The Shanghai Cofco Cultural and Health Center by Steven Holl Architects has topped out. Designed in 2016, the project was designed to become a social condenser, fostering community among the residents of the surrounding new housing blocks with a public space and park along an existing canal. Centering on public space, the projects features an exoskeletal concrete construction.
As the SHA team states, while the adjacent housing blocks are repetitive, the Cofco center architecture was made to embrace spatial energy and openness, inviting the whole community in for recreational and cultural programs. Subtractive cuts in the concrete structure shape its architectural language. The Health Center is also shaped by the curves of the landscape. Both buildings have green sedum roofs, which merges them with the landscape when seen from the surrounding apartment buildings.
The landscape and two new public buildings are merged by the concept of “clocks and clouds.” The landscape is organized in large, clocklike circles forming a central public space, and the buildings take on a porous and open quality. The Cultural Center hovers over a transparent glass base that exposes a café and game and recreation rooms. A curved ramp, climbing up to the second floor, creates a continuous experience of overlooking and views.
The Shanghai Cofco Cultural and Health Center is expected to be completed in fall 2020.