Shanghai West Bund AI Tower and Plaza/Nikken Seki
Shanghai West Bund AI Tower and Plaza/Nikken Seki
510,000 square meters
Manufacturers: Beijing Jianghe Curtain Wall Co., Ltd, Toto
Nikken Seiki Limited
Textual description provided by the architects. This project is located on the west bank of the Huangpu River (West Bund), which runs north-south through Shanghai, and includes four buildings, including two skyscrapers. Nikken Sekkei was selected in an international design competition in 2009 to lead a new urban development on the site of the former Longhua Domestic Airport. The firm has been involved in urban and architectural design of the local area for more than a decade. The most distinctive feature of the project is the “wind design” of the overall layout and shape of the building volumes. The shape of the buildings and their exteriors, the public spaces in the business district, the landscape, and the interiors reflect the fluidity created by the wind. This concept runs through the entire project.
Like a pair of phoenixes spreading their wings, the towers spread out at lower levels, covering the ground and creating space for people to relax. The inspiration for the wind-driven design of the entire site is closely linked to the site’s history as an airport, an image held by the surrounding aviation industry, and the prevailing winds. Simulation technology is incorporated early in the design process to predict wind flows and determine the optimal tower design suitable for people. Wind-designed buildings also shape the air that flows into the surrounding area. By rounding the corners of the towers and lengthening their floor plans, steady wind streams flow more smoothly, reducing the downdraft effect that characterizes high-rise buildings and reducing their impact on the surrounding environment. Wind flow is also directed into the urban area behind the towers, helping to mitigate the heat island effect, an increasingly serious problem due to rapid urbanization.
The wide footing of the buildings, reminiscent of “skirts”, creates a wind shelter and a large roof above the podium roof and ground level, quietly keeping out rain and strong sunlight, creating a comfortable public space. The relaxed spatial nature of traditional Asian balconies and cornices is reproduced in a modern, site-specific way, creating a three-dimensional semi-exterior space in the commercial area.
Networking to create new vitality – The long project area extending from north to south, which was previously an airstrip, has been transformed into a park full of green spaces. The spatial characteristics of the former airport have been inherited as the backbone of the city, creating an easily recognizable ‘hub’. The metro line runs parallel to and under the park, and two stations will serve as hubs linking the transportation network to surrounding locations. Neighboring site plans are based on this framework. The buildings are located in the center and sides of the park, with an underground passage connecting them from east to west. It is also connected to the subway and the underground mall, making convenient pedestrian mobility possible.
Ecologically symbiotic architecture harnesses the ‘power of place’ – The entire project was designed under the slogan of skyscrapers in harmony with nature, taking advantage of a location blessed with water and greenery. The building’s layout and landscape design ensure the best possible view of the Huangpu River from the tower offices and hotel, along with smooth pedestrian flow at ground level. Building operations make the most of natural energy. The facades are characterized by vertical fins that express the feeling of the towers rising and expanding their wings. A 500 mm deep vertical fin was installed on one of the buildings to block direct sunlight on its eastern and western sides without obstructing the view. Vents are also integrated into the large windows on each of the two office floors, allowing fresh air to flow directly into the rooms.
Energy efficient appliances and equipment are used to achieve the benefits of “green” construction with low energy loss. The site’s landscape, including green spaces, water bodies, slopes and lighting, also responds to wind geometry and the environment. The potential of this magnificent site has been maximized, and a new public space has been created by blending landscape and architecture in a form that integrates the towers directly into the site. This plan is unique to this location. This was only achieved through the redevelopment of an urban area located in the heart of the city. The retail and office space will open in 2021, with a five-star hotel in operation since March 2023. The new West Bund area, including this property, is primed for new urban development and architecture and is now attracting more advanced industries, such as artificial intelligence, instead Of the once advanced aviation industry. We hope that these new buildings will symbolize the city’s history and energy for future development and become a home for those who are drawn to it.
(Tags for translation)Architecture