wuxi, china (2007)
site area: 2ha
type: commercial office + hotel, department store,
retail and entertainment
this high-density mixed-use complex, designed to comply with a 12:1 far, was created for the central business district of wuxi, a major manufacturing centre in jiangsu province, one hour from shanghai.
the building incorporated a 10-level podium integrating a department store, retail shopping areas, cinemas and entertainment facilities with a 60-storey tower containing a hotel, serviced apartments and commercial offices, which would be the tallest in wuxi.
the building and overall podium are sited separately and careful consideration has been given to addressing the diverse programs within the buildings to make all entrances to different functions ‘legible’. this encourages ease of pedestrian access into the building as well as aiding integration with the established surrounding commercial and entertainment activities.
the tower’s form is generated by binding and embedding two distinct forms into a single aggregated image, which due to its dynamic origin appears different from various vantage points. the facade uses a simple and repetitive underlying triangular grid pattern, articulated into a larger pattern through amalgamating triangles to form a new and distinctive figuration based upon the ‘eternity’ puzzle. in support of wuxi’s solar-panel-making industry, photovoltaic cells are integrated in the spandrel panels to generate power