German firm wins competition to design tower complex in Shenzhen

German firm wins competition to design tower complex in Shenzhen

Hamburg-based architect Gerkan, Marg and Partners (GMP) has won an international competition to design a tower complex in Shenzhen’s new “Super Bay City” business district.

Shenzhen is growing: anew business district called “Super Bay City” is being created. In the competition for the Hengli Investment Group the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) submitted the winning design with a building complex consisting of three distinct blocks that are linked at the base. With a height of 250 meters, the Hengli International Building’s office tower with its adjacent conference center and “culture tower” forms an impressive landmark. “Skygardens” at various levels provide a rhythm to the verticality of the soaring towers and are designed to be used as public amenity areas.

The new Super Bay City business center is currently being developed at Shenzhen bay to the west of thecity center of this metropolis in southern China. The urban masterplan envisages a high-density urban development with high-rise buildings of up to 600 meters, whose skyline will be visible from afar.

The Hengli International Building complex for the Hengli Investment Group, one of the 500 companies with the highest turn over in the world, includes three distinct volumes: the 250-meter-high office tower will be flanked by a 36-meter-high conference center and a “culture tower” with a height of 80 meters. The building elevations facing east and west are largely without windows. Vertical glazed strips in the solid facades emphasize the verticality of the buildings as well as the gate-like appearance of the open, glazed north and south elevations.

The buildings are linked up to the sixth story, which means that the ensemble also functions well as a horizontal unit. The four basement floors form a shared base, which houses a shopping center on the first and second basement floors. The large open space to the north has been designed as an urban plaza with several garden features and functions as a welcome zone for the Hengli International Building. Squares, pathways and bridges at different levels create an attractive urban space with high amenity value.

The high-rise building is an office tower with 45 stories that are accessed via a central core. Three-story-high“sky gardens” are inserted at every eighth level, providing landscaped areas in the vertical that are also accessible to external visitors. These open garden features contain facilities for the public, such as a café/bar, a book shop, a fitness studio, and—at the top of the tower—an observation deck. The same principle is continued in the culture tower, providing a public park and an exhibition garden for sculptures. The eight-story tower is accessed via two core structures, one at the east and oneat the west facade. The interior spaces extend over two levels and include galleries, thus creating generous exhibition areas with a room height of nine meters.

The compact, six-story conference center is located between the office high-rise and the culture tower. The inside of the building contains an auditorium surrounded by prestigious lobbies, and a roof garden adorns the top of the building.

The Hengli International Building will not be a hermetically sealed complex that is only accessible to its users: the “sky gardens” are designed as landscaped amenity areas in the vertical that are open for use by the general public.

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