US duo wins Chinese commercial project

Friday 01 Nov 2013

Joel Sanders Architect with FreelandBuck designs Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall

Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG), one of the largest media and publishing companies in China, has announced that Joel Sanders Architect and FreelandBuck won first prize in an invited international competition.

Their winning proposal for the Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall - a 90,000 sq m corporate headquarters and cultural complex to be built in Kunshan, one hour west of Shanghai - consists of a 20-storey office tower perched upon a five-storey podium organised around four 'cultural cores' that respectively house theatres, exhibition halls, a fitness club and an education centre.

A retail loop, comprised of affiliated stores, restaurants and cafes, spirals around each cultural core, allowing culture and commerce to mix. The large urban site is divided into four pedestrian-scaled culture and commerce blocks that define the perimeter of a central outdoor atrium.

The Book Mart dramatically crowns the entire complex and serves as a base for the PPMG office tower, visually and symbolically unifying all of the programmatic elements. The green roof of the Book Mart acts as a cultural park where the general public and Phoenix employees can come together. This park is accessible from within each of the four mini-malls, as well as from a grand escalator located in the outdoor central atrium.

The pinnacle of each mini-mall intersects the Book Mart and pierces the green roof forming three pavilions - a kunsthalle, amphitheatre, and spa - that enhance the cultural life of the Kunshan community. The tower is clad with a striking pattern of diagonal louvers that provide solar shading and mark the tower as a visual focus on the city skyline.

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