of

Following the clouds in Shanghai

Nick Myall
Thursday 26 Jan 2017

Both of these buildings have green sedum roofs merging with the landscape when seen from nearby apartment buildings

Steven Holl Architects' design for a new Cultural and Health Centre in Shanghai was approved by COFCO, who commissioned the project in summer 2016.

The two buildings, set in a public landscape, will serve as a social condenser, bringing the community of the surrounding new housing blocks together in a public space and park along Punan canal.

Commenting on the project Steven Holl said: “To work on Architecture for Culture and Health is a social commitment, during these challenging times.”  

The new Shanghai Cultural and Health Centre and landscape are merged by the concept of “Clouds & Time,” a reference to philosopher Karl Popper’s famous 1965 lecture on the evolutionary model of free will, “Of Clouds and Clocks.” While the landscape is organized in large clock-like circles forming a central public space, the buildings are cloud-like in their porosity and openness inviting the public in.

The Cultural Centre, built out of white concrete, hovers over a transparent glass base which exposes the café, game and recreation rooms. A curved ramp, climbing gently up to the second floor creates a continuous overlooking experience. The Culture Centre supports an array of social and sport functions to promote community interaction and recreation, including an exhibition area, café, library, gym, and young activity areas.

The Health Centre, also made of white concrete, is shaped by the curves of the landscape, developing a strong relationship between its “cloud-like” parts and the whole of the landscape. The building will serve as a health consultation and education centre, housing a pharmacy, consultation and examination rooms, a nursery area and lounges.

Both buildings have green sedum roofs merging further with the landscape when seen from above and in the surrounding apartment buildings. The quarter circle pool and fountain reflects the building's central space and provides rainwater recycling. The buildings, which are geothermally cooled, are designed for LEED platinum certification.

Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts

Healthcare
Architecture

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
Jobs
  • Architectural CAD Technician

    Architectural CAD Technician Reference: KOIPS4E65YU Location: Ipswich Salary: Competitive based on experience A successful Architectural practice, ...
    • Penguin Recruitment Architecture
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Planning Strategy and Policy Manager

    This post is responsible for leading the council’s planning strategy and policy team to maintain an up-to-date planning policy framework.
    • London Borough of Lambeth
    • Lambeth, London (Greater)
  • Planner / Senior Planner

    We have an exciting opportunity with our established planning team, working on a diverse range of projects.
    • Pro Vision
    • Ampfield, Hampshire
  • Enforcement Officer - North East - outside IR35

    A Local Authority in the North East are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 6 months,
    • Oyster Partnership
    • North East England
  • Head of Planning

    Do you have the vision to make Suffolk an even better place to live and work, and the skills to make it happen?
    • Suffolk County Council
    • Suffolk