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Shanghai Cofco Cultural and Health Center

Steven Holl Architects

Shared By

Victoria Carodine, Hanley Wood

Project Name

Shanghai Cofco Cultural and Health Center


80,944 sq. feet


COFCO Limited

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Project Description


The new Shanghai Cofco Cultural and Health Center aims at being a “social condenser,” bringing the community of the surrounding new housing blocks together in a public space and park along an existing canal. While the housing blocks are repetitive and extensive, here the architecture is of spatial energy and openness, inviting the whole community in for recreational & cultural programs while health needs are provided by the integral health building.

The landscape and two new public buildings are merged by the concept of “Clouds & Time”. While the landscape is organized in large clock-like circles forming a central public space, the buildings are cloud-like in their porosity and openness. The Cultural Center, built out of white concrete, hovers over a transparent glass base which exposes the café, game and recreation rooms. A curved ramp, climbing gently up to the second floor creates a continuous overlooking experience.

The Health Center, also made of white concrete, is shaped by the curves of the landscape, developing a strong relationship between its “cloud-like” parts and the whole of the landscape. Both buildings have green sedum roofs merging further with the landscape when seen from above and in the surrounding apartment buildings.

The quarter circle pool and fountain reflects the building's central space and provides rainwater recycling. The buildings, which are geothermally cooled, aim to be “LEED platinum.”
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