Construction has recently been completed on UNStudio's Hanjie Wanda Square, a new luxury shopping center in Wuhan, China. The firm boldly coated the exterior of the building in over 42,333 metallic spheres, bestowing a fluidity to the facade that extends into the interior of the structure. There, curved walkways and corridors flow together in order to carry shoppers throughout the upscale retail stores, catering outlets, and movie theaters within the center. North and South atria anchor the inside of the building, the former bedecked in gold and bronze tones, while silver and reflective materials pervade the latter. These elements are purported to speak to a "cultural traditional identity" and "city identity and urban rhythm" respectively. Each opening is capped by a large skylight. Each steel ball-bearing houses an LED light that projects multiple colors onto a laminated glass surface that cloaks the building. The facade thus acts as a canvas for the numerous effects generated by the combination of colored light and pattern. Such dynamism echoes the the approach adopted by UNStudio in other projects the firm has undertaken in Korea, Taiwan, and Bejing. Wanda Square will soon be joined by other UNStudio projects cropping up throughout China. While the firm initially established a Shanghai location in order to aid in the development of its Raffles City Development in Hangzhou, the once temporary branch has been transformed into a fully operational extension of the Amsterdam-based office. The completion of the mall comes in the wake of recent competition wins for the pavilion for the 2014 Horticultural World Expo in Qingdao and a large-scale multi-use development in Bejing within the coming years.
Posts tagged with "UNstudio":
Singapore's largest private property developer, the Far East Organisation, is the latest client of the Amsterdam-based architect UNStudio. The project in question is The Scotts Tower, a high-end residential building with the ambition to achieve "vertical city planning"--a concept perhaps inevitable in evermore crowded Asian cities. According to Ben van Berkel, UNStudio principal, the project is to "create neighborhoods in the sky; a vertical city where each zone has its own distinct identity." The anatomy of the 31-story and 231-unit Tower, totaling 18,500 square meters, is divided into four main residential clusters (in ascending order): City Loft (128 units, 16 floors), City View (80 units, some floors overlap with City Loft), Park View (20 units, five floors), and Sky Park (three penthouses, one floor). The idea is to incorporate a "variety of residence types and scales" into the vertical structure, along with green areas expressed by sky terraces ("the Sky Garden" featuring public spaces and swimming pools), penthouse roof gardens, and individual terraces; in fact, customization may go beyond merely choosing one cluster out of the four choices--each unit within a cluster gains individual identity by means of plan and scale (up to four bedrooms), distribution of the apartment within the cluster, and articulation of outdoor space (which yields different views, either natural landscape, cityscape, or both, if you choose the corner terraces), all on top of the possibility of configuring interior layouts according to each resident's lifestyles. The Scotts Tower, currently still under the design development phase, is to be erected in one of Singapore's prime downtown locations, with a proximity to a luxury shopping district and a panoramic view of the city and nearby parkland.
Students and architects create a curving plywood canopy during this summer's Digital Architecture Laboratory workshopThis summer, Hunan University’s School of Architecture sponsored the Digital Architecture Laboratory (DAL), a workshop created to bring architects and students together to explore digital fabrication techniques. Hosted in Changsha, China, the workshop was led by Biao Hu, a professor with the university, and Yu Du, an architect with Zaha Hadid Architects. Suryansh Chandra, also with Zaha Hadid Architects, and Shuojiong Zhang, of UNstudio, were invited to participate as tutors for the workshop, which with a theme of “aggregated porosity” would explore variations in material density and the juxtaposition of solid forms with skeletal ones. Additionally, the project had to be a structure that provided shade and fit within an approximately 10-by-10-by-20-foot area. Using the concept of a waiting area outside an existing building, the team began the design process with a right-angled shell that resembled a typical bus shelter. The orthogonal grid was then stretched into an S shape, so that the lower curve formed a bench and the upper curve created a canopy. The form was rationalized into a grid of hexagonal components, each with a unique shape. By constraining three sides of each hexagon and allowing the other three sides to be changeable in length, the team was able to create a fluid, organic form, with curves and perforations, using a single shape. The canopy is supported by six L-shaped steel sections anchored to a wall. To these are attached set of six curving, laser-cut plywood ribs, which are cross-braced by additional ribs running parallel to the ground. Tensile steel mesh is fastened to this underlying grid, providing netting to which the hexagonal plywood panels could be attached. Made with off-the-shelf hardware pieces assembled into a customized circular joint, the fasteners allow each hexagon to be tuned by hand, ensuring panels are precisely positioned on the x, y, and, z axes.