2016 P/A Award Winner
From the east and west, the 73-story Hanking Center Tower now rising in the tech hub of Chinese megacity Shenzhen almost seems to be two separate buildings: a boxy, vertical, aluminum-clad monolith and an angular torso of steel and patterned glass that juts out and up, whose sharp creases (pictured at right) give it a body-like profile as it rises. Designed by Los Angeles–based Morphosis Architects, the project is an innovative take on the skyscraper typology, relying not merely on simple formal tweaks but rather a more radical repositioning of its core.
When viewed from the east, it becomes clear that the rectangular monolith is a detached core and circulation spine for this new 1.19 million-square-foot office tower. Large diagonal braces connect the two volumes, and sky bridges offer a view of the city below as visitors filter from the elevators in the core to the offices in the tower proper.
Key to Hanking Center Tower is a robust steel frame, an almost superstructural exoskeleton that at once holds the building up and defines its shape. Its bends create a variety of sizes for the floors, making them more adaptable to different users and their spatial demands. Expanding on the tradition of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s 1958 Inland Steel Building in Chicago, the tower’s division revives a classic way to define the form, from the outside in, while creating nearly open floor plates for flexible use.
At the ground level, the building’s plinth extends westward over the site and contains a low-rise shopping center, a rarity in this dense, purpose-driven part of the city. A fluidly tapered atrium brings light down into the mall’s internal plaza, and the concentric levels of stores tighten as they climb, directing visitor’s eyes up to the sky bridges and braces connecting the high-rise portions together. Although the tower façade and plinth are marked by dynamic angles, the separation and reconnection of the building and its core are the project’s highlights. —Nate Berg
Client/Owner: Hanking Group
Architect: Morphosis Architects, Culver City, Calif. . Thom Mayne, FAIA (design director); Eui-Sung Yi (project principal); Hann-Shiuh Chen (project manager); Mario Cipresso, AIA, Amit Upadhye, Jamie Wu (project architects); Daniel Pruske, Ben Toam, Natalia Traverso Caruana (project designers); Cory Brugger, AIA, Kerenza Harris, Stan Su (advanced technology); Ilaria Campi, Sarah Kott, Daniel Leone, Michael Nesbit, Carolyn Ng, Atsushi Sugiuchi, Kwo Wang (project team); Natalie Abbott, Viola Ago, Marco Becucci, Paul Cambon, Carmelia Chiang, Sam Clovis, Tom Day, Ryan Docken, Chris Eskew, Bart Gillespie, Greg Gyulai, Parham Hakimi, Yoon Her, Jonathan Kaminsky, Hunter Knight, Onejae Lee, Katie MacDonald, Nicole Meyer, Sille Pihlak, Jon Rieke, Ari Sogin, Derrick Whitmire, Pablo Zunzunegui (assistants); Jasmine Park, Nathan Skrepcinski, Sam Tannenbaum (visualization)
Associate Architect: Zhubo Design
Structural Engineer: Halvorson and Partners
M/E/P, Fire Protection, and Vertical Transport: Parsons Brinckerhoff
M/E/P and Façades: Stantec
Façade Consultant: SuP Ingenieure
Lighting Consultant: Gradient Lighting Design
Landscape Architect: SWA
General Tower Consultant: w.erk studios
Visualizations: Luxigon, Aveson
Size: 1.19 million square feet