shanghai baoye center by LYCS maximizes the quality of office space

shanghai baoye center by LYCS maximizes the quality of office space

LYCS’ ‘water + bridge’ — shanghai baoye center is part of the phase-2 urban development scheme for the new central business district in hongqiao, a rapidly developing piece of western shanghai, china. the location of the project puts it at the center of car, train, and jet transportation, granting the project a significant urban presence. the site has several challenging conditions, such as, being sandwiched by two city-designated temporary green spaces into a L-shape, with a 60% frontage ratio requirement to the east, west and south, and a 24m tall highway overpass running adjacent to its north face, the building must respond to a maximum FAR of 1.60 and a height of 24m.

main entrance view



in dealing with these conditions, chinese based practice LYCS architecture discovered many breakthroughs within the design process. these attempts mainly are:

1. the breakthrough in site limitations

2. the breakthrough in the rule of ‘maximum office space availability’

3. the breakthrough in the standardized elevation design

south view



the L-shaped site has been filled in to its maximum extents as a perimeter block, then lofted up 4 stories to the building height limit while satisfying the desired program area of 13,000 m2. the perimeter is then pushed and manipulated to create three exterior-facing spaces and three distinct interior courtyards, defining the spatial structure of the project. the three main office volumes, designated A, B, and C, can function independently or in combination. the three pieces are linked by suspended bridges on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. which generate hinged internal courtyards, to satisfy the internal circulation.

east entrance



the enclosing corridors also attract people into the central courtyard and then lead people entering three office buildings. the lift operation creates a depressive space, which creates a spatial sequence as open-depress-open again when people walking from outside via three lifted corridor into the center courtyard. this sequence will indicate people of a sense of entering and creating richer spatial experience in the limited site. in this way, form, circulation and the spatial sequence are highly unified.

courtyard view



the result of these operations, which bring the balance between massing and spatial sequence, between program and promenade experience, is an innovation to the rule of ‘maximum office space availability’. how to maximize the area of office space is the major principle of office design. here we are challenging this by proposing a new idea of ‘maximizing the quality of office space’, which is organizing outdoor landscape and green space integrated with indoor space, bringing more natural light and ventilation, and enhancing the user’s spatial experience, to create a creative working environment.

central courtyard



besides, the elevation design is a breakthrough to the standardized uniformed elevation of contemporary office building. under the ‘maximum office space availability’, office buildings nowadays are always stacked by standardized plan and elevation.

sunken courtyard


main entrance view


twilight view

northwest view

southwest view

under construction



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: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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