Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in Shenzhen’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments.
“We prepared carefully and picked an appropriate date, the Chinese New Year day. At that time the security was less watchful, workers were on vacations, and cranes did not work. We got to the crane at around midnight. [...] The result you can see in our new video.”
Those are the rather unassuming words of Vitaliy Raskalov, a Ukrainian “roof-hacker, urban-explorer, blogger” who has just pulled off an extraordinary, jaw-dropping stunt (way more incredible than his humble words would suggest).
Raskalov and Russian photographer Vadim Mahora broke into and climbed the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower, soon to be China’s tallest and the world’s second tallest skyscraper at 632 meters (2,074 feet) high. Although the tower will eventually boast the world’s fastest elevators (reaching 40mph), the pair had to climb the 120 flights of stairs by foot (taking them about two hours); they then spent another 18 hours sleeping and waiting for the weather to clear. The staggering resulting images show not just the dizzying heights, but also fantastic views of the adjacent Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center (together, the trio of buildings that are re-defining the Shanghai skyline).
Check out the incredible images, after the break.
During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.
Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But OMA’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese cities), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.
The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.
Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break.
As part of the Shenzhen Architecture Biennale, Finnish practice Lassila Hirvilammi Architects entered into a collaboration with Chinese architect Gigi Leung to explore the themes of copying, authenticity and knowledge transfer between cultures. Working with master craftsmen, they created two versions of the same space (each influenced by their respective cultures), intentionally blurring the line between copying and taking inspiration.
Read on for more on this lesson in sharing differing architectural understandings
Architects: Studio Fuksas
Location: Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Bao’an, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Architect In Charge: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
Architect Of Record: BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architectural Design), Beijing
Area: 500,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Studio Fuksas
Architects: SKEW Collaborative
Location: Songjiang, Shanghai, China
Architect In Charge: Eunice Seng, H. Koon Wee, Darren Zhou
Design Team: I-Shin Chow, Xiong Haiying, Pauline Dai, Ji Lijun, Wang Peng, Teoh Renjie, Beatrix Redlich
Area: 38,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of SKEW Collaborative
China Taiyuan Coal Transaction Center / 2A2 Design Department, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD)
Architects: 2A2 Design Department, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD)
Location: Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Architect In Charge: Mi JunRen, Liu MingJun
Technical Director: Nie XiangDong, Li DaPeng
Structure: Chen BinLei, Zhao Nan, Hu ZhengPing
Area: 114000.0 sqm
Photographs: Yang ChaoYing
NBBJ has unveiled a 250-meter-high, two-tower campus that will become Tencent’s main headquarters at the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park upon completion in 2016. As the world’s third-largest internet corporation, and 2013’s most innovative Chinese company according to FastCo, Tencent hopes the new campus will serve as a vibrant workplace for an expanding workforce of 12,000 employees.
schmidt hammer lassen architects, in collaboration with Thomas Chow Architects, has won a commission to design a new Island School in Hong Kong. Envisioned as a “sustainable learning landscape,” the 28,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art facility aims to promote optimal learning through flexible classroom spaces and by establishing a deep connection with the surrounding landscape and local community.
Shenzhen is located in the south of Guangdong, China, facing Hong Kong across the river. In 2012, it had a permanent population of 10.54 million and its GDP, standing at RMB 1,295 billion, ranked the fourth amongst cities in Mainland China for years. After more than thirty years of reform and opening up, it has developed from a small town in the southern coast of China to a modern metropolis, becoming a miniature of China’s reform, opening-up and modern construction.
According to the latest comprehensive urban planning of Shenzhen, areas surrounding the Shenzhen Bay will become the most important section in the broader area of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Shenzhen Bay will be the power house for Shenzhen, inspiring the city to be one of the best in the world. From the west to the east, it will have a Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation section for the modern service industry at the front, a business district at the back and the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base.
The main content for the competition is urban and architectural design plans for the central area of the Super Headquarters. The scope of the design covers all land plots encircled by the red line and the surrounding roads and the park (see attached graphs for details). It is planned that 35.2 hectares of land will be used with a building area of 1.5-1.7 million square meters.
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has been awarded first prize for their proposal of a new “urban helix” in Changsha, China, that extends public space from the city center into Lake Meixi. The concept serves as a catalyst, marking a termination point on a new street axis that culminates into a pedestrian ramp symbolically spiraling 30 meters above a 20,000 square meter artificial island.