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Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

Architecture Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity BlockThe Sliced Porosity Block, CapitaLand China’s new Raffles City in Chengdu, is a hybrid of different functions like a giant chunk of a metropolis. It will be located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road. Its sun sliced geometry results from required minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code and calculated by the precise geometry of sun angles.

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Iwan Baan

The large public space framed by the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of Du Fu (713-770). In some of the porous openings chunks of different buildings are inserted. Our micro urban strategy will create a new terrain of public space; an urban terrace on the metropolitan scale of Rockefeller Center. This new terrain is sculpted by stone steps and ramps with large pools that spill into stepped fountains. Trees, plantings and benches are flanked with cafes. Roof gardens are cultivated through their individual connections to hotel cafes. At the shop fronts there will be luminous color, neon, backlit color transparency. Like the wash of color that suddenly appears in the great black and white films by Andrei Tarkovsky. The aim for the Sliced Porosity Block is to form new public space and to realize new levels of green construction in Chengdu. The complex is heated and cooled geothermally by 400 wells. The large podium ponds harvest recycled rainwater with natural grasses and lily pads creating a cooling effect.

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has recently been commissioned by CapitaLand China, to realize, a large mixed-use complex in Chengdu, China. Scheduled to open in late 2010, this “giant chunk of a metropolis” houses a hybrid complex of generous public spaces flanked by five towers with offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants. The 105,000 square feet site is developed to maximize public open space and to stimulate micro-urbanism. The ‘Sliced Porosity Block’ will be located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road. Its sun sliced geometry results from minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code. Porous and inviting from every side, five vertical entrances cut through a layer of micro-urban shopping before leading to the elevated public ‘Three Valley’ plaza. A great urban terrace on the scale of Rockefeller Center, this multi-level plaza in the center of the complex is sculpted by stone steps, ramps, trees, and ponds and caters to special events or to a casual afternoon in the sun. Here the public space parallax of overlapping geometries in strict black and white is supercharged by color that glows from the shops positioned underneath the plaza.

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Steven Holl Architects

The three generous ponds on the plaza are inspired by a poem by Du Fu (713-770), in which he describes how ‘Time has left stranded in Three Valleys’. (Du Fu was one of ancient China’s most important poets, who spent a part of his life in Chengdu). These three ponds function as skylights to the six-story shopping precinct below, and are pierced by diagonal stray escalators that thrust upwards to three ‘buildings within buildings’. Residing on voids in the facades of the sculpted blocks these pavilions are designed by Steven Holl (history pavilion), Lebbeus Woods (high tech pavilion), and Ai Wei Wei (Du Fu pavilion).

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity BlockSteven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block
The ‘Sliced Porosity Block’ is heated and cooled geo-thermally and the large plaza ponds harvest recycled rainwater while the natural grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are just a few of the other methods employed to reach the LEED gold rating. The ‘Sliced Porosity Block’ is the third large urban development SHA is designing in China and led by Steven Holl and Li Hu.

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Steven Holl Architects

Currently under construction are a floating horizontal skyscraper over maximized landscape in Shenzhen, the Vanke Center, and the Linked Hybrid (Beijing), a group of eight towers and 660 geothermal wells linked by public sky-bridges, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2008. In addition to these urban projects Steven Holl Architects is currently working on the construction of the Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture which will open in late 2008.

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects | Sliced Porosity Block

© Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects has realized cultural, civic, academic and residential projects both in the United States and internationally. Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is a 65 person innovative architecture and urban design office founded in 1976, and working globally as one office from two locations; New York City and Beijing. Steven Holl leads the office with partners Chris McVoy (New York) and Li Hu (Beijing). Currently under construction is the Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex (Beijing, China) which made it to the third project in TIME magazine’s list of upcoming Architectural Marvels of 2007, the Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture (Nanjing, China), the Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China), Beirut Marina (Beirut, Lebanon), and the Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark). In June 2007 Steven Holl Architects opened the highly lauded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO). In September 2007 Steven Holl Architects opened the renovation of the Interiors for the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts & Science at New York University (NYU) and right before the end of the year the office presented its design for the Hudson Yards in New York City. Recently the office has won a number of international design competitions including Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark), Cité du Surf et de l’Océan (Biarritz, France), Sail Hybrid (Knokke-Heist, Belgium), Meander (Helsinki, Finland), Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China) and the new Arts Buildings for Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey). Steven Holl is a tenured Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.

Location: Chengdu, China
Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Design architect: Steven Holl, Li Hu
Associate in charge: Roberto Bannura
Project architect, Beijing: Lan Wu
Project architect, New York: Haiko Cornelissen, Peter Englaender, JongSeo Lee
Project designer: Christiane Deptolla, Inge Goudsmit, Jackie Luk, Maki Matsubayashi, Sarah Nichols, Manta Weihermann, Martin Zimmerli
Project team: Justin Allen, Jason Anderson, Francesco Bartolozzi, Guanlan Cao, Yimei Chan, Sofie Holm Christensen, Esin Erez, Ayat Fadaifard, Mingcheng Fu, Forrest Fulton, Runar Halldorsson, M.Emran Hossain, Joseph Kan, Suping Li, Tz-Li Lin, Yan Liu, Daijiro Nakayama, Pietro Peyron, Roberto Requejo, Elena Rojas-Danielsen, Michael Rusch, Ida Sze, Filipe Taboada, Ebbie Wisecarver, Human Tieliu Wu, Jin-Ling Yu
Associate architects: China Academy of Building Research
Mep and fire engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Leed consultant: Ove Arup & Partners
Structural engineer: China Academy of Building Research
Quantity surveyor: Davis Langdon & Seah (DLS)
Traffic consultant: MVA Hong Kong ltd
Client: CapitaLand Development
Construction period: October 2008
Program: five towers with offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants
Project type: direct commission
Building area (square): 3336812sf/310000sm
Site area: 57415f/17500m
Floor area (square) above: 2098963sf/195000sm
Floor area (square) below: 1237850sf/115000sm
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