Yesterday, Synthesis announced on its website that the consortium of Synthesis Design + Architecture and Shenzhen General Architectural Design Institute have been awarded first place in the invited design competition for the Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza.  The design of the 180,00 square meter features a mixed-use office, hotel, and retail development. Also it houses the Shanghai headquarters of developer Wuzhou International.

Arch2O Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza - SDA-1

Courtesy of SDA

The proposal is located along Huatai Road in the third ring of the urban metropolis of Shanghai, the Shanghai Wuzhou International plaza embodies the energy and vibrancy of the cities distinct urban environment.  Inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang, the development is organized as two nested volumes which have been broken apart to reveal a flowing canyon condition. Each volume is organized as a collection of two 30 story mid-rise towers connected by a 4 story retail podium.  The canyone connects the two main entries of the site while within the canyon is a network of detached retail units with skybridges connecting to the enclosed shopping centers. More details from the architect after the jump.

Arch2O Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza - SDA-3

Courtesy of SDA

Project Description from the Architects:

Situated along Huatai Road in the third ring of the urban metropolis of Shanghai, the Shanghai Wuzhou International plaza embodies the energy and vibrancy of the cities distinct urban environment. Inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang, the “Urban Canyon” is organized as two nested rock-like volumes which have been broken apart to reveal a flowing canyon condition which connects the project to the urban fabric of the city. The northern block features an enclosed 4 story luxury retail shopping podium anchored by the corporate headquarters of developer Hong Kong Wuzhou International Group and a 5 star hotel tower. The southern block is composed of a 4 level retail, lifestyle and entertainment complex anchored by two office towers.

Arch2O Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza - SDA-2

Courtesy of SDA

The fluid canyon condition connects the two entry plazas of the site with a “river” of free-standing detached retail units with a network of connective sky bridges, while simultaneously curating a series of framed views within the site. A series of green space “islands” are distributed within the river to provide natural shading and to soften the urban condition. At the mouth of each canyon is a landscaped entry plaza framed by the portal created by its respective towers. Integrated landscaping, furnishings, and lighting within the plaza hard-scape are arranged in pulse like formations which stimulate and encourage visual and pedestrian activity.

Arch2O Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza - SDA-6

Courtesy of SDA

The dynamic patterning of the plaza is further expressed in the striated articulations that define the pattern of the cladding. This pattern embodies the pulses of activity and urban energy of the city to merge façade with roof and podium with tower, which is conceptualized as the river that has carved the canyon. The façade is to be clad with RHEINZINK standing-seam titanium zinc panels, while the roof system utilizes RHEINZINK double standing-seam titanium zinc panels.

Arch2O Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza - SDA-18

Courtesy of SDA

The roof area is equipped with interior gutters at its lowest points and is covered with perforated standing-seam profiles to protect it from soiling. The building material needs no maintenance because of the material’s patina, which develops during the course of natural weathering and protects it from corrosion. The patina is a layer of zinc carbonate, which regenerates itself.

Program: 180,000sqm Office Building, Hotel and Retail Development
Location: Shanghai, China
Client: Hong Kong Wuzhou International Group
Collaborators: Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Year: 2012
Status: Competition Entry (1st Place)

Courtesy of SDA

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