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Shenzhen Archive Towers

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Shenzhen Archive Towers

Project Status

Concept Proposal


  • Janis Saltans, AIA, Saltans Architects Intl., Ltd.



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Project Description

Shenzhen’s Meiling District resides between City Center and new north railway station, forming an urban center with the Archive site at its heart. Creating an authentic urban space, the design unifies four parcels (city blocks) by removing dividing streets. Circulation is re-organized, thereby harnessed, by introducing a perimeter one-way street system. The enlarged spatial boundary establishes an appropriate scale and symbolic relationship with the City Plaza. Defining the Archive precinct, a continuous floating perimeter block embraces four discrete volumes: three towers and a cube. This framework defines an internal landscape - an escape from city into garden. Circular green zones denote building entries inviting traversing pedestrians. Public functions, exhibition spaces and select retail reside under the permeable perimeter, encouraging through circulation and urban interface. Discrete functional elements establish a new internal urban realm within the frame. The spatial focus a carefully positioned cube contains public functions, exhibition hall, conferencing and archival information center. Inspired by traditional forms, three shimmering archival towers embody abstracted pagoda characteristics, symbolically protecting archive documents within. The “pagoda” towers vary in height and facade treatment, creating individual identity expressing that different archives are internally stored. Shaped apertures strategically populate the double facade, protecting valuable contents, while creating an energy efficient envelope. The 91,930sm project engenders a communicative quality, setting the Archive in dialogue with the surroundings.
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