3 Cubes Office Building
The 3 Cubes office building designed by gmp for the Caohejing Business Park in the western part of Shanghai have now been completed. The office building complex with service functions in the basement floors has a total gross floor area of 60,000m2 and consists of three cubic building volumes with different heights of between 35 m and 60 m.
The gmp design places particular emphasis on the character and elegance of the ensemble. To this end, an important role is performed by the facade, which features a special design also in terms of technical detail.
The white building volumes have an austere elegance and, with their vertically oriented facades, blend in with the surroundings while nevertheless – in their overall composition – contrasting with the very heterogeneous urban ambiance. The interaction between harmony and contrast is replicated in the design of the exterior surfaces.
An undulating grass landscape culminating in a hill, with trees and arch-shaped recesses, provides access to the naturally lit basement floors. The landscape stands in flowing contrast to the static cubes in a harmoniously unifying manner, while at the same time emphasizing the cool austere elegance of the building volumes.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the facade is the key element of the design. Here too, the interaction between adaptation and deviation is the primary design element – the smallest cube has the largest openings in the facade, extending over two floors, while the façade of the largest cube is structured by smaller, single- story openings. And it is just the resulting visual irritation which subtly supports the overall composition of the buildings.
The facade is noteworthy for another special feature – the width and angle of the elements, which are alternately glazed and clad with white perforated panels, were determined parametrically. This meant that various factors, such as the position of the sun during the seasons, shading by neighboring buildings, the attraction of the outlook, the position in the building, and privacy requirements were individually evaluated at each facade side for a dot grid in the 3D model, resulting in a certain angle of opening at each point in the facade.
This method is possible to optimize natural light, the view and very detailed shading options. In addition, it added another aesthetic dimension to the 3 Cubes – the facades, with the elements folded at different angles, create a lively iridescent image. At night this effect is further accentuated by the lighting elements integrated into the facade; all facade surfaces become light-installation walls with the option of producing programmed images.