Change is inevitable. Buildings, streetscapes, and urban areas are dynamic places that are constantly adapting to the needs of their inhabitants, with each generation contributing uniquely to this evolution.
In that context, FACET aims for changing more than a skyline. FACET is designed as an urban catalyst in which public and private life finds no boundaries. In FACET the value of free spaces is equally important as leasable spaces, it is the balance of both where one can sustain positive urban life. It is through the effective use of free space where we can bring meaningful change to urban environments.
FACET is a 66-storey innovative skyscraper which will sit in the heart of Caiwuwei developing district. The Tower is a sculptural shape that integrates all functions in ONE FORM.
FACET image is originated by the interplay of two geometric forms: the square and the octagon. The Building’s iconic shape is formed by the triangular surface created in stacking them alternately. The idea behind t he overall shape of the building comes from integrating all building function in One Move. The idea of visually connecting podium and tower in one shape; results in a striking and sculptural building.
FACET is wider at the base embracing the site; it becomes more homogeneous along the shaft and gets narrower at the top. The shift in massing is a direct response to the rich tower functions. The Tower and podium alignments follow all planning guidelines and codes.
The Tower is positioned at the Northeast corner of the site, the Podium expands dynamically on the remaining three quadrants forming a Shelter for the Bus Station along the South boundary and providing a visible public entrance for all visitors at the Northeast corner.
Vehicular access occurs at the East Tower entrance along Jin Hua Zhi Road. The Tower is accessible to pedestrian traffic from the North, West and East site boundaries. The Bus station entrance and exit occurs along Hong Ling Nan Road and Jing Ling Zhi Road respectively.
The Podium of the tower is a very important urban feature. It contains different building functions such as Retail (6000m2) Community center (2000m2) a Bus Terminal (2200m2) as well as Public spaces for leisure and relaxation. The Podium’s upper levels are accessible through escalators directly from the street along Hong Ling Nan road and Jing Ling Zhi road. Most public functions are contained within the Tower’s base, giving it a consistent visual image within the Tower. The public uses are organized along an atrium space that connects all pedestrian flows from the B1 level up to the ‘Elevated Park’ using a centralized an efficient system of elevators and escalators.
The Building lobby is open and visually very connected to its surroundings. The idea is to blur the boundaries of public and private space and create a ‘continuous’ experience. The ‘chamfered’ core’s shape reduces the visual mass as it connects to the ground, and makes the flows around it more enriching and provocative. It also provides strong legibility to the ‘portals’, which define the different elevator banks. The lobby is a multistory space that brings all building functions into a ‘center’.
The ‘Elevated Park’ is as important as the ground floor in terms of creating dynamic life around the Tower’s base. FACET strive to be to a signature public amenity in the 4 level of the building, we reinforce our psychological need of nature into man-made spaces. It’s about providing natural light, beautiful views diverse planting, natural material and textures, which are hard to find in dense urban environments. By raising the ‘Elevated Park’ in the building, we give nature a prominent place in our design while shifting the focus into the retail spaces and inviting people and nature to engage in a ‘higher level’.
The Top of the building will be a place like no other in Shenzhen. It is defined by tall glass screens that depending on the point of view, they will form unique shapes in the skyline. The Sky-Room at the very top is a trapezoidal glass shell, which is part of the Building’s public amenities functions. It could be reserved for special events, board meetings as well a place for fine dinning with spectacular views to the City of Shenzhen.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN DESCRIPTION
The Building’s geometry is based on a 45-meter square floor plate that widens at the base (increasing the Tower’s structural efficiency and stability where sheer forces are stronger) and giving the Tower a ‘unique shape’ at the top where less mass is desired to reduce sway. The Shape streamlines the traditional skyscraper configuration of base-shaft-top, integrating them seamlessly into one ‘Faceted’ form. Which from the street and the skyline looks consistent and unified. As the floor plates rise along the core, and the square floor plate transforms into an octagonal shape. Their vortexes become slightly bigger, giving the building a dynamic and crisp profile.
Facets’ structural concept is driven by the idea of achieving physical and metaphysical lightness, while pushing the limits of materials and structures. This becomes particularly important in a 360-meter tall building; in which a diagrid (defined as a framework of diagonally intersecting members) is essential in optimizing steel and concrete ratios.
Diagrids have become a commonplace in buildings above 300 meters, due to their formal simplicity and structural efficiency. They contribute to create an everlasting character and build instantaneously recognizable features in the skyline. The structural concept is completed by a central and chamfered concrete core, by the use of vertical columns to reduce the spans between diagonal members and lastly by the use of composite decks supported on steel beams, which allow for faster construction and higher floor to ceiling heights.
The floor plate of the building is efficient, providing an average of 12 meters of lease span from the core to the inner face of the building envelope. The planning module is 1.50 meters, which allows for an efficient and flexible interior layout, which considers an efficient distribution of lighting and air systems within a logical grid through out the building.
Aside from the building’s geometry, which gives the building a unique profile in the skyline, the Tower’s façade detailing also contributes to its unique expression.
As one approaches the Tower, the refined nature and detailing of the building envelope becomes more evident. The Spandrel of the building gradually transitions from a ‘darker tone’ at the base into a ‘lighter tone’ at the top. Symbolically, this ‘move’ gives the Tower a ‘stronger linkage’ to the Earth and a more ‘ephemeral connection’ to the Sky.
The Structural Diagrid system is not exposed on the surface of the building’s envelope; it is setback and only expressed through a ceramic frit treatment applied on the surface of the glass. The intent is to create a sense of movement, which subtle changes depending on daylight conditions. In sunny days it will be more reflective, therefore more readable to the human eye while in cloudy days and/or at night will almost disappear.
Lastly, the East, West and South facades are partially covered with exterior sunshades that run along the whole building height starting at the ground and following the building’s diagrid and mullion system. In the context of Shenzhen’s climate this energy saving strategy supports a sustainable concept through the principle of passive shading.
Formally, the Landscape concept is designed in contrast to the building’s ‘Faceted’ character. It is based on a radial pattern that originates at the Tower’s core and ‘ripples’ outwards forming a series of concentric rings. The rings are paved in dark and light cobblestones differentiating circulation and resting areas. The rings provide a framework for inserting various landscape elements. Such as wood benches, grass berms, lush planting areas, integrated lighting as well as informal water features. All landscape elements are organized in a dynamic arrangement that provides intimacy and seclusion within a rich urban environment. The concentric pattern leads all pedestrian flows seamlessly into the Building.
Sustainability is always an important part of any building; in our experience effective sustainability is not only about saving energy, reducing emissions and waste as well as water consumption. But in FACETS sustainability is also about the connection with natural systems as well the creation of spaces for respite and collaboration. It is about fostering a holistic environment for better health and wellness, which has a positive impact on productivity, engagement and retention. Is about creating mentally healthy workplaces. That is what will make FACETS a unique place to work and be.