The proposal for the new Linking SOHO building, like all Zaha Hadid Architects designs, aims to provide a strong visual and programmatic identity close to Hongqiao Transportation Hub near Shanghai’s city center and the Airport.
Thus, there is a mission for the building to demand and exert itself as a unique destination in its own right. This identity, aside from the exclusive program mix that consolidates the three destinations, the thematic “Courtyards” represents the distinctive collection of activities that, with the exceptional architecture, helps mold such programs into a landmark.
The building’s dynamic, curvilinear form travels from exterior to interior, creating a continuous internal spatial experience and dramatic courtyard and flowing public spaces. This is created through the use of four elongated elements that are tied together by a sinuous retail podium and a continuous metallic ribbon that acts as a skin. This is a highly recognizable calligraphic gesture that emphasis on simplicity.
However, this simplicity is contrasted by adding a layer of complexity to a “squeeze” that is applied to the middle area. These moves create a double opportunity to configure intimate courtyards that are frame by bridges connecting different slabs, thus provide dramatic and dynamic views.