- Project Director: Global Design Principal, Ken Wai
- Client: Kingboard Chemical Group
- City: Shanghai
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. Aedas was commissioned by the Kingboard Group to design a multi-functional commercial complex at Kingboard Culture Plaza, a key nod and starting point of the central axis of Shanghai Hongqiao Business Zone, a future CBD at the heart of Yangtzi River Delta. Anchored at the Fifth Avenue of Hongqiao, the site pride itself for its prime location, transportation network and waterfront scenery.
The design is a grand “Gate” in a staid yet dynamic form responding to the brief of a prestigious commercial complex. Panoramic view over the entire Hongqiao District is secured from the sky business centre and roof garden. Tapping advantages of the river views, the outdoor exhibition space, sunken dining plaza and a riverside promenade are set to maximize public engagement in the complex as a leisure destination and activate commercial value of surrounding areas.
Gate to Hongqiao
Derived from the metaphoric imagery of a “Gate to Hongqiao”, the iconic form comprises two office towers linked by multiple interweaving platforms at upper and lower floors. Shifting from South-East to North-West sides of the towers, the diagonal platforms address constraints of the irregular plot and add a sense of changeability to the clean and monolithic building outline. A central opening under the link bridge represents the extensive reach of the central axis and completes a welcoming gesture of gateway entry to visitors from all over the world.
As a key nod on the central axis, the multi-layered complex integrates abundant civic functionalities to serve as an urban stage and public parlour, seeking to draw pedestrian flow and commercial value to the area. The platform connecting ground and third level is not only as a pleasant walkway, but also a large stage for exhibition and performance, flexible for future developments. Landscape deck on the north provides direct access to the food court at the sunken plaza. The platforms, observation decks and the promenade along the river bank creates an inviting riverfront public plaza to attract surrounding residents for a leisurely stroll. On the south sits a commercial square, which communicates the city corridor with green ramps and escalators to form a three-dimensional landscape platform.
Office and civic functions are segmented at different levels to fulfil the diverse needs of users. At lower levels lies the public and retail spaces while offices are placed above second floor, secured with best views and natural light intake with a north-south directional shift on the towers.
Unobstructed viewsto riverside and the entire Hongqiao district beyond can be accessed from the roof garden and the aligned sky bridge on the top two floors. Truss structures supporting the link bridge enriches visual presence of the facade, while providing additional sitting area for the indoor communal space. Multi-functionalism deployed throughout the development, the sky bridge may also be transformed into a featured exhibition space.
Dominated by glazed curtain wall and stone louvres, the facade embraces an aesthetics of sedateness and simplicity. The vertical stone fins block out heat and glare for the interiors and create a playful rhythm of lights and shades on the facade, injecting vibrant expressions and additional textures to the architecture. In contrast to the weightiness of the building volume, two glass walls facing the central opening sets off a sense of airiness and transparency to the public area. It also allows interaction of indoor and outdoor spaces with coherent lightings in the office and on the building facade.