A ‘folding’ steel structure that challenges the conventional skyline of an urban area – this in a nutshell defines the Hanking Center Tower, a mixed use structure designed by Morphosis Architects. Currently under construction in the city of Shenzhen, China, the building is envisaged as a striking focal point of the suburb of Nanshan, but with its spatial application treading the conventionality of a commercial office. The result is the spatial synthesis of the familiar and the fantastic – with evolved circulation management and user-oriented aspects all throughout the tower.
In terms of its core design, the Hanking Center Tower consists of the lower level podium that is connected to the vertically-aligned tower. This podium will comprise high-end retail and dining areas that pertain to public spaces, whereas the tower will boast of a private commercial zone that includes the office space. And in spite of these different usage patterns, the building manages to ‘merge’ the scopes with the aid of its folding angles and a grandiosely conceived sun-lit atrium.
Coming to its routing attributes, the architects have managed to induct a special steel structural system that counterbalances the primary circulation zones and the service cores to the exterior parts of the floor-plate. Additional cores are also used for structural reinforcement, along with providing apt spaces for VIP elevators and service lifts. This collective ambit significantly reduces the building’s footprint while accentuating its nature of open space. Moreover, the variant offset areas are linked to the main tower by means of sky bridges and diagonal mega-braces.
This sort of open-floor design also allows for a hierarchy of circulation patterns, with the public spaces around the core giving way to privately peaceful office rooms (with fantastic views) around the perimeter. Lastly, the plan accounts for spatial flexibility, along with improvement in ventilation and natural light induction – thus alluding to a healthier work environment for the people inside the Hanking Center Tower.
Image Credits: Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects