Four Towers in One Competition / Steven Holl Architects

Four Towers in One Competition / Steven Holl Architects

Chaired by Arata Isozaki, the jury unanimously chose Steven Holl Architects as the winning firm for the design of the Shenzhen master plan (We recently shared Morphosis’ proposal earlier on AD). Holl’s concept is based on tropical skyscrapers as “Shade Machines with a Social Bracket” which connect the towers and the street level using a horizontal structure containing public programs and a rooftop water garden.

More about the winning proposal after the break.

By combining all the public program from the four towers into one “Social Bracket”, a continuous element flows through the four sites.  Programmatic elements such as cafeterias and gyms are interspersed among art galleries, auditoriums and a movie theater, thus making the bracket attractive to a variety of users.

Similar to the continuous flow of program, the bracket’s roof offers a continuous garden park that collects storm water and recycles all the greywater from the four skyscrapers. Once the water is passed through a central ultraviolet filter system, it is led back to the ponds and planting systems on the roof.

With a subway running close by, the bracket will be accessible to those commuting to work or those enjoying time in the city. “The new elevated bracket acts as an urban interface between the business-centric district to the south and the residential area to the north,” explained the architects.

For the “Shade Machine” towers, the four structures utilize “circular building footprints to maximize the interior space and open views while minimizing the exterior envelope.” Automatic solar tracking screens made of perforated PV cells make one full rotation per day around the circumference of each building, collecting enough PV energy to cool the towers completely. The moving shade is always oriented toward the sun to harvest solar energy and block solar heat gain.

As seen on Bustler.

Images & Diagrams: Steven Holl Architects; Watercolors: Steven Holl.

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Cite: Karen Cilento. "Four Towers in One Competition / Steven Holl Architects" 08 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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