steven holl: sliced porosity block tops out steven holl: sliced porosity block tops out
sep 22, 2011

steven holl: sliced porosity block tops out

‘sliced porosity block’ by steven holl architects, chengdu, china all images © steven holl architects

new york and beijing-based practice steven holl architects have recently celebrated the topping out milestone at the construction site of the ‘sliced porosity block’, a residential development in chengdu, china. at a height of 123 meters, the five towers are positioned at the intersection of the first ring road and ren min nan road. geometries derived from a study of sun angles generated the strategically placed chasms between the separated structures, maintaining natural daylight to the established surrounding buildings. the voids between the facades announce five porous entrances which guide visitors to the elevated ‘three valley’ plaza, a central vegetated terrace carved by a series of stone steps, ramps and water features.

derived from a poem written by the ancient chinese poet du fu, three focal ponds serve as skylights to introduce light to the six-story shopping center located underground. the reservoirs will harvest rainwater while the presence of natural grasses and lily pads naturally cool the area. sustainable methods including geothermal heating and cooling, high performance glazing, sourcing of regional materials and energy efficient equipment combine to attain a LEED gold rating. final completion of the complex is scheduled for late 2012.

see designboom’s original coverage of this project here.

view of towers across plaza

‘with great enthusiasm we celebrate the topping out of our sliced porosity block, which will be a wonderful contribution to the metropolis of chengdu. the new public space framed by these skyscrapers is environmentally state of the art, with a poetic form shaped by sunlight. the skyline of chengdu will have a new brilliant presence that marks the offering of a place of gathering and joy. with deepest thanks we also celebrate all those whose work on this project brings it into reality.’ – steven holl, architect

(left) central plaza (right) terrace overlooking plaza

(left) void between towers (right) view of pedestrian bridge from terrace


bridge from below

(left) switchback stairs leading to the central ‘three valley’ plaza (right) another entrance from street leading to elevated plaza

(left) aerial view of switchback stairs and connecting bridge (right) aerial view of linear stairs and bridge


project info:

program: five towers with offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants building area (square): 3,336,812 status: construction phase

client: capitaland development architect: steven holl architects; steven holl, li hu (design architect); roberto bannura (associate in charge); lan wu (project architect, beijing); haiko cornelissen, peter englaender, jongseo lee (project architect, new york) christiane deptolla, inge goudsmit, jackie luk, maki matsubayashi, sarah nichols, manta weihermann, martin zimmerli (project designer), justin allen, jason anderson, francesco bartolozzi, guanlan cao, yimei chan, sofie holm christensen, esin erez, ayat fadaifard, mingcheng fu, forrest fulton, runar halldorsson, m. emran hossain, joseph kan, suping li, tz-li lin, yan liu, daijiro nakayama, pietro peyron, roberto requejo, elena rojas-danielsen, michael rusch, ida sze, filipe taboada, ebbie wisecarver, human tieliu wu, jin-ling yu (project team) associate architects: china academy of building research; hong jin, wang zhenming, lu yan (project team) mep and fire engineer: ove arup & partners LEED consultant: ove arup & partners structural engineer: china academy of building research; liu junjin, zhu huosheng (senior engineer) quantity surveyor: davis langdon & seah (DLS); hu ping, sun ying (deputy manager) traffic consultant: MVA; michael chiu (director), kent liang (project manager); MVA hong kong ltd

  • This mass housing hi-rise concept has failed miserably in the USA and bred high crime areas/ghettos. Hopefully it will succeed as a livable community in Chengdu. With the expanse of land in China available a low rise and single detached housing would have been a much better alternative.

    Nelson architect says:
  • it is a crime in china. shame for steven holl

    by passer says:

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