Steven Holl Architects - Horizontal Skyscraper / Vanke Center in Shenzhen, China Print
Monday, 24 January 2011 00:00

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© Shu He
Hovering over a tropical garden, this ‘horizontal skyscraper’ – as long as the Empire State Building is tall - is a hybrid building including apartments, a hotel, and offices for the headquarters for China Vanke Co. ltd. A conference center, spa and parking are located under the large green, tropical landscape, which is characterized by mounds containing restaurants and a 500-seat auditorium.

The building appears as if it were once floating on a higher sea that has now subsided; leaving the structure propped up high on eight legs. The decision to float one large structure right under the 35-meter height limit, instead of several smaller structures each catering to a specific program, generates the largest possible green space open to the public on the ground level.

Suspended on eight cores, as far as 50 meters apart, the building’s structure is a combination of cable-stay bridge technology merged with a high-strength concrete frame. The first structure of its type, it has tension cables carrying a record load of 3280 tons.

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03_20_06_Shenzhen_China2
max.-views-_landscapemaximize-landscape2The underside of the floating structure becomes its main elevation – the sixth elevation - from which ‘Shenzhen Windows, offer 360-degree views over the lush tropical landscape below. A public path beginning at the "dragon's head" will connect through the hotel and the apartment zones up to the office wings.
PATH-DIAGRAM
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© Steven Holl Architects
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© Steven Holl Architects
As a tropical strategy, the building and the landscape integrate several new sustainable aspects. A micro-climate is created by cooling ponds fed by a greywater system. The building has a green roof with solar panels and uses local materials such as bamboo. The glass façade of the building will be protected against the sun and wind by porous louvers. The building is a Tsunami-proof hovering architecture that creates a porous microclimate of public open landscape. It is one of the first LEED platinum rated buildings in Southern China.
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© Steven Holl Architects

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© Steven Holl Architects
The Vanke Center will be the first, highest rated USGBC, LEED Platinum Certified Project in China.

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Renewable Materials (Vanke HQ wing)

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© Steven Holl Architects
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© Steven Holl Architects

Bamboo – This highly renewable material, which is easily available in China, is used for doors, floors, and furniture throughout the Vanke Headquarters instead of using raw materials or exotic woods.

Green Carpet – InterfaceFLOR Carpet tiles are used throughout the open office area. This carpet is a cradle-tocradle product, meaning that it is not only produced from recycled materials, but that the manufacturer agrees to collect any damaged carpet and to recycle it into other carpet or products. This carpet contains a GlasBac® REbacking that has an average of 55% total recycled content with a minimum of 18% post-consumer recycled content. It uses recycled vinyl backing from reclaimed carpet tiles and manufacturing waste.

Non-toxic Paint - All paint finishes, as well as the millwork and adhesives are to be low or free of V.O.C (Volatile Organic Compounds) - like phenols and formaldehyde - which can cause various health and environmental problems.

Greenscreen shading – The Vanke Headquarters uses Greenscreen solar shading fabrics from Nysan - a PVC free product that contains no V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compounds). Not only does the product not “off-gas” during its lifetime, but also it is also easier and quicker to recycle and divert to landfills.

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© Steven Holl Architects

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© Steven Holl Architects

Sustainable Site

The building is sited on reclaimed/stabilized land that forms part of the municipal storm water management system. The lagoon functions as bio-swale/retention pond connected to several adjacent creaks. Part of the landscape architecture water edge proposal designed by Steven Holl Architects is the redesign the municipal hardscape bulkhead into a soft-edge planted estuary. As a restorative ecology, the Vanke center landscape works to maintain native ecosystems minimize run-off, erosion and environmental damage associated with conventional modes of development.

The project is both a building and a landscape, a delicate intertwining of sophisticated engineering and the natural environment. By raising the building off of the ground plane, an open, publicly accessible park creates new social space in an otherwise closed and privatized community.

The site area is approximately 60000 square meter: of which 45000 square meter is planted. With the addition of the planted roof area of the main building (approximately 15000 square meter) - the total planted area of the project is roughly equal to the site before development.

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© Steven Holl Architects

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© Steven Holl Architects


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Stormwater Management/Heat Island Effect

A large portion of the ground plane forms the roof on top of the program spaces above and below grade. In order for these landscaped roof areas to absorb large quantities of rainfall in the same way that natural soil would; sunken gardens, courtyards, ponds and planted mounds create a circulatory system to regulate and redistribute storm water throughout the site.

In addition to the planted areas, several types of permeable pavement; local river stones, crushed gravels, open joint stone pavers, grasscrete and compressed sand pavers are being used. These will retain a lot of rainfall before secondary gutters redirect overflow into a series of ponds and wetlands that are planted with marsh grasses and lotus. These systems function collectively as a bio-swale that filters, aerates and irrigates the landscape. No potable or municipal water will be used for maintenance or irrigation.
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© Steven Holl

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© Shu He

Regional Connectivity

Two public transportation stops (bus) are located within 500 meter of the site. Separate areas for bicycle storage, and electric vehicle parking/charging stations have been provided. Throughout the project, all waste is collected and sorted into recyclables. Currently we are considering to compost organic compounds to be used as fertilizer for the landscape.

Water Efficiency:

To conserve potable water use; low-flow, high efficiency plumbing fixtures have been specified throughout the
project. Greywater is recycled through dual-flush toilets. Waterless urinals have also been specified.

Energy Efficiency

Each face of the 26 faces of the building has been calculated based on solar heat gain throughout the year and its louvers are fine-tuned to the orientation of the sun. Some louvers are fixed horizontally, some have apertures of differing size, and some are dynamically controlled by sensors, opening and closing according to the sun. The full height glass curtain wall brings daylight deep into all interiors spaces, and the latest high-performance glass coatings (double silver Low-E) are used throughout the project. These coatings have several advantages over conventional coatings because they have higher visible light transmittance which ensures better natural lighting and extremely low solar heat transmittance. This saves energy by reducing cooling loads. Ninety percent of interior spaces have direct views to the exterior.
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© Shu He
facade
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© Shu He

In addition to the high-performance coatings, a secondary layer of perforated aluminum louvers is hung from the glass to create a double skinned façade. The interstitial cavity created by these two layers creates a convective stack-effect, drawing cool air in through the underside of the building and hot air out at the top of the structure near the roof. The perforated louvers provide extensive primary sun protection in closed condition. They reduce up to 70% of solar heat gain at its peak load, yet still provide 15% of light transmittance through the perforations. Given the intensity of the tropical sunlight, field measurements have calculated that this 15% light transmittance in closed mode is sufficient natural lighting to perform routine office functions without the need for secondary artificial lighting in most (75%) of spaces.

In the office portion of the project the operation of the exterior louvers, interior shades, air conditioning and lighting systems are coordinated by a series of interior and exterior sensors which balance ambient light levels, solar heat gain and ambient temperatures for maximum energy efficiency. There are individual controls for lighting and shade operation in most offices. Individual task/spot lights are provided for off hour, additional use. indoor environmental quality

The shallow floor plate of the upper building is organized in a branching pattern lifted high off the ground to allow for unimpeded views to the ocean, mountains and surrounding landscape. Prevailing ocean (day) and mountain (evening) breezes circulate underneath and through the building. Exceptionally large operable windows of two meters wide provide natural ventilation and generous cross breezes for the interiors during the cooler months of the year.
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© Shu He





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From November to March the outdoor conditions in Shenzhen are calm and window ventilation can take over the role of the mechanical ventilation in most of the building (and in the condominium part completely). It is estimated that during this season mechanical ventilation systems can be switched off for at least 60% of the time. This will reduce electric energy consumption annually by 5 kWh per square meter. Sky gardens, sunken courtyards, balconies at the ends of each floor, and terraces throughout the building create micro-climates that bring the landscape further indoors and create passively cooled tertiary zones.

In addition to natural ventilation, filtered outside air (MERV-13) is added to all the mechanical systems prior to conditioning and interior-CO2 levels are constantly monitored to control the fresh air exchange rate. A heatrecovery unit exchanges the conditioned exhausted air temperature with the incoming fresh air, and prevents any cooling energy from being lost.
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© Steven Holl




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© Shu He





Renewable energy/green power


1400 square meter of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the building provide 12.5% of the total electric energy demand for Vanke Headquarters.

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© Steven Holl Architects
Project Facts:


Program: Mixed-use building including hotel, offices, serviced apartments, and public park
Building area (square) 1296459sf/120445sm
Landscape area (square) 559723sf/52000sm
Public green space (square) 509004sf/47288sm
Size conference center (square) 89254sf/8292sm
Size condominiums (square) 276676sf/25704sm
Size hotel (square) 119619sf/11113sm
Size soho offices (square) 146292sf/13591sm
Size vanke headquarters 149338sf/13874sm

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© Steven Holl Architects

Project Credits:

Client: Shenzhen Vanke Real Estate Co.

Architecture:
Steven Holl Architects - Steven Holl, Li Hu (design architect)
Li Hu (partner in charge) Yimei Chan, Gong Dong (project manager)
Garrick Ambrose (project architect - SD/DD) Maren Koehler, Jay Siebenmorgen (project architect - DD) Christopher Brokaw, Rodolfo Dias (project architect - CD) Eric Li (assistant project architect)
Jason Anderson, Guanlan Cao, Clemence Eliard, Forrest Fulton, Nick Gelpi, M. Emran Hossain, Kelvin Jia, Seung Hyun Kang, JongSeo Lee, Wan-Jen Lin, Richard Liu, Jackie Luk, Chris McVoy, Enrique Moya-Angeler, Roberto Requejo, Michael Rusch, Jiangtao Shen, Filipe Taboada, Manta Weihermann (project team)
Steven Holl, Li Hu, Gong Dong, Justin Allen, Garrick Ambrose, Johnna Brazier, Kefei Cai, Yenling Chen, Hideki Hirahara, Eric Li, Filipe Taboada (project team, competition phase)

Associate architects: CCDI
Climate engineers: Transsolar
Structural engineer (sd/dd): CABR
Structural engineer (cd/ca): CCDI
Mechanical engineer: CCDI
Landscape architect: Steven Holl Architects, CCDI
Curtain wall consultant: Shenyang Yuanda Aluminum Industry Engineering Co., Ltd.
Lighting consultant: L'Observatoire International


Diagrams, Plans, and more photographs



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© Shu He
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Last Updated on Monday, 24 January 2011 08:28