a new video has been released documenting a major project in shanghai completed by foster + partners and heatherwick studio. the bund finance centre is a mixed-use development that occupies a prominent site on the bund, a waterfront area that runs along the western bank of the huangpu river. the 420,000 square meter masterplan, which was first unveiled in 2013, has been designed to be highly permeable for pedestrians, and has been conceived as a point of connection between the old town and the new financial district.

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the mixed-use development that occupies a prominent site on the bund
image courtesy of foster + partners and heatherwick studio / video courtesy of proudfoot

 

 

a new video by production company proudfoot documents the project, and features insight from thomas heatherwick and gerard evenden of foster + partners. the masterplan includes two 180 meter-tall towers at the south of the site, while the buildings facing the waterfront are staggered in height. the smaller structures relate in scale and rhythm to the 19th century landmarks along the bund. meanwhile, at the heart of the site, the fosun foundation combines exhibition and event halls with a performance venue.

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the masterplan includes two 180 meter-tall towers
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

the eight buildings, all arranged around a landscaped public plaza, contain premium offices alongside a hotel and the cultural center. in addition, luxury retail outlets comprise boutiques, concept stores for international brands, a shopping mall, and restaurants. the edges of each volume are made of richly textured, hand-crafted granite, with a palette of crafted stone and bronze details giving the buildings a jewel-like quality.

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the fosun foundation combines exhibition and event halls with a performance venue
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

the cultural center, perhaps the site’s most eye-catching structure, is encircled by a moving veil that both adapts to the changing use of the building and reveals the stage on the balcony. developed in collaboration with local engineers from tongji university, the façade is a veil organized along three tracks and made up of layers of 675 individual magnesium alloy ‘tassels’ that range in length from 2 meters to 16 meters. as each track independently moves, the veil rotates with the tassels overlapping and producing different visual effects and levels of opacity.

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the entire building is encircled by a moving veil
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

‘the opportunity to make something new in this prominent location that had formerly been the river gateway to shanghai’s old town was extraordinary,’ says thomas heatherwick. ‘with a project that would create 420,000 square metres of space, we felt a great duty to look for fresh ways to connect with china’s amazing built heritage and make a meaningful public place for thousands of people to work and come together.

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the venue is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

‘influenced by the materiality and scale of the existing historic buildings along the bund we have built a series of simple office, shopping and cultural buildings that combine high performance glazing systems with hand carved stone building frames,’ heatherwick continues. ‘these structures in turn surround new public spaces and speak to the heritage of the historical bund buildings.’

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the platform on the ground floor can be used for performances, product launches, and brand events
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

‘the bund finance centre creates a pivotal connection between the old town and the new financial district,’ adds gerard evenden, head of studio and senior executive partner, foster + partners. ‘developing the massing strategy for the buildings was an interesting challenge, in terms of relating to the context of old and new architecture, reflecting the scale of the waterfront and the character of the historic quarters.’

foster partners heatherwick studio bund finance centre
the façade can adapt to the changing uses of the building
image by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

‘the cultural centre is an optimum blend of craft and technology,’ explains evenden. ‘it is inspired by traditional chinese weaving, while incorporating the latest cutting-edge technology that helps withstand earthquakes, typhoons and severe weather. its unique form provides a memorable and extraordinary experience for visitors, while the illuminated stage and the motion of the moving veil creates a unique backdrop to the theater of city life.’

 

 

a timelapse video of the fosun foundation
video by laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

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