Foster + Partners has joined forces with Heatherwick Studio to design the new Bund Finance Centre (BFC) in the heart of historic Shanghai. The mixed-use, waterfront destination will serve as the “end point” to the city’s most famous street, as well as a prime connection between the old town, the Bund, and the new financial district.
The 420,000-square-meter master plan will be comprised of eight structures and centered around a sizable landscaped plaza. At the site’s most southern end will be two 180-meter, “landmark” towers housing premium office space, a boutique hotel and luxury retail space. At the scheme’s heart will be a flexible arts and cultural center, inspired by the open stages of traditional Chinese theaters, which combines exhibition and events halls with a performance venue.
As Foster + Partners’ described: “The centre is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange, as well as a place for brand events, product launches and corporate functions. The building is encircled by a moving veil, which adapts to the changing use of the building and reveals the stage on the balcony and views towards Pudong.”
All buildings will be constructed from palette of crafted stone and bronze details. “The edges of each volume are made of richly textured, hand-crafted granite and become slimmer as they rise, giving the impression of solidity at the base and transparency at the top.”
"Sitting at the gateway to Shanghai’s Old Town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years,” described Thomas Heatherwick. “In filling this last empty site on Shanghai’s famous Bund, the concept is inspired by China’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage."