Vanke Meilin Intelligent Manufacturing Center has been engineered to adopt a cost-effective pre-fabrication construction method with accurate technological elements in order to maintain an optimum energy consumption performance. It aims to elevate the benchmark level for a new sustainable and industrial building standard in Shenzhen.
The building site lies at the border between two new industry city districts. At early stage of design and urban planning approach the site was designated to be surrounded by a diverse network of city roads, urban park, pedestrian green corridors and potential open water channel which is passing along the site. Those existing conditions reveal a great potential for a new city landmark building which could take up the role of an urban link between the two neighbour districts. One of the greater challenges was the location of subway line 22, which is in planning at the moment. It is supposing to pass diagonally through the entire site and this condition did not allow for any building foundations to be placed on it.
The design approach marked a unique Y building shape, extending its arms like branches by following the 3 main urban axes on site. Thus, this proposed solution will empower maximum floor efficiency and internal space flexibility with area of 3000 sqm per floor. The tower verticality is expressed by extruding the negative area as a result of the axes’ junction and its remaining volume is horizontally morphing smoothly around the available buildable space. Directly driven by the local regulations of M0 new industry type land, two technical floors were combined together with the tower refuge areas which cut the building volume into 3 equal parts. The tower volume is closely interacting with its surrounding. Its tallest building volume opens up towards Shenzhen CBD, when the ground conditions respect the subway construction lines and at the same time they shape the ground urban space.
The new metro extension is projected to cross the site from West to North East and thus will be splitting the plot into 2 zones. With rational core design approach, we adapt an optimizing solution that drove the main vertical connection to be located at the north side of the tower where the inclined geometry and grids would generate an inconvenient office internal layout and office spaces subdivision. This solution allowed the building floor scheme to give a full flexibility to the future tenant’s office layouts desires and needs. The lower south wing of the office tower will accommodate the R&D Labs and conference spaces where a smaller support core.
The office tower adopts a very convenient large structural column grid with minimized amount of curve areas due to the requested use of a prefabricated concrete system. With columns at distance from one another of 15 meters in depth and 12 meters in length, the floor plan has a reduced structural footprint and generates maximum flexibility for internal office organization. This allows to consist a system of different office space configurations and space planning interactions between private offices and open workstation areas at different floors. Furthermore, along each side of the façade there is 5.25-meter cantilever floor slabs which adequately counter balance the 15-meter column span in depth and further allows for very generous private office spaces layouts or meeting rooms for larger people gatherings.
As a design consequence of this proposed solution, the office ceiling at the edge is merging with the façade fins as one element by taper internally with the same angle. Slanting with a common angle the architectural form reached the complete action by striving the intention to frame the city skyline and to connect visually the indoor and outdoor space being the landscape extending to the interior space and vice versa. Moreover, the external building façade fins reminiscence of the traditional Chinese roof design to provide maximum sun shade, a horizontal façade fin will provide adequate protection from direct sun rays and concurrently allow natural ventilation income through hidden façade grills which will guide the airflow inside the building from the floors. The façade has been carefully engineered for maximum performance in terms of solar shading, natural ventilation, and a lighting device. The architectural expression and functionality are acting together in one gesture which is giving a complete balance between form and use as the ultimate goal of the design intent. One larger slanting surface as a projection of the internal floor slab will allow a full rounded view of the surrounding landscape giving maximum visual comfort from inside. In a thin aluminum case, the façade horizontal fin will cast shadow on the glass facade for more than 60% of the yearly direct solar gain.
The horizontal fin at the top side is accommodating also a linear light that will illuminate the underside of the upper fin at night time that has been treated with a waving silhouette profile to avoid direct light pollution and glare to people who are observing the outdoor night scenes from inside. Due to the large surface area of the façade fins, could also be allocated photovoltaic panels in order to collect the most efficient and natural energy source typical for the tropical climate conditions.
The lower volume of the tower will allow a sky garden plaza to be located marking a unique elevated outdoor destination for the building users. The Green corridor at ground level linking the southwest area is culminating in a green park currently present on-site with secular trees that will remain untouched as a witness of the times. The plaza surrounding the building will accommodate commercial activities including recreational spaces for outdoor sports activities and community meeting facilities.
Vanke Meilin Intelligent Manufacturing Center is envisioned to become an urban landmark link between the two neighbour economic zones. With its monolithic visual appearance, it will offer spectacular unobstructed city views, flexible office space layouts and will offer welcoming public urban spaces dedicated to its tenants and local communities.