26/09/2017: Atrium with a view

HNA Plaza, the high-rise office tower by gmp in Shanghai, has been completed

Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Magdalene Weiss
Design team Mareike Asmus, Bastian Bartz, Cai Lei, Fu Chen, Jiang Yi
Implementation, project management Fanny Hoffmann-Loss, Zhou Yunkai
Implementation, team Mine Böker, Bastian Bartz, Nard Buijs, Cai Lei, Fang Min, Fu Chen, Jiang Yi, Jin Zhan, Niu Zhaoqian, Qian Lie, Florian Wiedey, Zhang Zhen, Lu Qianhua, Wu Ji
Partner office in China Johnson Architecture & Engineering Designing Consultants LTD
Client HNA Grand China Properties
GFA 50,000 m2 above ground; 35,000 m2 below ground

The new office tower of the HNA Group designed by the architects’ practice von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) occupies a prominent position and – via a glazed joint in the building – provides views from inside out and outside in, with a terraced water landscape continuing the theme on the outside. Located at the banks of the Huangpu River, the new office tower of the Chinese HNA Group, which focuses mainly on air traffic and tourism, provides a fantastic view: the view from the building stretches across Shanghai’s inner city, the Nanpu Bridge, and the site of Expo 2010 up to the skyscrapers of Lujiazui.

The HNA Plaza is composed of two intersecting L-shaped buildings; a glazed joint, also L-shaped, forms the connection. The 90 meter high office tower is based on a 22 meter high plinth with a generous roof terrace oriented towards the riverbank. The space formed by the angle of the intersection of the different parts of the building creates an urban open space; the clear geometric shape of the building is contrasted by a terraced water landscape. A water feature along the low wing of the building visually continues the joint between the buildings on the terrain. Steps lead down to the sunken landscaped courtyard.

The main entrance is located within the narrow side of the office tower to the south facing the plaza with its surrounding water surfaces. At the center of the light-flooded atrium lobby, a 60-square-meter water basin at the foot of the joint between the buildings creates a visual link to the outside water feature.

The vertical circulation has been placed inside the glazed atrium which, on the 15th floor, merges into a two story high conference level with a surrounding terrace. While the tower has meeting rooms as well as flexibly usable office space, the lower part of the building provides space for supporting functions such as shops, canteen, cafeteria, and fitness center.

The glass facade is subdivided by horizontal aluminum louvres with fenestration bands, which function as solar screening and emphasize the special composition of the building. It was the express wish of the client to leave the steel construction and intermediate decks, including the services infrastructure, visible on the inside. This means that glass and metal dominate the building’s appearance inside and out, creating a technical elegance which is reflected in the generous water surfaces on the outside.

Christian Gahl
gmp Architekten
Hans-Georg Esch

get pdf