MVRDV recently unveiled their winning proposal for the new Shenzhen headquarters of Chinese real estate developer Vanke. Unofficially called the “Vanke 3D City” by the firm, the scheme is a mixed-use “city block” with a 250-meter-tall tower. The city block is a stack of eight blocks that will offer office and retail spaces, a restaurant, hotel, and plenty of outdoor space. The project's “three-dimensional city” concept is the result of a series of research projects that MVRDV began almost a decade ago.
The 250-meter-tall building will have 167,000 square meters of floor space. Each of the eight blocks will display a different facade and will correspond to a keyword inspired by Vanke's core company values: ‘health’, ‘energy’, ‘open’, ‘team’, ‘green’, ‘nature’, ‘future’, and ‘creative’.
Four of the blocks either have an indent on one facade or a hole that punctures the entire depth of the block creating openings that can house atriums, parks, and plazas. “These semi-public spaces combine with green spaces on the exposed roofs of each block to create a rich network of recreational areas,” MVRDV describes.
At the base of the project is a sunken, multi-level green public space that extends from the second level below ground up to the first level above, therefore incorporating the road that cuts through the site, the firm says. This network of plazas and walkways offers a shaded, well-ventilated space that provides relief from Shenzhen's tropical climate. Open 24 hours a day, it can also let visitors access the commercial and restaurant levels in the base of the four corner blocks. The above-ground walkways are also designed to be extended into neighboring developments, in hopes to create more pedestrian-friendly connectivity throughout the district.
MVRDV's “three-dimensional city” concept originates from two of their research projects. As the firm explains: “The first was begun by the Vertical Village project of 2009, which sparked a decade of investigation into how sustainable social dynamics and individuality can be maintained in dense urban environments by using cluster typologies. The second was a study into the evolution of skyscraper design: In the modernist period, skyscrapers were typically just an extruded rectangular ‘monolithic’ box. Later, singular structures with gestural forms developed, and more recently, another skyscraper typology has become popular, one the designers refers to as the ‘linked monolith’—that is, two or more extruded structures which are connected by sky bridges or show some other ‘collective gesture’. The three-dimensional city is a typology that moves beyond the extruded monolith entirely, using the clustered form inspired by the Vertical Village to create a skyscraper that is composed primarily of collective gestures.”
MVRDV will work alongside Arup, and preparation work on the site is already underway. Construction of the project is expected to begin in mid-2019.
Project details and credits
Project Name: Vanke 3D City
Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: China Vanke Co., Ltd.
Size and Program: Total GFA 167,000 m2; above ground 153,000 m2 (111,350 m2 Office; 20,000 m2 Hotel; 10,000 m2 Commercial; 7,650 m2 Culture; 4,000 m2 Restaurant).
Principal in charge: Winy Maas
Partner: Wenchian Shi Director Asia: Marta Pozo Design Team: Gustavo van Staveren with Dong Min Lee, Jiani You, Chi Zhang, Marc Coma, Sen Yang, Matiss Groskaufmanis, Peter Chang, Cai Zheli and Echo Zhai
Project coordinator: Jammy Zhu
Images: © ATCHAIN
Copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries)
Engineering: ARUP – Andrew Luong, Waikong Lam, Arnon Dienn
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