Engineering : SMAD
Client: Shanghai Futures Exchange
Construction Cost: 120 million €
Text description provided by the architects. The data processing center for the Shanghai Futures Exchange is located in the Zhang Jiang High-Tech Park, a new business district approximately 21 km from the high-rises of Pudong. The complex interprets the logic of a computer motherboard on an urban scale. The enormous size of the project becomes apparent quickly - its site measures ten hectares (420 x 230 m), bordered to the North by a main artery, Weisan Road, and to the South by the Zhaungjiabang River.
Deriving inspiration from the digital age of super computers, the 94,000 m² data center is composed of fourteen buildings housing production, research, development, and recreational activities. These functions are organized as computer chips within a motherboard and the site is traversed by a pedestrian path, itself recalling the lines of electronic circuits joining different parts of a microprocessor.
The complex is divided into three "constructed bands" : (1) one containing office spaces (50,000 m²) in a rectangular volume sliced into five sections by entry lobbies ; (2) one central band with presentation buildings - the welcome center used for events and exhibits (4,500 m²), the sports center (3,500 m²), and the data center (10,000 m²) to the West ; (3) and a series of smaller, organically arranged buildings located in the park area (in close proximity to the river to the South) containing the conference center and its hotel tower (12,500 m²) next to the entry plaza, and three buildings for training and research (5,500 m²).
The building facades are inspired from ancient Chinese geometrical shapes, specifically through their use of binary signs which are traditionally arranged in various ways as a means to understand the laws of the universe. These geometric creations are formed by manipulating two smaller rectangles (Yin) and one larger one (Yan) - the composition leads to various configurations of three parallel lines, each possessing a unique interpretation.
This geometric concept is also a reference to the digital realm and era of the pixel, and forms a complementary visual element to the numerous ventilation ducts required by the buildings' server rooms.