In Progress: Sliced Porosity Block / Steven Holl Architects

© Iwan Baan

Sliced Porosity Block, CapitaLand ’s new Raffles City in Chengdu, is a hybrid of different functions like a giant chunk of a metropolis. It will be located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road. Its sun sliced geometry results from required minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code and calculated by the precise geometry of sun angles.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Chengdu, China
Design Architect: , Li Hu
Associate in Charge: Roberto Bannura
Project Architects: Lan Wu, Haiko Cornelissen, Peter Englaender, JongSeo Lee
Project Designer: Christiane Deptolla, Inge Goudsmit, Maki Matsubayashi, Sarah Nichols, Martin Zimmerli
Project Team: Justin Allen, Jason Anderson, Francesco Bartolozzi, Guanlan Cao, Yimei Chan, Sofie Holm Christensen, Esin Erez, Ayat Fadaifard, Mingcheng Fu, Forrest Fulton, Runar Halldorsson, M. Emran Hossain, Joseph Kan, Suping Li, Tz-Li Lin, Yan Liu, Jackie Luk, Daijiro Nakayama, Pietro Peyron, Roberto Requejo, Elena Rojas-Danielsen, Michael Rusch, Ida Sze, Filipe Taboada, Manta Weihermann, Ebbie Wisecarver, Human Tieliu Wu, Jin- Ling Yu
Model Photographs: Iwan Baan
Under Construction Photographs: Steven Holl Architects

Associate Architects: China Academy of Building Research
MEP and Fire Engineer: Ove Arup & Parners
LEED Consultant: Ove Arup & Parnters
Structural Engineer: China Academy of Building Research
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon & Seah
Traffic Consultant: MVA Hong Kong Ltd
Client: CapitaLand Development
Project Area: 310,000 sqm
Project Year: In Progress

Steven Holl watercolors, construction drawings and photographs after the break.

Courtesy of Steven Holl

The large public space framed by the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of Du Fu (713-770). In some of the porous openings chunks of different buildings are inserted. Our micro urban strategy will create a new terrain of public space; an urban terrace on the metropolitan scale of Rockefeller Center. This new terrain is sculpted by stone steps and ramps with large pools that spill into stepped fountains. Trees, plantings and benches are flanked with cafes. Roof gardens are cultivated through their individual connections to hotel cafes.

© Steven Holl Architects
© Steven Holl Architects
© Steven Holl Architects

At the shop fronts there will be luminous color, neon, backlit color transparency. Like the wash of color that suddenly appears in the great black and white films by Andrei Tarkovsky. The aim for the Sliced Porosity Block is to form new public space and to realize new levels of green construction in Chengdu. The complex is heated and cooled geothermally by 400 wells. The large podium ponds harvest recycled rainwater with natural grasses and lily pads creating a cooling effect.

© Iwan Baan
Cite: Minner, Kelly. "In Progress: Sliced Porosity Block / Steven Holl Architects" 21 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • ca suk

    like developer….

  • DTBI

    damn.. they’re building it!

  • mess

    this is not steven holl i recognised…

  • Katsudon

    So exciting!! I can’t wait to see the result!
    Do anyone have any idea about the building skin finished material?
    Because actually the model looks very nice as it appears like a big milky bloc, but what about the real final aspect?

  • Katsudon

    On Steven Holl’s website, the building site pictures show much more advanced construction…

  • up_today_arch

    When it is big white sculpture it is very attractive… But when it will be alluminium or… multicolor?… Definitely it should be white…

  • jmcyang

    I’m withholding final judgment, but I think I actually prefer the Linked Hybrid project.

  • rltunes

    Amazing! I’m in love with it! Steven for the next pritzker!

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  • Roman Pasoshnikov

    My God! It’s amazing, so thoughtful levels and sections, I’m just eager to watch them, of course shapes are exiting, I’m fell in love with this PROJECT. Steven Holl is genius.

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