by Zohra KhanJan 17, 2020
MVRDV reveals winning design of Shimao Shenkong International Centre as a multi-level urban living room in Universiade New Town of Shenzhen’s Longgang district. The project titled Shenzhen Terraces is designed by the Dutch firm in collaboration with Rotterdam and Milan-based landscape designers, Openfabric. It is located within the thriving university area, and at a meeting point surrounding various important facilities of the neighbourhood.
A series of stacked plateaus merging with the existing landscape of the site foregrounds the conceptual intent of the project. Comprising 25-acre of the area, the centre presents itself as a new public space for the region, offering a seamless integration of landscape, leisure, commerce and cultural spaces. The design brings forth 20 programmes, which include a small gallery, a library, and an outdoor theatre.
The floating horizontal curves of the terraces create a beautiful contrast with the vertical strokes of the surrounding high-rise development.
An organic path traversing the second floor of every building creates a continuous route. MVRDV believes that these connections will help knit the project into its context, making it one with the city and offering access to all.
The edges of the terraces dip to the floor level at certain points to form connections between the various storeys. These edges also double up as small outdoor auditoriums for people to sit together and enjoy views of the landscaped outdoors. In some places, the façade is pushed inwards to reveal entrances to the centre, which are designed as recognisable places to help visitors orient themselves within the centre.
The largest building in the proposal consists of a bus terminal, a conference centre, and an entrepreneurship centre among other mix-use facilities. The building wraps around a large open-air atrium at its centre.
Sustainability is a key aspect in the design. The organic forms of the buildings are carved in recycled concrete. Shaded terraces host planting beds and water features that reduce local temperature, whereas large overhangs cut direct sunlight and create pockets of tranquil spaces.
“Shenzhen has developed so quickly since its origins in the 1970s. In cities like this, it is essential to carefully consider how public spaces and natural landscape can be integrated into the densifying cityscape,” says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas.
“The urban living room of the Shimao ShenKong International Centre will be a wonderful example of this, and could become a model for the creation of key public spaces in New Town developments throughout Shenzhen. It aims to make an area that you want be outside, hang out and meet, even when it is hot – a literally cool space for the university,” he adds.
The landscape design by Openfabric studio reveals a pedestrian friendly outdoor. Pebble-shaped terraces are populated by organic patches of greenery that imitate sub-tropical forests of the region. These green zones turn into green lawns on the rooftops, giving visitors access the ladscape. Grassy hills, palm tree-filled plazas, reflective pools, and activity zones for outdoor games define other landscape features.
With a cohesive arrangement of mix-used spaces, MVRDV’s vision of the Shenzhen Terraces aims to bring vitality and innovation to the context. The proposal by the Rotterdam-based firm was designed for Chinese real estate company Shimao Group and is selected from 27 entries by international design firms.