Sky decks connect OMA’s Prince Plaza in China to skyscrapers, mountains and sea

In the dynamic context of Shenzhen, the mixed-use tower Prince Plaza uninterruptedly stands in the Shekou view corridor while offering the views of the natural landscape.

by STIRworld Published on : Aug 28, 2020

Prince Plaza - the OMA-designed mixed-use podium tower - has opened its doors to the citizens of Shenzhen, China. Placed in Shekou’s vibrant context of skyscrapers, outdoor spaces, mountains and the sea, the tower commands views that link the Nanshan mountains and the Shenzhen Bay. The tower actively unites Shekou’s latest commercial developments, its industrial past and its enduring natural landscape.

OMA Project Architect Bauke Albada mentions, “No other urban area in Shenzhen has such close proximity to both the mountains and the sea, with a view corridor and many open spaces. We fully utilised these features in our design of Prince Plaza”.  

  • Prince Plaza sensitively blends into its context | Prince Plaza by OMA | STIRworld
    Prince Plaza sensitively blends into its context Image: © Seth Powers, Courtesy of OMA
  • Massing strategy for the mixed-use structure | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Massing strategy for the mixed-use structure Image: Courtesy of OMA

The 200-meter mixed-use podium tower, located in Shekou’s Sea World district, takes full advantage of its location without blocking the view corridor. The form is conceived as a set of four bars attached to a central core. On one side, two of these bars are slightly set back to increase the perimeter of each floor plate and permit more natural light into the space.

  • The four bars of Prince Plaza give it a distinguished form | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    The four bars of Prince Plaza give it a distinguished form Image: © Seth Powers, Courtesy of OMA
  • Two of the bars are slightly set back to bring in more light | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Two of the bars are slightly set back to bring in more light Image: © Seth Powers, Courtesy of OMA

To blend with the architectural character of its surroundings, the otherwise monolithic building is interrupted by three sky decks, reflecting the differing scales of its neighbouring structures. These viewing decks allow both tenants and the public to appreciate a majestic view of the urban context. A prominent opening that resembles the facade of the sky decks is also created to allow the view corridor to pass through the building uninterrupted.

  • Sky decks serve as viewing decks for both the tenants and the public | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Sky decks interrupt the otherwise monolithic structure Image: © Seth Powers, Courtesy of OMA
  • Sky decks serve as viewing decks for both the tenants and the public | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Sky decks serve as viewing decks for both the tenants and the public Image: Courtesy of OMA

A fluted facade with extra-wide glass panels that envelops 60,000 square meter office space, visually connects the occupants with the mountains and the sea. Inspired by the hills and waves, a hexagon-patterned facade distinguishes the sky decks that contribute to the collection of public outdoor spaces in the district.

  • Site plan of the podium mall | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Site plan of the podium mall Image: Courtesy of OMA
  • Floor plans of the office spaces | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
    Floor plans of the office spaces Image: Courtesy of OMA

To maximise street-level retail frontage, a 40,000 square meter podium mall occupies the full length of the orthogonal site. The mall features a porous facade and a roof terrace that extend the existing commercial and recreational contributions of the Sea World district. Two underground metro lines are integrated into the basement of the mall, connecting Prince Plaza with the rest of Shenzhen.

Prince Plaza smoothly dominates the industrial fabric | Prince Plaza | OMA | STIRworld
Prince Plaza smoothly dominates the industrial fabric Image: © Seth Powers, Courtesy of OMA

Along with OMA, the project, initiated in 2014, was led by David Gianotten and Bauke Albada. The local design consultant was Huasen and the building facade was developed in collaboration with Arup.  

Project Details

Name: Prince Plaza
Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: CMSK (China Merchants Shekou Holdings)
Partner-in-Charge: David Gianotten
Project Architect: Bauke Albada
Site: 18,985 m2
GFA: 106,500 m2
Competition team:
Andreas Viglakis, Chee Yuen Choi, Lingxiu Chong, Luke Lu, Xu Yang, Yang Shi
with Max Bergman, Helen Chen, Tim Cheung, Vanessa Chik, Jocelyn Chiu, Ikki Kondo, Erick Kristanto, Charles Lai, Anthony Lam, Federico Letizia, Arthas Qian, Jue Qiu, Roberto Requejo, Ricky Suen
Design team:
Ka Tam, Saul Smeding, Vincent McIlduff, Wanyu He, Yin Ho, Yongwon Kwon, Xu Yang with Daan Ooievaar, Jedidiah Lau, Jenny Ni Zhan, Kathleen Cayetano, Luke Lu, Mavis Wong, Paul Feeney, Slobodan Radoman, Thorben Bazlen, Vincent Kersten,
Construction team:
Ka Tam, Saul Smeding, Xu Yang, Yongwon Kwon with Christina Kuo, Hafsa Siddique, Joanna Gu, Mark Kanters, Yutian He
Façade: ARUP
Jason Paget, Lian Hongbo, Max Wu, Nina You, Robert Wu, Simon Wu
Interior: Benoy
Arnold Kee, Chris Lohan, Elaine Tao, Kai Chung Ng, Kali Chan, Keith Chau, Peter McCaffery, Sandy Tsui

(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, intern at stirworld.com)

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