SPARK has completed the design of Prince’s Building, a 71,600 sq m mixed-use development and transportation hub for China Merchants. Located in Shenzhen South China the 110m-high, 27-storey office tower and five retail pavilions are connected by landscaped terraces that combine to create a unique naturally ventilated retail and business destination for the lively Skekou district of the city. The buildings sit over and adjacent to a new transportion hub that includes a bus terminal and the Seaworld subway station.
Prince’s Building is located at the southern tip of Shenzhen on the Nantou Peninsula, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Surrounded by water on three sides, Shekou wraps around the verdant Danan and Xiaonan mountains. It is this relationship between dramatic subtropical oceanfront scenery and rich human activity that generated the inspiration for SPARK’s design.
On a broad urban scale, the office tower will be the project’s most distinctive component. Located on the corner of Taizi and Gongye third roads, the office tower rises from a new verdant public square to a height of 27 levels. The tower has been designed to provide 1,100 sq m of column-free flexible floorplates with full digital connectivity to meet the demands of 21st century office users. Each office floor has full-height glazing with spectacular ocean views over Shenzhen bay with mountain views to the north.
In order to enhance the elegance of the tower’s proportions the glazed façade of the upper levels is accentuated by slender aluminium louvres designed to catch the sun and lend a layered shifting quality to the top of the towers. The tower’s base is connected to the adjacent retail pavilions both physically and materially at level three where the horizontal stone façade of the pavilions merges with the tower façade grid anchoring the tower and bringing visual continuity to the entire development. The uppermost terrace is connected directly to the office tower at level three to allow office users direct year-round weather protected access.
At the scale of the individual urban block, one’s experience will be dominated by the five conjoined retail pavilions. Four pavilions will be clustered around the central courtyard and the fifth pavilion - a lantern pavilion - which sits at the heart of the triangular site. “We have created spaces between the perimeter pavilions to connect the development directly to the city,” explains SPARK Director Stephen Pimbley. “These will provide routes into and through the urban retail gardens and fully integrate the project with the wider urban fabric,” he says.
The four-storey pavilions will be clad in horizontally layered strips of stone inspired by the rock strata of the adjacent mountains. These will lend the project a human scale while allowing full integration of retail and advertising signage in synergy with the architecture. The corners of the pavilions will be curved to soften the architecture and encourage pedestrian flow. All the pavilions will have continuous glazed shop fronts at ground-floor level facing out into the city and maximising retail frontage.
Client: China Merchants
Master Plan and Architecture: SPARK
Project Director: Stephen Pimbley, Lim Wenhui
Project Associates: Carlo Joson, Peter Morris
Team: Cynthia Liau, Rafal Kapusta, Lintang Wuriantari, Darmaganda, Mark Mancenido, Olivia Wong, Fabian Ong, Paula Zheng, Arnold Galang, Natasha Hill