In China they continue to innovate, this time with a cultural center that has a mobile metal curtain, a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures.
The technology applied to the architecture promotes more and more unique buildings, not only because of the latest generation materials that emanate from it nor because of the most advanced methods of energy efficiency that they contribute, but also do so by giving life to the facades of the buildings. This week we present the most incredible mobile facade of the country belonging to the Fosun Foundation (Shanghai).
But let’s start at the beginning, the building is intended for cultural use, in fact it is a non-profit organization whose managers are Fosun Group, a multinational listed on the Chinese stock market since 2007, which was created in 1992 and It has assets for more than 81 million dollars (69 euros). This company aims to generate happiness in families and although they are focused on China, they have many interests in countries as diverse as Portugal, India or Israel.
The center is located within a new MasterPlan or urban project within the Huangpu district, in Shanghai, called the Bund Finance Center. This development is strategically located between the new financial district and the old town, being a great link. In total, 420,000 square meters have been redesigned, in which two 180-meter-high towers and a large number of staggered buildings facing the river and the spectacular second tallest skyscraper in the world have been created: the Shanghai Tower.
However, the star of this new area of the city is a modest building designed by two of the most neat architecture studios, the inexhaustible Foster + Partners and the talented Heatherwick Studio. A cultural center that is destined to revitalize the public and artistic life of the place, for this, combines exhibition halls and performances, inspired by traditional Chinese theaters. In fact, it is a highly versatile space prepared for film screenings, international conferences, brand events and for the organization of any activity that comes to mind (yes, that too).
The building is distributed on three floors above ground, three underground and walkable roof. The first floor covers an area of 360 square meters with a height of four meters, the second floor reaches six meters and 570 square meters, the same as the third floor but with a lower height: 3.2 meters. The fourth floor is a discovery, with more useful area (600 square meters), it is intended to enjoy the outdoors. Having the surface below the ground level, the property has about 4,000 square meters.
The element that causes no one to remain unperturbed in front of the building is its mobile façade, composed of bronze and silver metallic pipes of different sizes, between two and sixteen meters high, hanging from the top of the third floor . In total there are 675 ‘tassels’ that look like bamboo canes, and that are distributed in three rows of different sizes, in this way, when they move in different directions and at different speeds, they generate a changing and dynamic space.
This veil hides the viewpoints of the second and third floors, but allows users to enjoy the views of the Pudong (where the financial area is located) thanks to the space that separates the pipes. The mobile system was developed with engineers from the local Tongji University, with other companies from China participating, such as Sanxin Façade Engineering Co. Ltd, Wah Heng Glass & Aluminum Products Ltd, Wuhan Lingyun Building Decoration Engineering Co. Ltd and Zhejiang Yasha Curtain Wall Co. Ltd.
Each tassel is manufactured with stainless steel elements and colors that recall the patterns of Chinese fabric, ropes and knots. As we know, architecture has two feet that support it, one is based on technique, which advances inexorably and generates new ways of building and designing, the other foot is art, which keeps afloat the most primitive part of humanity, the one that works with sensations and emotions. This complex is a successful fusion of these two fundamentals, even more if we take into account that the architects worked with local artisans to develop the textures of the metal sleeves.
Thus, the property represents another more current fusion, which combines the cultures of the East and the West, given that the shape of the building resembles an ancient Chinese crown and a western harp. Of course, the curtain does not move constantly, only for a few hours a day, following the musical rhythm, and becoming a true «dancing building.» By the way, prepared to resist earthquakes and the adverse climate of the area.
But if we must be faithful to our style, we must pay attention to two places of maximum importance in the building, the bar on the ground floor, the Cloud Café, the perfect link between the exterior and the interior, and a forced transit area where to stock up on Mediterranean breads, seasonal desserts and simple food. And the Counter Sky Garden, the walkable roof, in which we can see the work of the Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima, composed of 300 Led´s points (always led´s) that flash at different speeds and with different shades under the Chinese sky.
The Chinese company Shanghai Construction Group Co Ltd, together with its subsidiaries of Engineering, Decoration, Equipment and Gardens, has been responsible for executing the works, both of the Cultural Center and the development of the 420,000 square meters, where you can enjoy a Boutique hotel, luxury shopping centers, premium offices and abundant green areas that converge in a public square. All arranged so that, tourists, inhabitants and users can enjoy the new concept of Chinese city, do we visit it?
Images: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Shanghai, China.