public void fosters interaction in has architecture's proposal for the north design union in china

public void fosters interaction in has architecture's proposal for the north design union in china

egyptian architect mohamed hassan elgendy, founder of has architecture, won the international design competition to design the new headquarters for north design union in tianjin, china. his proposal is a building that is adaptable, interactive, and accessible for everybody. by elevating a substantial part of the building’s program, and lowering the opposite end, the designer creates a public void that encourages interaction and connection within the community and also invites guests inside.




the designer intends the void to become an essential part of the project, creating an informal cultural plaza within the formal boundary of the building. it also provides a new sense of dynamic interaction between the city and the young workforce within the design community. the connecting ramps create multiple layers throughout the project, linking different levels, the exterior to the interior interior, and providing a pleasant outdoor circulation experience.




the site is nestled within the chentang business district, and is surrounded by two substantial natural forces – tianjin green urban park from the north and a planned urban landscape belt on the west. this creates a vast and attractive pedestrian destination that weaves through the district. the building is located at the crossroads between the two belts, thus the proposal aims to highlight the different areas. the park’s pathways gradually lead to the entry ramp that connects both parts of the project together. this integrates the void with the surrounding greenery, allowing more pedestrian flow inside the cultural plaza, which generates more interaction between people.




the building’s program is divided into four main levels, each hosting a different function. the floating floor above the ground level is the only volume visible from the city, making it a cultural landmark in the area. this level hosts exhibitions and educational programs with an extensive view of nature and the city.




the lower volume contains three levels of additional program. the first is exclusive for research, the second includes working spaces and the lowest is an open floor that opens to the cultural plaza. this level is an open and free space for people to interact, relax and exercising and its location is easily accessible to the public.




all of the project’s interior spaces are versatile and interconnected through a simple open plan. the human-oriented layout creates open and free environments that are adaptable to the future evolution of the union. the building can change along with the spread of information and ideas, interaction and behavior between designers and enhances the innovation of young talents. has architecture uses dynamic ramps to connect the interior spaces at different levels with each other, providing a direct link to the cultural plaza. this creates a special interactive experience between people working inside and the community outside the transparent glass facade.



project info:


designer: mohamed hassan elgendy – has architecture

competition: headquarters for north design union in tianjin, china



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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