Architecture

Half-mile-long design institute to rise at the foot of Phoenix Mountain

Half-mile-long design institut...
The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be located on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China, and is part of a huge development push in the area
The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be located on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China, and is part of a huge development push in the area
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation's interior will measure 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft)
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation's interior will measure 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft)
The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will be raised above the ground on supports, creating pedestrian areas below
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will be raised above the ground on supports, creating pedestrian areas below
Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation has been designed to take its place well within the landscape
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Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation has been designed to take its place well within the landscape
The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will accommodate around 4,000 students
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will accommodate around 4,000 students
The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be topped by a massive green roof that includes gardens, walkways, and sports areas
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be topped by a massive green roof that includes gardens, walkways, and sports areas
The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be located on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China, and is part of a huge development push in the area
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The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be located on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China, and is part of a huge development push in the area
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Shenzhen, China, isn't exactly lacking in huge buildings but a new university by Dominique Perrault Architecture and Zhubo Design, with engineers BuroHappold, would stand out even in that booming megacity. Assuming it actually goes ahead as planned, it will measure 708 m (2,322 ft) long, or almost half a mile, and will be topped by a green roof that hosts parks, sports grounds, and pathways.

Bringing to mind Google's "Landscraper," the Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will be longer than most of the world's skyscrapers are tall, as well as longer than nine Boeing 747-8 airplanes lined up, nose to tail. The project is part of a wider construction boom going on in Shenzhen at the moment that includes works by Zaha Hadid Architects, MAD, and more.

The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will be raised above the ground on supports, creating pedestrian areas below
The Shenzhen Institute of Design and Innovation will be raised above the ground on supports, creating pedestrian areas below

It will be part of the Southern University of Science and Technology and serve around 4,000 students. The building will be raised above the ground on supports and defined by a largely glazed facade that will be broken up by thin vertical lines of metal. Though remarkably long, it's not actually envisioned to be very tall at just 20 m (65 ft), with the idea being to help it take its place in the semi-rural landscape on the outskirts of the city.

"The site chosen for the new campus is located on the outskirts of Shenzhen, in a still mainly rural area, along the mountain relief of the Phoenix Mountain," explains the press release. "The project is integrated into the landscape, and preserves the legibility of its horizontal structure, ensuring that no prominent architectural element would disturb this plateau geography."

Its interior will measure 300,000 sq m (roughly 3.2 million sq ft) – or roughly two thirds the size of Vatican City – though even this is nowhere near China's largest building, with Zaha Hadid's Beijing Daxing International Airport being considerably larger, for example. The available floorspace will be divided into classrooms and laboratories, a library, an auditorium, cafeterias, and student and teacher housing. The space underneath the raised building will be pedestrianized too and feature a promenade.

The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be topped by a massive green roof that includes gardens, walkways, and sports areas
The Shenzhen Institute of Design will be topped by a massive green roof that includes gardens, walkways, and sports areas

While such a huge building can't really be considered sustainable in any meaningful sense, it will still feature some energy efficient design. The roof will be heavily landscaped, improving its overall insulation, says the designers, while also providing space for sports and other activities. Additionally, solar panels will provide power.

The design recently won an architecture competition that included some big names like MVRDV and Studio Libeskind, though we've no word yet on when it's expected to begin construction.

Source: Dominique Perrault Architecture

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4 comments
4 comments
paul314
Back in the 19th and early 20 centuries long low factory buildings used to be a standard shape to accommodate shaft-delivered power or the layout of rolling and drawing mills. (One in a town near where I grew up was 1/3 of a mile long and nothing special). Interesting to see designs coming around to the same shape for another kind of factory.
Username
"While such a huge building can't really be considered sustainable in any meaningful sense" If a smaller individual building can be considered sustainable than a number of these buildings would also be considered sustainable. If you built all those buildings side by side they would still be sustainable and no different than one long building built to the same specs.
Dave Smith
I find it "not sustainable" an odd reference as the water runoff vs standard building methods, use of roof for sports complexes vs. existing lower level grounds, and earthen insulation factor just in themselves a sustainable use. I'm thinking the article writer needs to do a little more research before writing articles on something they clearly have no knowledge of other than "a big building" ...
Kevin Ritchey
Friends in Shenzhen have been remarking (almost boasting) about how the district is changing for the better. Not so much industry as upper level groups are changing the skyline and geography. Big improvement.