Dutch design practice Mecanoo has won 1st Prize in the Futian Civic Culture Center Competition. The proposal includes a new cultural tower for Shenzhen in one of the city’s oldest and densest districts. The project is designed to house cultural programs and social spaces to stimulate urban activity in the neighborhood. Made with three theaters, a library and exhibition halls, the project aims to be open to the city and bring people together.
The Futian Civic Culture Center was made to be a building that breathes: open to daylight and natural cooling breezes, and filled with greenery. The ground floor is designed to be as open as possible. A south-facing public square and a wide semi-interior east-west pedestrian passage provide pedestrian links across the site. Inside, the ground floor is open, with retail functions and a fully glazed facade that can be entered on all sides. This open public interior directly connects with the theater lobby, which is the main urban catalyst of the cultural center.
To serve Futian’s high population density, a large amount of cultural program needs to be built on the tight plot: 62,000 sq. meters of above-ground functional spaces in total, including three theaters, a library and exhibition halls. The brief also included a kindergarten on a separate sub-plot. The various functions are arranged within a 150m tower sitting on an L-shaped base. To give the cultural center a strong, singular appearance, the building is wrapped in a uniform triangulated grid facade that flares outwards to incorporate the theaters. Scaling downwards towards the edges, the flared volume smoothly transitions between the 150m tower and the smaller scale of the kindergarten.
The Cultural Centre draws ground floor public activity to the top of the 150m tower via efficient elevators and long escalators that connect a series of green atria and terraces. Large planted atria include a roof cafe and open exhibition space above the theater, an exhibition garden lobby and a library garden. Urban greenery and sky gardens provide shade, reduce the urban heat island effect and cool the public spaces. They also provide a transition space between indoor and outdoor, public and private functions. The network of atria acts as blood vessels that pump life into the building, making the journey of moving vertically into an urban experience.
News via Mecanoo