Guangfa Securities Headquarters Podium is a signature annex building at the entrance of Guangfa Tower. While the tower acts as a pivotal urban node, the Podium responds to its immediate context of Zhujiang Park across the main road, capturing incredible views of this scenic urban-scape. Rather than an extension of the tower base, the podium form is an independent sculpturous entity that becomes an elevated gateway delivering the ground for the entrance plaza. The building’s bold character comes from the sweeping front façade that overlooks the park and the rear shell – engineered to contain structure and services. Resting on a minimal footprint core and raised 9m above the road-level, the podium is an impressive 53m long cantilevering volume aligned with the western Machnag road, marking the address of the premises through its significant urban gesture
The core is the backbone, linking the main circulation and programs while supporting the strucutral rear shell, thereby the whole projected volume. Positioned diagonally to the tower’s entrance lobby, the core is designed as an integrated aspect of the ground landscape. The entrance plaza for the Guangfa Premises is a common landscaped area spatially defined by the tower’s south façade and the podium shell, sharing drop-off point to the tower and the podium. A tall narrow access from back side of the core across a water-body leads towards the elevators. On entering the constricted foyer, a focused skylight penetrates the dark space, creating a sublime atmosphere and accentuating the swooping tall light well. The smooth form complemented with natural light lends a cathedral like character to the contemporary structure.
On the upper floors, the elevators open to the central space that is closest to the west façade opening up unhindered views of the park. The impressive first view becomes a memorable culmination to the arrival journey. Slabs of the floor above first level are recessed from the façade. The front glazing being a huge screen capturing the view demands minimal and sophisticated details that do not obstruct the view. Extensive 15.5m high and 53m long facade comprises insulated glass units suspended from ceiling and supported on slender vertical stainless-steel fins. A singular visual focus of the podium throughout the inside space is sustained by the majestic glass façade.
The spatial experience is complemented by integrating of services and structural aspects in the double-layered rear shell of the podium and the basement. A service kitchen in the basement links to the food preparation area of upper levels through four service elevators. The basement provides access to the underground parking and the tower. Keeping the fabrication and construction cost in consideration, overall geometry of the shell is streamlined to have minimum deformation of surfaces. Primary geometrical elements of sphere at junctions and consistent curves keep the forms and façade elements rational and efficient for modular construction while achieving the sculpturous form. Independent in identity but complementing the tower, the podium design evolves from continuity of geometric and visual lines as well as axial relation with the tower. Its radical gesture is an engineering and design feat that marks a definitive address of the headquarters to complement its urban gesture.