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Mecanoo's Cultural Centre in Shenzhen acts as monolithic urban connector with tilted facades
China Architecture News - Feb 13, 2019 - 02:07 3565 views
Mecanoo has completed a new cultural complex in Shenzhen, China, acting as a reddish monolithic urban connector with tilted facades within the city’s eastern Longgang district. The Longgang Cultural Centre is Mecanoo’s first project completed in mainland China.
Named Longgang Cultural Centre, the building's program is divided into four main volumes that house an art museum, a youth centre, a science centre and a book mall. Sitting on a long and narrow 3.8-ha site with strict height restrictions, the building connects the surrounding areas by subdividing the programme into separate volumes.
Its reddish colored envelope and stripes wrap the whole building and the building's tilted facades allow visitors to pass other side of the building, acting like an urban connector.
"The passages between these buildings, which align with the adjacent roads, provide access from the new business district on the west side of the building to the park on the east," said Mecanoo.
"The volumes all have curved edges and tilting facades, which frame dynamic views, shelter public squares and naturally guide pedestrian flows."
The fluid forms also channel air currents and provide protection against the sun and rain in Shenzhen’s subtropical climate. By sharing the same formal language, height and material, the volumes form a visually cohesive whole without an apparent front or back facade. The building reaches 400-metre long 50-metre wide and 25-metre height.
Varied cultural programme is distributed within the cast concrete sculpture-like building. The science centre focuses on popular science for children and young adults. Next to it, the youth centre offers a place for meeting and extracurricular activities such as music and sports.
The art museum combines public arts on the upper floors with an urban planning centre on the ground floor and in the basement. By locating the entrances to the cultural centres at the covered squares, the various cultural programmes can extend outdoors.
The largest of the four volumes contains a “book mall” – a mall exclusively for books and book-related events such as book-signing sessions, book launches and exhibitions.
Creating a sculptural interior for visitors, the building is built from in-situ concrete and the structure was carefully designed to become part of the visitors’ experience; wandering through the building is like viewing a cast concrete sculpture from the inside.
The structural facade of each volume integrates beams, columns and massive concrete cores, resulting in a building where everything is revealed.
The full-height tilted interior spaces at the edges of the volumes become architectural highlights where the visitor can experience the impressive scale of the construction elements.
First floor plan
Fifth floor plan
Public Art Center and Science Center section
Youth Center and Bookmall section
Programme: Cultural complex of 95,000 m2 with art museum (13,500 m2), science centre (10,000 m2), youth centre (8,000 m2), retail (7,000 m2) and a book mall including cafes and restaurants (35,000 m2) and 21,500 m2 of underground parking and a new public square totalling 3.8 hectares.
Building: 400m long, 50m wide, 25m high
Client: Longgang Government, Vanke and SPDG, Shenzhen, China
Local architect: CCDI, Shenzhen, China
All images © Zhang Chao
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