to the surrounding roads and infrastructure, protecting the softer inner zones of the block and creating a microclimate towards the centre. This space is proposed as the heart of the development and contains retail and leisure facilities. On upper floors the buildings contain open plan offices with central cores giving 360 degree views from each floor plate.
The facade continues the language of a hard outer Shell with Stone cladding towards the surrounding, and a more open glazed facade towards the centre of the block.
Two floors of car parking are proposed under the development. On the roofs of the office buildings are open sky gardens for office workers.