The Guangzhou International Cultural Center (GICC) – THE PEAK OF CULTURE – is designed with a holistic attitude in mind, in which architecture, engineering, environmental, functional and technological principles respond to each other to create a timeless landmark.
GICC will continue within the legacy of cutting-edge office environments designed by FGP Atelier. The building will offer a place for human interaction in a tower campus comprised of a plaza, underground arcade connected to the subway station, lobby, multi-level bookstore, sky lobby, and sky club. The goal is to achieve harmony and dilute the boundaries between public and private space.
Our concept strives for urban openness, physical and spiritual connectivity, simplicity in the organization of functions, clarity in the use of materials and systems, and efficient use of space and resources. The plan configuration is bold and simple. GICC is anchored by a logical and efficient core with a podium defined by the bookstore that showcases the work of the client and offers Guangzhou a vibrant cultural destination. The stepped form of the building not only is ideally suited to this cultural program, but suggests the theme of ascent and the quest for knowledge.
The site is located along a canal that flows off of the Zhujiang River. The tree-lined roadway Shuangta Rd. lies to the immediate north and connects the site to the small Modiesha Park (East Gate) to the West and the much larger park in front of the Guangzhou International Convention Center to the East. As such, Shuangta Rd. forms the primary axis of the zone and connects the site to the Convention Center. More broadly, the site sits within a district defined by the Zhujiang River to the north, the Huangpuchong waterway to the south that bends to form the western boundary along Liede Ave., and the S303 highway to the east. The building sits within a context of similarly tall buildings in a rapidly developing section of the city. In order to enhance the connection to the city, a large public plaza is provided in front of the north façade of the building. The lush green landscaping that runs along Shuangta Rd. is integrated into the site via a sunken garden surrounding the retail.
The form and shape are driven by the idea that knowledge sharing is essential to the formation of culture and that culture makes people understand each other better – that through culture it is easier to overcome barriers and grow and ascend as human beings. The articulation of the building form as a peak also allows for a series of terraces with breathtaking views of the city. These terraces are sheltered by a series of screens that provide protection from the wind and rain. They also create a dynamic tension between the culmination of the building in a peak and the resolution of the building as an ideal rectangular form. Beyond creating functional green spaces, the stepping form of the peak of the building creates a unique relationship between the lobby and the stepped terraces at the base of the building in order to give the entire object a sense of cohesion across its large scale.
INTERIOR DESIGN NARRATIVE
The Guangzhou International Cultural Center is an expression of the cultural values of the client. Its image from the outside is one that is solid, classic, and inviting. It alludes to the idea of a company that is not a passing trend, but one that will stand the test of time – just as the mass of its building will do.
The concept that we have developed for the interior of GICC is the logical extension of the building concept. In the same way the buildings is tailored for the idea of a company that is people centered, sober and unique, similarly the interiors need to respect and integrate the building spaces and architecture, embrace their character, and become a representation of these values in the everyday use of the space.
The finishes, configuration, and materials define the light and sound of the space and the way every person in the building will perceive and interact with the space. Only if these finishes and spaces stay true to the core concept and values of GICC, will this building become a headquarters and home.
FGP Atelier’s modern and efficient vision for the building’s image leads to a design for GICC interiors that represents the client’s values through an architectural expression of the interior space. The spaces are conceived to valorize the GICC character, and express the importance of its work through rigorous and sober design. The experience of these spaces revolves around the individuals that work in the building. The choice of using classic and timeless materials such as stone and metal in a modern language unifies the tradition and solidity of GICC with the contemporary trends of its business.
In articulating this vision via a specific design, we have developed a concept in which the majority of the spaces reflect a consistency of materials and overall feel with differentiation occurring in how these spaces are detailed. The exception to this rule occurs with the grand lobby that is given its own character and identity through the use of light-colored stone and a dynamic folded and illuminated large panel system that covers the walls of the core and forms the primary backdrop of the north and south lobbies. The other spaces throughout the building makes use of darker materials and smaller panels. These spaces emphasize the continuation of the horizontal and vertical themes that define the exterior throughout the interior spaces. Throughout the building, soft aluminum mirror finish is used on the columns, the elevator are defined by glass doors, aluminum strips are utilized on the floor of the lobby to visually connect the interior with the exterior, and linear lights above a metal mesh ceiling running north-south within a grid are utilized in the public spaces and the typical floors while linear lights in the ceiling plane are utilized in the basement and exterior spaces.