Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Courtesy gmp · von Gerkan, Marg and Partners · Architects
Apart from designing the upcoming Fashion Industry Park ICICLE in Shanghai, von Gerkan, Marg and Partners - Architects are the proud 1st winners of two international competitions – for the Guangzhou Museum and the SF Express Headquarter Building, Shenzhen, China.
The new Guangzhou City Museum strategically located to the south of the Canton Tower at the Pearl River will be designed to reference the historic Chigang Pagoda, which, incidentally, lies to its north. Consequently, the height of the northern end of the museum will be limited to 18 m, thus respecting the importance of the historic tower building, gradually rising towards the south to a total height of 40 m. This creates a roof terrace facing the Pagoda, which is accessible to the public via external staircases/ramps and, in addition to serving the museum, provides a view to the impressive skyline of the city to the north of the Pearl River.
The increasing height of the building volume can also be perceived inside the museum, which features a central hall with a range of terraced levels. The building, the shape of which has been developed within the urban design context, is characterized by the interaction between linear glazed openings for the entrance area, various commercial functions and restaurants/cafeterias, and opaque parts of the building for the exhibition areas. The calm, horizontal building volume defines the south-western boundary of Lingnan Square, which has been designed as a stage for public life in the city.
Contrastingly, the new company headquarter building in the flourishing Qianhai District in Shenzhen for SF Express Group Co., Ltd, one of China’s leading logistics companies is a high-rise office building with a gross floor area of 100,000 sq. m.
The efficient, functional concept that complements as well as differentiates collectively usable areas from the work areas, is facilitated by the vertically structured building’s receding top end in order to create generously glazed foyers called sky lounges, which create a succinct appearance and which are used as sports areas, libraries and conservatories with views across the Bay of Qianhai and the Pearl River Delta.
The vertical louvres of the façade grid, which feature covered opening sashes for the natural ventilation of the office areas behind them, are each two storeys high. The irregular perforations of the lesene-type façade elements generate a dynamic, wave-shaped appearance, the effect of which is enhanced by illumination during the evening hours.
The podium, which is 20 m high, accommodates all relevant service functions such as a canteen and conference and commercial facilities, which are only a short distance away from the four-story high lobby and the skywalk that is available for use by the public.
With construction to begin soon on both projects, the Dutch architects underline their commitment to designing simply and effectively with due consideration to distinctive design and structural order.