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Steven Holl Architects designs Sliced Porosity Block project in China
New York-based Steven Holl Architects has completed Sliced Porosity Block, a group of five towers in the region of a public plaza in Chengdu, China.
Sliced Porosity Block is located in the centre of Chengdu at the junction of the primary bypass and Ren Ming dynasty Nam Road. The form of the towers forms giant public plazas with a hybrid of various functions. The design is conceived as a public area rather than object-iconic skyscrapers.
Spanning three million square feet, the project takes its shape from its distribution of natural light. The towers are built at precise geometric angles that allow sunlight to stream through the exoskeletal concrete frame of the structure. The building structure is white concrete and is cut in six foot high openings with earthquake diagonals as required while the "sliced" sections are glass.
The large public space which has been created at the centre of the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of the city's greatest poet, Du Fu. These three plaza levels feature water gardens based on concepts of time, including the Fountain of the Chinese Calendar Year, Fountain of Twelve Months, and Fountain of Thirty Days. These three ponds function as skylights to the six-storey shopping precinct below. A concept of "micro urbanism" has been incorporated in the project with double-fronted shops open to the street as well as the shopping centre.
The Sliced Porosity Block project attains its heating and cooling requirements with 468 geothermal wells. Large ponds in the plaza harvest recycled rainwater, while the natural grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are among the other methods employed to attain LEED Gold rating.
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