MVRDV’s green-roofed development will provide escape from city bustle
With its mixed-use Shenzhen Terraces development, influential Dutch firm MVRDV aims to offer a pleasant escape from the bustle of urban life in skyscraper-filled megacity Shenzhen, China. The project will also integrate sustainable design, including solar power and rainwater collection.
Though we’ve no word yet on when it’s expected to be built, Shenzhen Terraces (also referred to as the Shimao ShenKong International Centre) was recently chosen as the winner of an architecture competition hosted by the Shimao Group.
Assuming all goes to plan, Shenzhen Terraces will serve as the core of a new university district, with over 20 buildings. These will host a library, art gallery, conference center, commercial spaces, a transport hub, and more. Its main building will be centered around a large open-air atrium and there will also be significant landscaping by landscape designer Openfabric, including shaded areas, plazas, reflective pools, and food production areas, plus large green lawns on the rooftops.
“The central concept of Shenzhen Terraces is to merge the existing landscape with the new development by using stacked plateaus for its various buildings,” says MVRDV. “The predominantly horizontal lines of the terraces contrast with the vertical lines of the surrounding high-rises to bring about a sense of tranquility through their slow curving shapes. The terraces are adapted to serve a diversity of functions: large overhangs shield the visitors from the hot sun, while offering places to sit and enjoy the view. These shaded terraces create places for plants and water basins that cool the verandas and create a climate buffer to the interiors.
“The largest building – containing among other things a bus terminal, conference center, and entrepreneurship center on the east of the site – is carved out in its center to form an open-air atrium. Finally, bridging elements are introduced between the various buildings, turning the second floor into a continuous route and connecting it with the surrounding developments.”
The buildings will be constructed using recycled concrete and their rooftops will host large solar panel arrays, which will be used to generate electricity for the site. Additionally, rainwater will be collected and stored for irrigation use, while the layout will promote walking and cycling.
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