Vankeyu City, Shenzhen, China

Wednesday 13 Jun 2018
Credit: WOHA

Architects: WOHA Architects

Unveiling the ‘micro vertical city’

This tower radically transforms the soulless skyscraper into a highly livable and sustainable environment

Against the backdrop of China’s homogenous urban development and the ubiquitous rise of post-modernist skyscrapers, Vanke Yun City boldly presents an alternative office tower typology. It responds to the sub-tropical climate in Shenzhen, promotes urban integration, facilitates social interaction, and proposes an exciting programmatic mix that radically transforms the soulless skyscraper into a highly livable, humane and sustainable micro vertical city.

The building is shaped as a laid down Chinese character “?” with three tower blocks attached to a central T-shape core. On the ground, the entire building foot-print and the reception lobby are lifted, returning the previous land to the public as a sheltered and porous activity space. Green and water features are integrated with open or shaded plazas to create a series of accessible and functional urban space. In the air, twelve 7-storey high “knolls” with their silhouette outlined by greenery extrude out and float on the three sides of the building. Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape and mountain parks in Shenzhen, these “knolls” will introduce rich amenities and landscape into the skyscraper, celebrating human scale and nature in the high-rise.

The top level of each knoll is where the refuge floor and public lift lobby are situated. It serves as an open community space where rich program and lush landscapes are integrated. Cascading down the sides of the knoll are pockets of semi-public sky gardens that further ameliorate the working environment. The inside of these knolls are planted valleys and gullies that further reinforce the garden working environment. These sessions of micro-climate create alluring ambiance with natural light and fresh air inside the office building.

The three tower blocks split from each other and vary in sizes, stimulating an elegant rhythmic proportion and maximizing natural daylighting, natural ventilation and views into the office space. The 217.8m tall West block has a standard floor plate of 28.4m x 37.4m. The North-East block and the South-East block have the same footprint of 23.2m x 28.4m and are capped at 246.6m.

Curtain wall system with extruded vertical mullions further emphasize the verticality of the blocks and endows the building with a sleek iconic image. At night, the mullions on the top portion of three blocks will become glowing highlights that outline the elegant figure of this landmark architecture. 

A total of 10,490 m² of public space and 7835 m² of sky gardens, planter terraces, green walls and water features are provided to the 150,000 m² of office space. Given a site area of 8,087 m², the design is able to achieve a 130% “community plot ratio” and almost 100% “green plot ratio” which contribute to its typological breakthrough.

The WAN Residential Award 2018 is open for entries 

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com

Nick Myall

News editor