Shenzhen University Station Building Complex
Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: Shenzhen Metro Group Co, Ltd
Date: 2010 shortlisted Competition entry
Area: 97,760 m² including Hotel and integrated supporting area -35,700 m2; Offices – 45,000m²; Retail – 8,260m²; Transit interchange and public supporting area – 8,810m²; Underground parking and public realm.
Budget: £61.5 million
FOA Partner-in-Charge: Alejandro Zaera-Polo
Project Architect: Pep Wennberg,
Team: Manuel Távora, Emory Smith, Ravi Lopes Calamita, Robert Berenguer, Juan Guijarro, Diego Nebra, Daniel Spreier, Mio Sato.
Structural Engineering: Buro Happold
M & E Engineering: Buro Happold
Logistics: Buro Happold
Vertical Transportation Engineering: Buro Happold
Technical Performance Consultants for Facade: Buro Happold
Accessible Environments: MIC Mobility in Chain
The University Station Building Complex in Shenzhen is a mixed-use building located above a major transit interchange within the High-tech Industrial Park, the city’s hub for education, training, research and innovation in IT and computer science. Located at an important location at the junction of three major roads, the building is designed to be a landmark for this growing part of the city. Given the building’s location at the intersection of road, pedestrian and underground transit paths, the building needed not only to provide a coherent solution to its multifunctional nature, but also to express the richness of its complex environment. As a landmark, it should embody the spirit of technological flow and interactivity, celebrating Shenzhen’s economic growth and technological achievements.
Unlike in the American metropolis, vertical objects on the Chinese skyline are characterised by their intricate profiles. In line with this, and to complement the Shenzhen’s existing skyline – one of world’s highest concentrations of built skyscrapers –, our aim was to create a hi-rise building with a sophisticated profile. Inspired by the work of Max Bill and Constantin Brancusi, we envisioned a tower with the qualities of a complex, shifting silhouette – a building whose appearance would change depending on an people’s view points, becoming a cumulative, collective experience, enriched by the variety of silhouettes produced by an infinite number of object-viewer relationships. To achieve this, we used a geometry which shifts cyclically in section between symmetrically shaped bevelled plans, producing a three-dimensional, faceted volume with rigorous geometrical construction.
This solution produces countless profile silhouettes, both differentiating the building from other towers in Shenzhen and embodying a truly contemporary paradigm: Multiplicity. The tower itself will be wrapped in a porcelain skin, referencing the 16th century “china” trade and, by extension of the same qualities – globalisation and information exchange – pointing towards the country’s current reputation as a major knowledge-based industrial power.