MVRDV’s competition-winning design for Tianfu Software Park features a 150-metre tower with a full-height green atrium...
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From the architect: MVRDV has won the competition to design two buildings in the Tianfu Software Park in Chengdu, including a 150-metre-tall tower that provides the dramatic centrepiece of the campus. One corner of this tower is dedicated to a full-height atrium that serves as a key functional element of the building’s climate and ventilation system and is filled with lush cascading greenery. Also designed by MVRDV for the campus is a four-storey cultural centre containing an art museum, conference hall, library, and exhibition space with a faceted sloping form that invites visitors to climb both its green roof and its terraced interior.
The project is developed by Chengdu High-Tech Investment Group, and will be home to companies focused on the development of 5G, AI, big data, Satellite Internet, and other high-tech interests. Located in the southeast of Chengdu, it lies on the boundary between Chengdu’s urban expansion and a hilly rural area. This meeting point between city and nature, along with the Chengdu government’s “park city” initiative, formed a crucial starting point for the design, which introduces fingers of greenery extending from adjacent green space up and into the buildings. In the office tower, this finger of greenery extends upwards to form the atrium, while on the cultural centre, greenery proliferates over the roof.
The office tower is shaped to optimise the efficiency of the floor plates and maximise views of the mountains to the east. The atrium forms a semi-outdoor space: it is open at its base, where swooping lines gradually merge with a shopping podium, and it is enclosed by a mesh façade. This allows it to contribute to the building’s climate strategy, with the atrium acting as a buffer zone that allows passive cross-ventilation through the mesh and via openable panels in the opposite façades, while reducing solar gain within the office spaces. It therefore shades the terraces and helps to reduce the cooling requirements of the office spaces, reducing the building’s energy use.
The shape of the Culture Centre follows the triangular outline of its site. The different programmes are stacked in a stepped arrangement to form terraces that are oriented towards the park. A green roof of faceted triangular panels covers the terraced interior to create a semi-outdoor atrium space that wraps up and over the interior spaces. At various points on the edges of the roof, the panels are lifted up to form glazed clerestory windows, allowing daylight into the interior. The roof is a small park in itself, equipped with public plazas, a continuous pathway, and lush green planters that extend the landscape on top of the sloping building.
“In our designs for both office tower and cultural centre, the atrium is key”, says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. “Though they take different forms – one more vertical and the other terraced and traversable – both atria serve the same Functions. They bring in greenery, they connect the buildings from bottom to top, they provide shading and ventilation that make the buildings sustainable, and most importantly, they make these buildings exciting, social places to be.”
Other buildings within the Tianfu Software Park Phase II started construction at the end of 2023, with the two buildings designed by MVRDV to follow.
Client: CDHT Investment Co.,Ltd.
Location: Chengdu, China
Size and Programme: Office Tower: 72,000 m2 offices, retail; Cultural building: 10,000 m2 art museum, conference hall, library, exhibition space
Founding Partner in charge: Winy Maas
Partner/Director: Wenchian Shi
Design Team: Kyo Suk Lee, Sredej Bunnag, Americo Iannazzone, Jiani You, Lucien Glass, Zhou Wang, Bertrand Tan, Samuel Tam, Letizia Pezzini, Matteo Spalletti, Andrius Ribikauskas, Amanda Galiana Ortega, Cai Huang, Xinyuan Zhang, Shanshan Wu, Echo Zhai, Tanja Dubbelaar, Runjie Liu
Director MVRDV Shanghai: Peter Chang