serie architects: wuxi civic centre all images courtesy serie architects




london- and mumbai-based architecture practice serie (christopher lee, kapil gupta) has won first prize in the design competition for the wuxi xishan civic centre in china. beating out other international shortlisted teams which included nihonsekkei and GMP architekten, the proposal comprises two towers which will house all the regional governmental functions, a 30,000 m2 cultural centre, an office district, and 25,000 m2 of auxiliary buildings.

situated on a 270,000 m2 site west of shanghai, the design pivots around a large open plaza which seeks to serve as the focal point of public life and expression within the civic centre. the forum hold visual gravity in the symmetry of the layout, featuring a strong axial relationship to the main entrance and the 80,000 m2 towers. the facade of the buildings at street level delineates a long arc that transfers to the top of the structures in a subtle curve. a regular masonry grid defines the surfaces while also providing a louver effect, cutting solar gain on the glazing to reduce heating and cooling costs.

the main civic centre auxiliary building and cultural centre feature a grand colonnade facade which references the historical form in spaces of political activity, discussions, and exchange. connecting the different freestanding buildings together is a common plinth which leads from a grand walkway that runs along the main axis. generous groves of trees flank the plaza on both sides, providing a shaded green space that help establish the larger symmetry of the plan.

serie architects: wuxi civic centre general perspective

serie architects: wuxi civic centre view from plaza