Arts and culture aren’t thought of as Shenzhen’s strong suits, but the manufacturing megacity is making quick work to change its image. As part of the Chinese city’s movement to embrace creative and cultural industries, local architecture firm Atelier Global was announced the winner of a design competition for the Shenzhen Book City, a mixed-use development in the heart of the Long Hua arts district. The winning design features a massive modern complex punctuated with greenery and wrapped in a breathable skin that lets in natural light and ventilation.
Atelier Global designed the 45,000-square-meter Book City as an open and flexible public space befitting its future role as the new cultural anchor in the Longhua district. The six-story building’s site-specific massing responds to the surrounding urban fabric to optimize views and accessibility. Inside, Book City includes a library, retail, restaurants, and co-working spaces, as well as flexible cultural spaces on four sides of the building that connect to a large flexible public space in the atrium heart of the building. Landscaped terraces, visible from street level, bring nature indoors, while sports facilities are located atop the roof.
“The urban cultural-living room promotes connectivity not only inside the building, also with the city,” wrote the architects. “The perimeter of the building embraces people and nature from different corners of the city. The idea of cultural street along the site perimeter grows into the building and escalates vertically through terraces and atrium. This vertical form of cultural space brings an unprecedented experience to the readers.” A breathable skin with vertical louvers mitigates solar heat gain while allowing light and views into the building. Book City’s target competition date is in 2020.
Images via Atelier Global