The artful sculpting of glass and steel

Tuesday 01 Nov 2011

Leo A Daly creates a pivotal new mixed-use project in Shenzhen’s CBD

Invited to an international design competition, Leo A Daly authored the winning design for Excellence Century Center - a major urban sculptural project in Shenzhen, China. This 466,000 sq m (5,015,983 sq ft) mixed-use project was completed in 2010 at a cost of $700 Million US Dollars. The brief required that the project provide: “an innovative solution that successfully integrates the development program … establishes an iconic destination in the CBD … and enhances the City’s Master Plan.”

The project is comprised of three office towers and one hotel tower which spring from a four-storey retail podium with three levels of sub-grade parking. The design organises the program into four gateways and four towers, inspired by ancient Chinese customs. The individual towers and gateways represent the number 8, an important symbol of prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.

The Team was challenged with creating iconic architecture within the tight constraints of floor plate sizes and proportions provided by the Client. This presented an opportunity to carefully sculpt and shape the towers and define a unique architectural language and identity for the project. The four towers and the podium are clad with crystal-like curtain walls of stainless steel and green glass which are artfully shaped into jeweled prisms carved slightly at their exterior and interior corners. These facets are articulated by polygonal forms creating a series of large diamonds and prismatic cuts which establish the project’s iconic aesthetic.

The project achieved LEED Gold Certification and employs several sustainable strategies including state-of-the-art, high-efficiency HVAC / BMS systems, ice-based thermal energy storage, and the use of outdoor space for primary circulation and public assembly, incorporating green roofs, planters, and shading devices to produce microclimatic conditions conducive all year. The project integrates the contemporary with the ancient, creating a memorable 21st Century urban destination and vision.

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