A design which moves “Beyond Neutrality”
The project is an examination of the relationship between a pristine rural landscape and the advancing forces of a rapidly growing city. Galaxy Yabao Hi-Tech Enterprises Headquarter Park is close to the central zone of Futian District, Shenzhen China. The Gross site area is about 65 ha; and the GFA is over 1,050,000 sqm, consisting of 18 high-rise towers ranging from 100-300 meters tall, a 5 star hotel, 3 service apartment towers, 3 residential towers, a shopping mall and a 32 ha park.
Tony Huang of the privately owned real estate Shenzhen based developer, Galaxy Group, says, "The vision for the project is to cultivate a hi-tech headquarter park where people can lead a well-balanced life, working and living in a tranquil yet innovative environment . This mix-used complex is designed for a multifaceted community, which includes living, working, shopping recreation, and tourism. The site is very unique with superb first world infrastructure in a beautiful parkland setting around two natural lakes."
Ted Givens, Design Partner of IO, explains, "The main design concept was to try and integrate the complex into the natural landscape." The buildings define a strong urban edge on the southwestern edge of the site and begin to dissolve into nature as they move northeast across the site towards the lake. A series of balconies pulls off the tower facades to allow for vegetation to grow up the sides of the buildings. A series of algae tubes mounted on the western facades also brings a natural diffuse green texture into the complex. External linear screens further diffuse the edge of the towers and shelter the buildings from the heat of the summer sun. Each tower has a rooftop garden to help reduce heat island effect.
The architecture is defined by two landmark towers. The first is a 300 meter tower that sits at the edge of a small stream running across the site. The tower twists up out of the stream taking inspiration from the fluidity of the water running across the site. A second iconic element is the shopping mall, which is located at the intersection of two freeways. To react to the freeway edge, a 220 meter tower is pulled laterally along the freeway, melding the tower and shopping mall into an iconic element that reaches 400 meters in length. The internal edge of the shopping mall terraces into a series of green garden spaces.
Givens added, "Beyond the formal inspirations that try to blur or bridge the architecture back into a natural context, a series of sustainable ideas is embedded into the project that activates the buildings. The design is an examination of the concept of moving "beyond neutrality" on a large scale."
The buildings are designed with façades that neutralize air pollution 24 hours a day, an algae system that produces oxygen, organic fertilizer, and cleans grey water, and a series of subterranean chambers that naturally cools outside air and pushes it into a series of outdoor courtyards. The buildings take full advantage of technologies that help shape the temperature and air quality of their micro-climate.
The project has already started construction in October 2011.
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