MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen

Women & Children’s Center opens in shenzhen 

 

MVRDV transforms an old mixed-use tower into a vibrant and colorful skyscraper, now hosting the Shenzhen Women & Children’s Center. A hotel and a wide range of facilities for the welfare of women and children occupy the new spaces: namely a library, an auditorium, a children’s theater and ‘discovery hall’, as well as therapy rooms and offices for staff. With its colorful facade, the building is a refreshing presence in Shenzhen’s Futian district; more importantly, at 100 meters tall, the building sets an important precedent for repurposing buildings in a city that is soon to see a ‘great wave of adaptive reuse.’

 

Initially completed in 1994, the tower forms part of Shenzhen’s first period of explosive growth. The rushed approach to its original design was immediately apparent: due to persistent fire safety concerns, the commercial units in the plinth were closed until 2002, and the tower remained empty indefinitely. With the changing needs of the building’s users, it fell short of environmental requirements, and by 2019, it was clear that the building was no longer fit for purpose. Owing to China’s commitment to achieving a carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, the building was selected as one of 24 model examples of revitalization by the National Development and Reform Commission.

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
all images © Xia Zhi

 

 

mvrdv creates a grid of multicolored exterior frames

 

To rectify the building’s problems, the MVRDV team adopted a comprehensive transformation that would allow the building’s structure to be reused – a far more sustainable approach than demolishing and rebuilding. The most visible element of this transformation is the new facade: a grid of multicolored exterior frames increases the depth of the facade to a full meter. These frames provide extra shading to reduce thermal heat gain and incorporate openable panels on the inside that allow for natural ventilation – thus increasing occupants’ comfort and reducing the building’s reliance on air conditioning.

 

The design also transforms multiple elements of the building. The tower crown covers a large accessible terrace offering a 360-degree panorama of the neighborhood below. The courtyard, originally used for car parking, has been converted into a public space with a food court. The entrance to the city’s metro, which previously cluttered the outdoor pavement, has been moved inside the Shenzhen Women & Children’s Center to better connect it to public transit networks and reinforce the transition from car dependence. While the building was extensively transformed, about 24,000 cubic meters of concrete from the original structure was saved and reused, resulting in a carbon-saving equivalent to 11,800 flights from Amsterdam to Shenzhen. MVRDV further injected small additions to the system, filling in some of the original design’s awkward geometry to create simple, efficient floorplans.

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
multicolored grid frames front the facade

 

 

Yellow, orange, pink, and green tones enliven the facade, helping communicate the building’s layout. The multicolored plinth advertises its function as a service center for mothers and their children; on the tower, which hosts the hotel, these tones give way to a more neutral white. On the ground floor, the four primary entrances to the complex are each highlighted by a concentration of a different color, making the building easy to navigate and welcoming to visitors. This vibrant and communicative approach continues into the main lobby. Here, a nine ‘rooms’ structure hosts diverse functions that together form a playground-like space for children to enhance their enjoyment during a visit.

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
the uplifted tower forms part of Shenzhen’s first period of explosive growth

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
frames increase the depth of the facade to a full meter

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
the building is a refreshing presence in Shenzhen’s Futian district

mvrdv-shenzhen-women-children-center-designboom-full-1

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
a wide range of facilities occupy the center

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
orange and pink hues vivify the interiors

mvrdv-shenzhen-women-children-center-designboom-full-9

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
four entrances are each highlighted by a concentration of a different color

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
the project is part of a ‘great wave of adaptive reuse’

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into multicolored women & children's center in shenzhen
aerial view

mvrdv-shenzhen-women-children-center-designboom-full-6

 

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project info:

 

name: Shenzhen Women & Children’s Center 

location: Shenzhen, China 

architecture: MVRDV @mvrdv

founding partner in charge: Jacob van Rijs

partner: Wenchian Shi

director MVRDV Asia: Steven SmitPeter Chang

project leader (Rotterdam): Lorenzo Mattozzi
project leader (Shanghai): Luca Xu
concept design: Lorenzo Mattozzi, Marco Gazzola, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Daehee Suk, Chi Zhang, Siyi Pan, Bertrand Tan, Albert Parfonov, Andrius Ribikauskas, Enrica Perrot, Martina Franco, Peter Chang, Luca Xu
schematic design: Lorenzo Mattozzi, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Daehee Suk, Fredy Fortich, Chi Zhang,
Bertrand Tan, Jiameng Li, Agnieszka Dabek, Paula Vargas Torres, Elisa Paneni, Peter Chang,
Luca Xu, Yang Hong, Leo Zhang, Cai Huang
detail design: Lorenzo Mattozzi, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Daehee Suk, Fredy Fortich, Chi Zhang,
Bertrand Tan, Jiameng Li, Paula Vargas Torres, Luca Xu, Yang Hong, Echo Zhai, Ruochen Zhang
interior & landscape design: Lorenzo Mattozzi, Fokke Moerel, Pim Bangert, Giovanni Nardi,
Daehee Suk, Jiameng Li, Bertrand Tan, Paula Vargas Torres, Luca Xu
working documents revision: Lorenzo Mattozzi, Luca Xu, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Daehee Suk,
Jiameng Li, Fredy Fortich, Yihong Chen, Peilu Chen, Xiaoliang Yu
aesthetic supervision: Lorenzo Mattozz, Luca Xu, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Bertrand Tan,
Jiameng Li, Americo Iannazzone, Yihong Chen, Kefei Yan, Edvan Ardianto Muliana
MVRDV NEXT: Boudewijn Thomas, Yayun Liu, Changqinq Ye
visuals: Antonio Coco, Angelo La Delfa, Pavlos Ventouris, Francesco Vitale,
Luana La Martina, Jaroslaw Jeda, Emanuele Fortunati
lead project coordinator: Jammy Zhu

co-architect, landscape, MEP: SZAD

co-project coordinator: Shenzhen Women & Children’s Building Operation and Management
facade consultant: KGE (King Glass Engineering)
structural engineering: Yuanlizhu Engineering Consultants
lighting consultant: BPI (Brandston Partnership Inc.)
cost calculation: Jinxia Property Cost Consultation Co. Ltd.
interior architect: Jiang & Associates

photographer: Xia Zhi@xiazhi_photogtapher

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