A new tower in Shanghai, China, is to boast a reflective, cloud-like façade sitting atop staggered, landscaped terraces reminiscent of a rocky hillside. The features will demarcate the building's retail and office sections, with the façade helping to regulate its internal temperature.
Cloud on Terrace will be located on Gemdale Changshou Road in the center of Shanghai. The building will cover an area of 45,000 sq m (484,000 sq ft), with its retail section housed in a podium at the base and its offices forming the so-called cloud perched above.
The cloud aspect of the design sees the upper portion of the building wrapped in a reflective curtain wall (a non-structural wall that dresses a building), with smooth, curved corners. One side of the building will be straight, while the other will be angled gradually outwards towards its base, before accelerating into a curve and sweeping down to create a flatter profile into which stepped terraces will be built.
Here, the building will appear to rise organically out of the ground, while, on the other side of the podium, there are cliff-like jagged protrusions and overhangs. The reflective glazing of the building's upper portion will be stripped away at the terraces, replaced with transparent glass and greenery.
The contrast between the glazing types gives the impression of the building being peeled open from the bottom, a sense that is reinforced by the curved and flowing join of the two sections and a thin vertical slice into the building at its rear, inside which more terracing can be seen. This latter feature makes the building look almost as though it has been unzipped.
Where the sleek, anonymous upper portion of the building will give way to the more visually engaging terraces of its bottom portion, passersby will be able to see into the retail units. In addition, the terraces have been designed as an extension of an adjacent park, with the aim of blending them into the local environment and encouraging footfall.
Sunshades extending out between floors on the south side of the building will help to regulate temperature inside the building's offices, while the curtain wall itself will employ low emissivity and low-iron glass. These properties will help to ensure low levels of heat transmission and high levels of light transmission, respectively. Solar gain will also be combated with the use of greenery on the building's terraces.
Construction of Cloud on Terrace is expected to be completed by 2019.