PROGRAM: mixed-use building including hotel, offices, serviced apartments, and public park
CLIENT: Shenzhen Vanke Real Estate Co.
SIZE: 1,296,459 sq ft
Hovering over a tropical garden, this ‘horizontal skyscraper’ – as long as the Empire State Building is tall – unites into one vision the headquarters for Vanke Co. ltd, office spaces, apartments, and a hotel. A conference center, spa and parking are located under the large green, public landscape.
The building appears as if it were once floating on a higher sea that has now subsided; leaving the structure propped up high on eight legs. The decision to float one large structure right under the 35-meter height limit, instead of several smaller structures each catering to a specific program, was inspired by the hope to create views over the lower developments of surrounding sites to the South China Sea, and to generate the largest possible green space open to the public on the ground level.
The underside of the floating structure becomes its main elevation from which sunken glass cubes, the so-called Shenzhen windows, offer 360-degree views over the lush tropical landscape below. Covering the entire length of the building a public path has been proposed to connect through the hotel, and the apartment zones up to the office wings.
The floating horizontal building allows sea and land breezes to pass through the public gardens. The landscape, inspired by Roberto Burle Marx’ gardens in Brazil contains restaurants and cafes in vegetated mounds bracketed with pools and walkways. At night a walk through this landscape of flowering tropical plants will mix the smell of jasmine with the colorful glow of the undersides of the structure floating above.
As a tropical, sustainable 21st century vision the building and the landscape integrate several new sustainable aspects. The Vanke Center is a tsunami-proof 21st century hovering architecture that creates a porous micro-climate of freed landscape and is one of the first LEED platinum rated buildings in Southern China.
Ecological Innovation +
LEED Platinum (First Certified LEED Platinum in South China) Green GOOD DESIGN Award (2010) Cooling via special ice storage system Provides more green landscape to public than building footprint (125% site green coverage) Landscape ponds of recycled water Special sun louvers reduce 70% of heat gain Natural light and ventilation for all spaces Sustainable, self-regenerating bamboo interiors Solar array on roof (1,400 sq. meters) High-performance building envelope includes exterior sun-shading louvers Chilled slabs and underfloor air distribution system reduce mechanical equipment sizing and energy consumption
- Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Li Hu (design architect)
Li Hu (partner in charge)
Yimei Chan, Gong Dong (project manager)
Garrick Ambrose (project architect - SD/DD)
Maren Koehler, Jay Siebenmorgen (project architect - DD)
Christopher Brokaw, Rodolfo Dias (project architect - CD)
Eric Li (assistant project architect)
Jason Anderson, Guanlan Cao, Clemence Eliard, Forrest Fulton, Nick Gelpi, M. Emran Hossain, Kelvin Jia, Seung Hyun Kang, JongSeo Lee, Ted Lin, Wan-Jen Lin, Richard Liu, Jackie Luk, Chris McVoy, Enrique Moya-Angeler, Roberto Requejo, Michael Rusch, Jiangtao Shen, Filipe Taboada, Manta Weihermann (project team)
Steven Holl, Li Hu, Gong Dong, Justin Allen, Garrick Ambrose, Johnna Brazier, Kefei Cai, Yenling Chen, Hideki Hirahara, Eric Li, Filipe Taboada (project team, competition phase)