Set to open this fall, Tianjin’s pre-certified LEED Gold Riverside 66 is poised to become one of the longest buildings in China. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, the concrete and glass megastructure measures over 1,000 feet long and forms the centerpiece of the Hai He commercial district. The curved building is strategically located near the Hai He River and is part of the city's redevelopment plan to reinvigorate the riverbank and create a new identity for Tianjin.
The massive building will comprise an area of nearly 40 acres and according to Audrey Choi, Job Captain, “will be built with 22 seven-story high concrete ribs and over 10,000 panels of glass.” After completing the structural frame, KPF snapped several in-progress photographs of the construction site. “To wander inside a series of curved concrete ribs is something like it must be to see a whale skeleton from the inside,” says KPF Design Principal James von Klemperer. “Herman Melville would have been inspired.”
To restore access to the river, Riverside 66 is justified toward He Ping Lu, a major shopping street famous in China, in order to retain space along the riverfront for a public park. The building’s central atrium divides the internal shell structure to create a direct link between the Hai He River and He Ping Lu. This direct link, along with the structure’s glazed facade and open circulation paths, give the building a sense of porosity and fluidity in the urban fabric, similar to a traditional Chinese marketplace. “The building engages the site’s disconnected edges and unites them within a single shell,” explains Jeffrey A. Kenoff, Director and Senior Designer at KPF. Other leading members on the project team include Paul Katz, FAIA as Managing Principal; Edwin Lau as Project Team Leader HK; and Peter Gross, AIA as Project Manager.
Images via Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects