BIG unveils 'leaning' residential and office towers in Shenzhen
By Niall Patrick Walsh|
Friday, Feb 10, 2023
BIG has won a competition for the design of two towers in Shenzhen, China.
The so-called ‘leaning’ Qianhai Prisma Towers are composed of a 984-foot-tall residential tower alongside an 820-foot-tall office tower.
Both towers are defined by gently leaning volumes that taper towards the sky. The leaning facade creates openings at the corners of the volumes, with BIG’s renders showing as being populated by “lush biophilia” to contrast with the clean glass facades.
The lower levels of the towers contain openings connecting a ‘green belt’ including a landscaped pedestrian skybridge, a shopping mall, and a retail podium. The office tower’s ground floor public realm also contains an amphitheater, social spaces, and a bar.
As the office tower rises, photovoltaic cells are integrated into the tilting west and east facades, while a double-skin closed-cavity composition is used on the tower’s most exposed orientation to improve thermal performance. Meanwhile, the residential building features a tripod footprint composed of three rectangular volumes that step up at different heights to create ‘sky garden’ terraces.
“Both towers are conceived as simple prismatic building envelopes split open to make room for public space on the ground where they stand,” said Bjarke Ingels about the scheme. “The open seams and gaping corners allow the green spaces to ascend from the ground to the sky leaving wedges for outdoor gardens and terraces for the life of the people living and working within.”
Construction on the towers is expected to begin in 2025.
News of the project comes one week after BIG’s design for a film studio in Brooklyn was revealed. In December, meanwhile, the firm completed a jagged new tower in Quito, Ecuador, as well as a pixelated tower in Calgary, Canada. 2022 also saw BIG’s major Los Angeles Arts District development move one step closer to construction and the firm’s community of 100 3D printed homes begin construction in Texas in collaboration with ICON.
pandahut · Feb 10, 23 6:53 PM
g*d help us
CC Chiang · Feb 10, 23 7:00 PM
Gotta remember that BIG competes with the likes of SOM now - it's got as big a headcount and overhead as the corporate giants.
jsarhitekt · Feb 11, 23 6:14 AM
They may compete with the likes of SOM, and carry the same overhead, but they're fundamentally lacking in a serious approach to architecture, urbanism and technique.
CC Chiang · Feb 11, 23 9:44 PM
That's the magic of their business model - they can have their cake as European starchitects and eat it too (The kind of low wages and cheery diagrammatic urbanism that helps them compete against firms of a similar scale).
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