foster partners bund finance centre
foster + partners has teamed up with heatherwick studio to design a new mixed-use destination in shanghai. the 420,000 square meter development of eight buildings includes two 180 meter landmark towers, and combines premium ‘grade A’ offices with a boutique hotel, an arts and cultural center and a wide variety of luxury retail spaces, all arranged around a generous landscaped public plaza.


sitting at the gateway to shanghai’s old town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years. in filling this last empty site on shanghai’s famous bund, the concept is inspired by china’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with china’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage.‘ – thomas heatherwick of heatherwick studio.

foster partners bund finance centre
the scheme occupies a prominent site on the bund
image © foster + partners (also main image)



occupying a prominent site on the bund, the buildings define the ‘end point’ to shanghai’s most famous street. the masterplan is highly permeable for pedestrians, with the design conceived as a point of connection between the old town, the bund and the new financial district. inspired by this urban context, two landmark towers are placed in the south of the site, while the buildings facing the waterfront are staggered in height and relate in scale and rhythm to the grand nineteenth-century landmarks along the bund.

foster partners bund finance centre
construction work is now underway
image © foster + partners



at the heart of the scheme is a flexible arts and cultural center, which combines exhibition and events halls with a performance venue, inspired by the open stages of traditional chinese theaters. the center is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange, as well as a place for brand events, product launches and corporate functions. the building is encircled by a moving veil, which adapts to the changing use of the building and reveals the stage on the balcony and views towards pudong.