Zaha Hadid-designed building makes an infinite statement

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The Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza is said to be among the final architectural designs on which Zaha Hadid worked before her death(Credit: Zaha Hadid Architects)

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Some buildings are so big it feels like you could walk around them for ever. At the Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza in China, though, you really will be able to. Not only does the building cover 167,000 sq m (1.8 million sq ft), but it's designed as a series of infinity rings.

The Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza will be located in Baiyun District's Baiyun New Town central business district (CBD) in the city of Guangzhou. It will comprise a number of integrated buildings and will link with the city with the CBD.

The plaza is said to be among the final architectural designs on which Zaha Hadid worked before her death, and that she developed it "with concepts of integration, connectivity and fluidity" in mind. The aim of this was to foster openness and communication for building users.

As we understand, the infinity loop design sees levels of the building shaped like an undulating figure-of-eight, allowing their crossing sections to pass over and under each other, rather than to intersect. This would give those levels an unending continuity, meaning an individual could walk around them in their entirety without ever crossing their own path.

Interaction between departments in the building will be encouraged by their being arranged around central atria and courtyards. Meanwhile, internal and external connecting walkways have been also designed with a view to further helping foster communication.

The building will boast a variety of sustainability and smart technology features. In a bid to maximize the amount of natural light in the building while minimizing energy consumption, large expanses of insulated glazing are to be employed. Solar heat gain will also be reduced with the use of perforated aluminium fa├žades, into which sensors for monitoring weather, energy-use and lighting will be integrated for monitoring and managing energy use.

The roof of the building will feature walking and jogging paths, so as to help employees and visitors to maintain an active lifestyle. There will also be gardens of Chinese herbal plants. This is particularly fitting as it is hoped the plaza will help Baiyun District become a national center for China's health industry.

The RMB 4.5-billion (approx. US$659-million) project will be the new headquarters of Infinitus China, part of the herbal medicine firm LKK Health Products Group, and will house a herbal medicine research and safety assessment center. There will also be an exhibition center and a gallery.

Ground has been broken on the Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza, with construction expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.

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