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Above image: courtesy of Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners has joined forces with Heatherwick Studio to design the new Bund Finance Centre (BFC) in the heart of historic Shanghai. The mixed-use, waterfront destination will serve as the ‘end point’ to the city’s most famous street, as well as a prime connection between the old town, the Bund, and the new financial district.
The 420,000-square metre master plan will comprise eight structures and centre on a sizable landscaped plaza. At the site’s most southern end will be two 180-metre ‘landmark’ towers housing premium office space, a boutique hotel and luxury retail space. At the scheme’s heart will be a flexible arts and cultural centre, inspired by the open stages of traditional Chinese theatres, and which will combine exhibition and events halls with a performance venue.
As Foster + Partners notes: “The centre is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange, as well as a place for brand events, product launches and corporate functions. The building is encircled by a moving veil, which adapts to the changing use of the building and reveals the stage on the balcony and views towards Pudong.”
All buildings will be constructed from a palette of crafted stone and bronze details. “The edges of each volume are made of richly textured, hand-crafted granite and become slimmer as they rise, giving the impression of solidity at the base and transparency at the top,” says Foster + Partners.
“Sitting at the gateway to Shanghai’s Old Town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years,” says Thomas Heatherwick. “In filling this last empty site on Shanghai’s famous Bund, the concept is inspired by China’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world, but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage.”
The BFC is currently under construction.
‘Foster and Heatherwick Collaborate to Design Shanghai Finance Centre’ by Karissa Rosenfield was first published on 4 December 2013 at ArchDaily.