Bringing to mind a child's toy building blocks stacked atop each other, the newly-unveiled Vanke Headquarter Tower is another unique and confident design from Dutch firm MVRDV. The mixed-use project will rise to a height of 250 m (820 ft) and straddle a road in Shenzhen, China.

The result of an architecture competition, the design for the Vanke Headquarter Tower (referred to as Vanke 3D City by MVRDV) partly came about because real estate developer Vanke Group wanted a new headquarters in Shenzhen that would not only provide office space for itself, but host leasable office space for others, as well as shops, a restaurant, a hotel, and public space.

Another factor was the location, which is a little awkward and made up of two plots separated by a road. In response, MVRDV proposed a stack of blocks that connect the two plots and bridge the road.

"Vanke 3D City can be seen as a new type of skyscraper," says Winy Maas, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. "By stacking the required programmatic entities, initially proposed for two separate plots, on top of each other, the two individual Vanke Group Headquarter buildings are turned into a Vanke City. They turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."

Vanke Headquarter Tower's base will be taken up by a multi-level public space incorporating the road, with plazas, green spaces and shaded walkways to take the sting out of Shenzhen's tropical heat. It'll be open to the public 24 hours a day and include restaurant and retail space.

Further up the 167,000 sq m (around 1.8 million sq ft) building will be the offices and hotels, plus additional open green spaces and green roofs. MVRDV also plans to install rainwater collection and recycling systems, and promises high-performance facades.

The project involves engineering expert Arup and preparation work is already underway on the site. Construction proper is expected to begin in mid-2019, though we've no word on its expected completion date.

Source: MVRDV

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