A THREE LEVEL BRIDGE RAISED ABOVE THE PLAZA CONNECTS THE THREE BUILDINGS THROUGH TWO LEVELS OF PUBLIC SPACES AND A LANDSCAPED ROOF TERRACE THUS REINFORCING THE SPATIAL DEFINITION STARTED BY THE CENTRAL PLAZA
Simplicity, elegance, and clarity are the buildings’ characteristics in form, space, and materials. At the ground, the Central Plaza ties the three buildings together. The Sunken Financial Theatre is located centrally in the plaza thus forming a focus point with a sense of the community between the users of the three buildings. A three level Bridge raised 40 meters above the plaza connects the three buildings through two levels of public spaces and a landscaped roof terrace thus reinforcing the spatial definition started by the Central Plaza.
Within a common concept of the building type and the facades, the three corporations have an individual identity within an overall unity. The facades of each tower utilize projecting ‘V’ mullions to create an elegant verticality while providing marginal external shading to supplement the intelligent motor operated interior blinds. Below the bridge elevation, a special translucent linear stone glazing pattern alternates with vision glass to form a base for each building.
At the top, the ‘V’ mullions continue up as part of vertically projecting ‘screen walls’ at two opposite sides of each building forming a graceful transition to the sky. Behind these glazed screen walls are roof gardens with trees and shrubs that create a link between the top and the ground. The roof gardens form a passive amenity for passersby and an active amenity for the occupants. Horizontal roof screens provide shading for the roof gardens and, combined with the tall atrium of each tower that face toward the interior of the complex, visually connect the three buildings and create a symbolic image of the interconnection of the beacons of finance.
The design for the SIFC in Shanghai is based on the continued belief in constructional, rational, and technological determinants. This new architecture relies on engineering and its consequences on form, materials and expression in a more open and conscious way: less an attempt for “design or styling”, but more to strive for “performance” in construction and use. This interest in engineering and technology pushes conventional materials and systems to new limits.
The unique architectural planning concept used for the towers is that of split cores that divide the buildings into two slabs with column free lease spans between the façade and the cores. This allows spacious through-building lobbies which create both an openness and connection between each building. Standing in the Central Plaza, one can see through each building to the landscaped outer portions of the site and to the river to the south.
Similarly, above the lobbies at various levels of the three buildings, are multi-level through-building atriums. These continue the openness and connectivity between the buildings that was started at the lobbies. To connect the two sides of the buildings bridges and sky gardens dramatically traverse the atrium at each level. The through-building atriums like the similar lobbies bring natural light deep into the buildings. Below the Central Plaza are two concourse levels. The focus of the functions here is the centrally located Financial Theatre, the only major public space not located in the Bridge. This public space is surrounded by the Sunken Sculptural Garden at the B2 and B3 Levels which forms a spacious open yet secluded area around the theater.
The high performance facades proposed for the Shanghai International Financial Center combine advanced glazing materials with intelligent façade concepts that respond to solar orientation and employ natural ventilation, achieving a high level of occupant comfort and enjoyment, while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. The design process involves a close collaboration between the architect and key engineers and is based on concepts tailored to fit the Shanghai climate and the project site. The design strategies are thoughtfully analyzed using advanced engineering and computer modeling to yield highly efficient yet highly comfortable and natural interior environments. The resulting façade expression is integral with the building’s form and structure, and displays a visual logic that has a clear foundation in high performance engineering. The goal is to dramatically improve the quality and enjoyment of the work environment by maximizing views and daylight, while reducing energy consumption by minimizing direct solar gain.