REX shared with us their proposal for two of China’s major financial institutions, CLC and MSFL, which chose to consolidate their new headquarters on a single site within Shenzhen’s CDB. Although the planning regulations permit tall buildings on the site, the maximum allowable building area and the proposed combination of offices and retail seemingly dictate a perfunctory tower-and-plinth scheme. Instead, CLC’s and MSFL’s offices are organized into two highly efficient blocks with: an ideal 9 meter distance between core and façade; an entirely flexible, column-free plan; the largest floor area allowed by code and urban design requirements; and an efficiency ratio of 80%. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The ideal office blocks are raised to the planning regulation’s height limit to maximize their property value, views, daylight, and iconographic potential. On the given site, a typical podium would compress retail and collective programs into an undifferentiated mass that would reduce property value, limit daylight, and eliminate most public space. To avoid this condition, the retail and collective programs are amassed into two billboards of attractors, providing each program a unique identity and amplified visibility. Further, maximum pedestrian space is reclaimed and a new, dynamic urban room is created to boost the vitality of Shenzhen’s CBD.
The two towers are shifted to make the best possible day-lighting relationships between them and their neighbors, and are sheathed in vertical fins of aluminum (CLC) and stone (MSFL) for self-shading and glare control. The resulting towers combine the clients’ desire to project the image of elegance, responsibility, and stability with their wish to stimulate innovation, creativity, and public engagement.
To create the desired typological duality in each building,each structure’s pair of concrete cores holds aloft a “launch pad” truss that supports a conventional high-rise gravity framing system and conventional office plans.
The launch pad trusses free the lower levels from normative structural constraints associated with high-rise construction. Hence, retail and collective functions can become an “ant farm” of highly individuated attractors.
Navigating Shenzhen’s complex urban design requirements, the lobbies and landscape wrest rare public space from an otherwise deplete CDB. The CLC & MSFL Towers playfully impregnate the elegance of Mies van der Rohe with the provocation of Archigram. Architects: REX Location: Shenzhen, China Key Personnel: Adam Chizmar, Danny Duong, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Dongil Kim, Romea Muryn, Roberto Otero, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Lena Reeh Rasmussen, Yuan Tiauriman, João Vieira-Costa Executive Architect: JET/AIM Consultants: MKA, Transsolar Client: CBD Leasing Company (CLC) and Minsheng Financial Leasing Company (MSFL) Program: Headquarters buildings for two of China’s largest growing financial institutions, including owned and leased office space, operations halls, multi-purpose rooms, boutique and “big box” retail, high end dining, cafeterias, gyms, gallery, executive club, shared lobby, and parking Area: 131,600 m² (1,416,000 sf) Core & Shell Construction Cost: RMB 1.024 billion ($160.3 million) Status: Limited competition, submitted 2011