Mecanoo recently unveiled their first-prize competition design for a new Civic Cultural Center in Futian, one of Shenzhen's oldest and densest districts. The 93,000 m2 tower will comprise a cultural program and social spots for a city that thrives in semi-open spaces. In response to this, their design is “a building that breathes: open to daylight and natural cooling breezes, and filled with greenery”. A completion date for the project is yet to be announced.
The firm shared more details about their winning proposal below.
Confined within a tight 10,610 m2 plot, the tower's ground floor was designed to be as open as possible, the firm says. A south-facing public square and wide, semi-interior east-west pedestrian passage create pedestrian links across the site. The ground floor's interior is just as spacious and connects to a theater lobby, the heart of the cultural center. The interior also includes retail functions and a fully glazed facade that can be entered on all sides.
Above ground, the tower comprises of 62,000 m2 of functional spaces, including three theaters, a library, exhibition halls, and a kindergarten on a separate sub-plot (as required by the competition brief).
“This spatial puzzle was solved by arranging the various functions within a 150m tower sitting on an L-shaped base. The theatres are not placed directly under the high rise, thereby avoiding undesirable structural complexity and allowing them to be designed with optimal functionality,” Mecanoo writes. “To give the cultural centre a strong, singular appearance, the building is wrapped in a uniform triangulated grid facade that flares outwards to incorporate the theatres. Scaling downwards towards the edges, the flared volume smoothly transitions between the 150m tower and the smaller scale of the kindergarten.”
The Cultural Centre draws ground floor public activity to the top of the 150m tower via efficient elevators and long escalators that connect a series of green atria and terraces.
Visitors move up the tower through elevators and long escalators that connect a series of green atria and terraces. The green atria feature a roof cafe and open exhibition space above the theater, an exhibition garden lobby, and a library garden. “The network of atria acts as blood vessels that pump life into the building,” Mecanoo says.
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