steven holl: horizontal skyscraper is now complete steven holl: horizontal skyscraper is now complete
dec 02, 2009

steven holl: horizontal skyscraper is now complete

the building under construction image courtesy of iwan baan

steven holl architects with partner li hu recently completed construction on their horizontal skyscraper – vanke center located in shenzhen, china. situated over a tropical garden, the horizontal skyscraper spans as long as the empire state building is long.

the building looks as if it were once floating on a higher sea which has now subsided. the large structure floats under its 35-meter height limit propped up on eight legs. being suspended on eight-cores, as far as 50 meters apart, the its structure is a combination of cable-stay bridge technology merged with high-strength concrete frame – a first for a structure of its type, with tension cables carrying a record load of 3280 tons.

the decision to develop one large hovering structure instead of several smaller floating ones, was to create views over the lower developments of surrounding sites to the south china sea and to generate the largest green space possibly, open to the public on the ground level. the underside of the skyscraper becomes the main elevation from which sunken glass cubes or ‘shenzhen windows’ offer 360-degree views over a lush tropical landscape. the hybrid building includes apartments, a hotel and offices for the headquarters for vanke real estate co. ltd. a conference center, spa and parking lot are located under large green, tropical landscape, characterized by mounds which contain restaurants and a 500-seat auditorium. there is also a public path which covers the entire length of the building, connecting the hotel, apartment zones to the office quarters together.

as a tropical strategy, the building and landscape integrate several new sustainable aspects including a microclimate created by cooling ponds fed by a grey water system. a green roof with solar panels has been incorporated into the design and uses local materials such as bamboo. a glass façade protects against sun and wind via perforated lovers. the building is tsunami proof hovering piece of architecture that creates a porous micro-climate of public open landscape. it is the first LEED platinum rated building in southern china.

image courtesy of iwan baan

image courtesy of iwan baan

a microclimate is created through cooling ponds fed by grey water image courtesy of steven holl architects

stairways up from the ground level into the skyscraper image courtesy of steven holl architects image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

image courtesy of steven holl architects

perforated aluminum louvers image courtesy of steven holl architects

model image courtesy of steven holl architects model image courtesy of steven holl architects

model image courtesy of steven holl architects

model image courtesy of steven holl architects model image courtesy of steven holl architects model image courtesy of steven holl architects aerial view – model image courtesy of steven holl architects structural breakdown image courtesy of steven holl architects

horizontal skyscraper is as long as the empire state building is high image courtesy of steven holl architects

a diagram indicating the views from the ‘shenzhen windows’ image courtesy of steven holl architects

  • perfectiveness! stop the verticality.
    Great!

    oda gualtieri says:
  • shouldn’t the hotel be in the middle so it’s a shared public space

    gh says:
  • lazar el lisitzky’s idea, but nice realisation

    pedja says:
  • a public hotel? i think not. layout is great. views are great; nice site. wonderful final product!

    CROFTdesign says:
  • wow very mechanical like it

    arch fady says:
  • We couldn’t agree with a friend, if the fist three construction images are model or real?
    we are looking forward to see your answer.

    beste says:
  • real images

    steven says:
  • thank you very much. 🙂

    beste says:
  • Nice concept but I am not sure that the vast open plazas below feel very inhabitable.

    ecAr says:

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