ZHA to energise Shenzhen skyline with column-free twin skyscrapers Tower C

Zaha Hadid Architects wins competition to build Tower C at Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base, imagined as two towers linked at the base by layered green terraces.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jan 15, 2021

Designed for the upcoming and growing business and financial centre in Shenzhen, China, called Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base, Tower C is envisioned as a set of twin skyscrapers with stepped glazing and green terraces, that will reach a height of 400 m. Zaha Hadid Architects won the competition to design and build the multi-dimensional vertical city of two towers that will include column-free, naturally and well illuminated spaces for offices, shopping, entertainment, dining as well as a hotel, convention centre and cultural facilities with exhibition galleries.

ZHA imagines Tower C as column-less skyscrapers with smart façades and green terraces | Tower C by Zaha Hadid Architects within the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base | STIRworld
ZHA imagines Tower C as column-less skyscrapers with smart façades and green terraces Image: Brick Visual, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The integrated global technology centre also aims to serve the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, encompassing various corporate headquarters and accommodating more than 3,00,000 employees daily. Besides Tower C, the mixed-use headquarters base will include venues for hosting international exhibitions, conferences, cultural and art programmes along with residential developments, a transportation centre, botanical grasslands, and coastal zone with wetlands.

“Tower C within the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base responds to its location at the intersection of the city’s planned north-south green axis and Shenzhen’s east-west urban corridor. Connecting directly with its adjacent park and plazas, which transform into a terraced landscape extending upwards within its two towers, the design invites the public into the heart of the building where cultural and leisure attractions are housed in sweeping bridges that tie the towers together and give panoramic views of the city,” shares the winning design team.

The stepped terraces at the base host aquaponic gardens and will become a civic plaza | Tower C by Zaha Hadid Architects within the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base | STIRworld
The stepped terraces at the base host aquaponic gardens and will become a civic plaza Image: Brick Visual, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

A layered podium at the base will connect the towers, and extend into the park nearby, becoming a fresh public space for the city. This podium is composed of undulating terraced levels that host aquaponics gardens, which will naturally filter out contaminants. To curtail indoor pollutants, low-volatile organic compounds will be installed. The design scheme will be built with recycled materials that have reduced amounts of carbon, and will also comprise extensive bicycle parking and charging facilities. In true ZHA style, Tower C is informed by 3D modelling tools that they have developed to optimise efficiencies in architectural massing, orientation and facade-to-floor ratios.

Zaha Hadid Architects also plan for Tower C to be served by the expanding Shenzhen Metro network. Civic plazas have been planned at the tower’s lower levels, which will connect with the park, providing direct pedestrian access and daylight to the public transport interchange underground.

Tower C is connected at the base by a multi-layered terraced podium | Tower C by Zaha Hadid Architects within the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base | STIRworld
Tower C is connected at the base by a multi-layered terraced podium Image: Brick Visual, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The façade is a double-insulated, unitised glass curtain wall with a smoothened, ribbed finish that incorporates vertical channels of self-shading along with ventilating registers within these channels that will bring in outside air. This ensures a mix of natural and hybrid ventilation with effectual environmental control for every level within the building.

The skyscrapers will also be linked to the district’s larger smart management system that will monitor its external, internal and indoor environmental controls constantly. It will also “adjust in real time to reduce energy consumption with high-efficiency equipment and chiller plant optimisation within the district’s central networks,” ZHA adds. The tower design will also have solar panels installed to harvest energy along with water collection and recycling systems.

The 400m tall twin towers integrate the city and nature | Tower C by Zaha Hadid Architects within the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base | STIRworld
The 400m tall twin towers integrate the city and nature Image: Brick Visual, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

“The design of Tower C integrates the city and nature within its central green axis with the transit orientated development (TOD) of Shenzhen’s new spine, creating a ‘superscape’ that will become a tower of the future within the Super Headquarters Base,” mentions the studio.

Project Details

Name: Tower C at Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base
Location: Shenzhen, China, and the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Principal: Patrik Schumacher
Competition Project Directors: Satoshi Ohashi, Paulo Flores
Competition Project Associates: Jingwen Yang, Karoly Markos, Michail Desyllas
Competition Project Leader: Xuexin Duan
Competition Team: Xiaoyu Zhang, Lida Zhang, Bogdan Zaha, Gaoqi Lou, Huiyuan Li, Jiaxing Lu, Leyuan Jiang, Mariana Custodio dos Santos, Martin Gsandtner, Nastasja Mitrovic, Rui Zhao, Sebastian Andia, Xiangfan Chen, Yuan Feng, Zhiming Wang, Boyan Hristov, John Kanakas, Enoch Kolo, Karina Linsen

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