We first heard about the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) building by OMA during the peak of the new chinese construction revolution. Then we saw Rem Koolhaas breaking ground together with the Chinese government, and capitalism in China started to have a tangible representation.
The new building for the NASDAQ equivalent (730 high tech companies & startups, moving over US$500 billion) has now topped out at 246m.
“For millennia, the solid building stands on a solid base; it is an image that has survived modernity. Typically, the base anchors a structure and connects it emphatically to the ground. The essence of the stock market is speculation: it is based on capital, not gravity. In the case of Shenzhen’s almost virtual stock market, the role of symbolism exceeds that of the program – it is a building that has to represent the stock market, more than physically accommodate it. It is not a trading arena with offices, but an office with virtual organs that suggest and illustrate the process of the market.”
The project is based on pure volumes, a combination of a tower and a podium suspended 36m high. The podium is one of the biggest cantilevers in the world, an operation that liberates the ground to create a big public plaza which is visually connected (representing the new economic openness) to the lower part of the tower and the podium itself, the places were the stock exchange operations take place. Above the podium, there is a series of office space for internal operations of the SSE, totaling 200,000sqm for the entire building.
The tower’s structure is a robust exoskeletal grid overlayed with a patterned glass skin – the first time such glass has been used for an exterior at this scale. The patterned glass reveals the detail and complexity of construction while creating a mysterious crystalline effect as the tower responds to light: sparkling during bright sunshine, mute on an overcast day, enigmatic at dusk, glimmering during rain and glowing at night.
The building is expected to be completed by August, 2011.
Renderings afte the break: