Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hongqiao Business District in Shanghai, China by MVRDV
May 11th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MVRDV
Sincere Property, MVRDV and Aedas have started construction on a Central Business District at Shanghai’s mostly domestic airport Hongqiao. The 4.5ha site is located near Hongqiao Airport train station at the corner of Shenhai Express Way and Shenbin Road. The plan comprises ten office towers, an underground shopping centre, cultural program, parking and a sunken plaza which will bring a more intimate form of urban life into an area currently dominated by large boulevards and urban expressway’s. The project’s completion is planned for 2015.
Just weeks after winning the competition, construction has already started on this urban masterplan for an office and retail centre near the fourth busiest airport in mainland China. The 4.5ha site is divided into a small northern plot of 8,409 m2 and a larger southern plot. The team won the competition with highly energy-efficient architecture combined with an intimate urban plan which allows for pedestrian-friendly spaces.
The 110,000m2 offices are divided into ten towers in total: nine office towers on the southern plot ranging from five to nine floors, facilitating rental to different sized companies. The towers are flexibly designed to contain one or more companies. On the northern plot, the tops of four towers will merge into one building, forming a flower shaped landmark of four floors, cantilevered high above the ground.
The 47,000m2 retail space will be located partly on the ground floor and partly along a sunken plaza sheltered from vehicle traffic. Two glass cubes mark the entrances to the shopping centre and are part of the neighbourhood’s pedestrian route, which meanders through the site. The shopping centre is designed by Aedas. On both plots a spacious sunken plaza features wide stairs that can be used as seating, allowing cultural events to be hosted on the site.
Facade area has been minimized by introducing round cornered towers which, together with the continuous 50,5% transparency stone façade, leads to an efficient energy consumption. The façade presents a subtle shifted grid with a delicate bamboo forest reference. The self shading shape of the flower building has lead to a façade with smaller openings on the upper floors for efficient energy consumption. Hidden hatches next to the windows allow for natural ventilation.
The ground floor of the flower building is reserved for 1.790 m2 of cultural program. A 55.000m2 parking garage is located underneath the shopping centre. The Hongqiao CBD will reach three stars, the highest ranking of the Chinese ‘Green Building Label’. Sustainable building features that will be used include high performance insulation, optimised building forms, shaded spaces, natural ventilation, rainwater collection, permeable road surfaces, links to public transport and a reduction in the urban heat island effect. Nine office towers will feature green roofs growing local plant species and the flower building will offer a sky garden with a continuous jogging path.
MVRDV was selected from a competition with 3 competitors to design the business park. The shopping centre is designed by Aedas. Completion is planned for 2015. In 2003 MVRDV realised the successful Unterföhring. Park Village office campus near Munich in which urban intimacy was introduced into a large, business park environment.