Archive for August 20th, 2011

August 20, 2011

Surrey City Centre Library | Bing Thom Architects

The new  City Centre Library, designed by Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects(BTA), is set to open on September 24, 2011. This new building marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the area that will continue the transformation of downtown Surrey, from sprawling suburb to the Region’s next great downtown, which began with BTA’s Central City project. Creating dynamic environments that look to the future of Surrey is nothing new to BTA. Nearly a decade ago, the firm designed the incredibly vibrant Central City, which sits down the street from the new Surrey Library. The architectural and social innovation evident at Central City—a fusion of office space, a shopping center and a university—is further exemplified in BTA’s library design.

Architect: Bing Thom Architects Inc.
Location: 10350 University Drive, Surrey, , Canada
Project Team: Bing Thom, Michael Heeney, Venelin Kokalov, Ling Meng, Francis Yan, John Camfield, Shinobu Homma, Robert Sandilands, Marcos Hui, Lisa Potopsingh, Harald Merk, Berit Wooge, Dan Du, Michael Motlagh, Nicole Hu
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 82,000 sqf
Photographs: Courtesy of Bing Thom Architects

Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp
Mechanical Engineer: AME Consulting Group
Electrical Engineer: Applied Engineering Solutions
Civil Engineer: CitiWest Consulting Ltd.
Geotechnical: Trow Consulting Engineers Ltd. (now exp Services
Inc.)
Building Code: LMDG Building Code Consultants
Traffic: Bunt & Associates
Quantity Surveying/Costing: LEC Quantity Surveying Inc.
Building Envelope: Morrison Hershfield
Acoustic: Brown & Strachan
General Contractor: Dominion Fairmile Construction Ltd. (now Stuart
Olson Dominion)
Project Manager: Turnbull Construction Services Ltd.

The Design of a 21st-Century Library
BTA understands that the role of the library is changing and that the book collection is no longer the central focus. With advances in easily available electronic information and inter-library loans, providing the appropriate spaces for evolving library activities is now the priority. These activities range from the traditional research and education roles, to the need for libraries to become a point of connection and even a gathering place in the community. As a result, BTA’s design includes a diverse mixture of large interconnected “high” spaces with generous natural light and “low” more intimate spaces to accommodate the book stacks and individual activities like studying and writing. These spaces are modulated throughout the complex, and are revealed as patrons explore the building. For instance, one of the most dramatic spaces is the “living room,” a casual reading area adjacent to massive windows overlooking a future public plaza to the east, is in a double height space that is not apparent until you reach the third floor. In all cases, the spaces have been deliberately kept informal to make the library feel like an extension of the patron’s home. As Thom says, “The design evolves out of the need to provide a space for reading, studying, and above all, gathering as a community. This building is very flexible and will accommodate all of these purposes, but does so in a way that will intrigue and entice the users through the building.”

The library encourages the gathering of diverse groups of people from the surrounding community. Its design features large windows, a welcoming entrance with clear sight lines that allow visitors to quickly orient themselves in the space, and an upward winding central atrium and two skylights that allow natural light into the building. The form of the building is inspired by the curvature of the adjacent University Drive, with an added dynamism provided by outward-sloping walls. While seemingly complex, by utilizing state of the art computer modeling software, the architects were able to ensure that the concrete formwork was highly efficient and easy to construct. The exterior concrete structure is carefully detailed as the final surface, thereby eliminating the need for expensive building cladding. Designed to LEED standards, the outward sloped walls also provide solar shading.

Using 21st-Century Technology, including Social Media, as a Design Tool
The $36 million library project was funded as part of Canada’s Federal Infrastructure program, with costs shared by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Because of the time constraints placed on these federally funded projects, the firm went head-first into the use of social media to circumvent the standard (and lengthy) community consultation process. The end result is a dynamic design—one that recognizes and supports the changing role of libraries and that incorporates the needs of the client and the ideas of the community – but that also is coming in on time and on budget.

BTA’s social media ingenuity was born out of the need to compensate for a substantially shortened standard public workshop phase. The project was awarded to BTA in November 2009, the groundbreaking took place just a few months later in February 2010, and the opening is scheduled for September 2011 –in total less than two years from start to finish. Traditional public meetings can take months, so BTA developed a social media strategy using blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr to speed things up. BTA worked with Surrey librarians to create a blog on the library website which, in turn, was linked to a Flickr site where BTA posted photos of libraries and other spaces the firm liked. Members of the community were encouraged to post comments and photos; those who did not have a computer or experience with social media went to their local libraries where librarians helped them voice their opinion.

In this way, BTA was able to communicate with a broad range of stakeholders in a short period of time, ensuring that the design got off on the right track. These open, collaborative systems online were also used by BTA and the Surrey Public Library to extend the reach of public meetings and “Meet the Architect” talks to the young and diverse population of Surrey that might not have otherwise voiced their opinions in typical Town Hall forums.

“Surrey has a young population – often families with two working parents who don’t have time to go to public meetings,” says BTA Principal Michael Heeney. “We realized early that it would take us months and months to gather information from the public in the usual ways. Social media made it easy for us to engage in a dialogue with Surrey’s large and disparate community. It was a very eye opening process for us.”

The resulting, innovative design of the library reflects this collaboration, and incorporates the needs of the surrounding community, as well as the demand for libraries to adapt to the way we live and work today. With a grand, center atrium and the requisite private study areas, the design includes a large community multipurpose room that will accommodate 120 people, a computer classroom, a meditation room, and a teen lounge and gaming area.

The virtual “workshops” resulted in several aspects of the design that “might not have been incorporated otherwise,” explains Heeney. Combining both the old and the new techniques of public engagement, BTA teamed up with students from the local high school to create, share, and discuss possible furniture designs and layouts for the Library. Among these are: a pair of special listening music chairs that allow users to preview library media or enjoy their own iPod music in privacy and comfort; a “dinner” table for group work; an LCD-screen TV with comfortable chairs around it; and bean bags throughout. Actual workshops with younger audiences resulted in several additions to the interior, including “a place to color and write,” “a clock to see if we are late,” and “big couches for mom to wait for me.” In addition, custom millwork has been incorporated to promote parent-child reading, interaction, curiosity, play and discovery. Ongoing photo and information streams about the library are building public interest and excitement long before the doors open.

Planning for Future Growth
Surrey is the second largest and fastest-growing city in British Columbia. In fact, the population is expected to outgrow the originally proposed 65,000-square-foot library in a span of about five years. As a result, BTA encouraged the city to future-proof the five-level building by constructing 83,000 square feet now. The excess space will be leased by neighboring Simon Fraser University to operate their Continuing Education program until the library can grow into it. Similarly, there is a full level being built underground, which can later be integrated into an underground civic parkade, another strategy for future expansion and integration with the community.

A New Downtown Continues to Grow
This new building marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the area that will continue the transformation of downtown Surrey from sprawling suburb to the Region’s next great downtown, a process that began with BTA’s Central City project, completed in 2004. This new civic development will ultimately include a new City Hall, a large urban plaza, underground civic parkade, performing arts centre, and additional commercial space – all of which will be arranged adjacent to one of the most intensively used transit hubs in Metro Vancouver. As Bing Thom states, “Surrey City Centre Library is the beginning of a new civic initiative that’s going to further establish the downtown–continuing what we started with our Central City project–for this growing and important city.”

http://www.archdaily.com/70482/surrey-city-centre-library-by-bing-thom-architects/

Advertisements
August 20, 2011

Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?

Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?

In Ho Chi Minh City, Carlos Zapata Studio and EE&K (now owned by Perkins Eastman) are working on a 7.5 million-square-foot development dubbed Ma Lang Center.
Image courtesy Carlos Zapata Studio and EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
In Ho Chi Minh City, Carlos Zapata Studio and EE&K (now owned by Perkins Eastman) are working on a 7.5 million-square-foot development dubbed Ma Lang Center.
Image courtesy Carlos Zapata Studio and EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
SOM has six projects in Vietnam, including Green Tech City, in Hanoi. The master plan features two villages and a lush park that will act as a sponge for rain runoff.
Image courtesy SOM
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
SOM has six projects in Vietnam, including Green Tech City, in Hanoi. The master plan features two villages and a lush park that will act as a sponge for rain runoff.
Image courtesy SOM
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
In Long Xuyen, which is on the Mekong Delta, EE&K has conceived a master plan that calls for transforming 470 rural acres into dense urban neighborhoods.
Image courtesy EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
In Long Xuyen, EE&K has proposed a multibuilding project for downtown.
Image courtesy EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
Perkins Eastman has conceived a 229-acre residential district that will be part of North An Khanh New City, a new mixed-use development in Hanoi designed to accommodate 30,000 inhabitants.
Image courtesy Perkins Eastman
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
Perkins Eastman has conceived a 229-acre residential district that will be part of North An Khanh New City, a new mixed-use development in Hanoi designed to accommodate 30,000 inhabitants.
Image courtesy Perkins Eastman
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
Carlos Zapata Studio has designed a 450-room waterfront Marriott in Hanoi. The building, which resembles a crooked horseshoe if viewed from above, is now under construction.
Image courtesy Carlos Zapata Studio
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
As this photo illustration shows, the 68-floor Bitexco Financial Tower, completed in 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City, features a helipad jutting like a diving board from its glass-walled upper stories. Carlos Zapata Studio designed the building.
Image courtesy Carlos Zapata Studio
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
In Danang, SOM has been tapped to design the master plan for FPT City (FPT is a telecommunications company). The 180-hectare mixed-use project features a town center, university campus, business district, and residential zones.
Image courtesy SOM
Is Vietnam the New Frontier for Architects?
In Danang, SOM has been tapped to design the master plan for FPT City (FPT is a telecommunications company). The 180-hectare mixed-use project features a town center, university campus, business district, and residential zones.
Image courtesy SOM
It might have been unthinkable as a place to do business just a few decades ago, when half of the country was at war with the United States. It doesn’t have the resources of China, its booming neighbor to the north. And its communist government might not appeal to citizens from capitalist nations.

But quietly, Vietnam has in recent years become a hot spot for many Western architects, as work in their home countries remains elusive. About two dozen North American and European firms now have projects in the Southeast Asian nation, including Foster + Partners, HOK, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). And some are opening permanent offices there, according to architects working in the country.

Vietnam is “starting to dip its toe into the pool with more Western buildings, because it wants to make a mark on the international scene,” says architect Anthony Montalto, a principal with Chicago-based Carlos Zapata Studio. “There is definitely an opportunity to try something fresh.”

Two of his firm’s buildings — reportedly among the first by U.S. designers to be built in Vietnam — appear strikingly different from the low-slung and boxy structures in the country’s cities. Its 68-floor Bitexco Financial Tower, completed in 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), features a helipad jutting like a diving board from its glass-walled upper stories. And in Hanoi, the firm’s 450-room waterfront Marriott, which resembles a crooked horseshoe if viewed from above, is now under construction.

Many of the opportunities in Vietnam entail urban planning. Unlike buildings, master plans do not require collaboration with licensed local architects, perhaps making them easier for Westerners to take on, according to sources.

HOK, for one, was recently hired by Sacom, a telecom and real estate company, to conceive a 27-acre development in Ho Chi Minh City (where the firm has a six-employee office, founded in 2009). Geared toward young professionals, the scheme features 1,600 homes and is crisscrossed by canals, says Tyler Meyr, an HOK senior associate. Like many projects in Vietnam, the Sacom development will be built on state-owned farmland, which is viewed as expendable now that the country is transitioning from agriculture to heavy industry, architects say.

The state, and the population at large, do not seem to bear a grudge against America, despite the fact that it conducted a decades-long war there, adds Meyr. “They are in a very optimistic time and thinking about the future rather than the past,” he says.

That upbeat mood can be explained partly by the influx of jobs due to foreign investment. With 87 million people, Vietnam is seen by many as a favorable place to locate factories because the labor force is comparatively cheap—about half that of manufacturing districts in China, according to World Bank figures. Intel, for one, opened a $1 billion semiconductor factory in the country last year. The United States’ normalization of trade within Vietnam in 2000 has also strengthened relations and spurred development, analysts say.

In turn, architects have come knocking, prompted by continued softness in the U.S. building industry. There are about a dozen American firms working in the southern city of Long Xuyen alone, explains architect Ming Wu, a design principal with Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects (EE&K, now owned by Perkins Eastman). “Every day, more and more foreign architects are piling into Vietnam,” he says.

In Long Xuyen, which is on the Mekong Delta, EE&K has proposed a multibuilding project for downtown, in addition to conceiving a master plan that calls for transforming 470 rural acres into dense urban neighborhoods. Both schemes await approval.

EE&K is tapping into other cities, as well. In Ho Chi Minh City, it is working alongside Carlos Zapata on a mega-development dubbed Ma Lang Center. In Hanoi, the same team has created a master plan for a new 200-acre district called Hoang Mai Park City. British firms are showing up in Vietnam, too. Last fall, Foster + Partners broke ground on a bank complex in Hanoi.

One of the busier global firms in Vietnam might be SOM. It has six projects in the country, all master plans. It recently was tapped for Green Tech City, in Hanoi, which features two villages and a lush park that will act as a sponge for rain runoff, says Daniel Ringelstein, SOM director of urban design and planning.

Working in Vietnam does have its drawbacks. Projects don’t always pay competitive fees, and some cite systemic corruption in the awarding of contracts. Also, clients often emphasize cars over trains, meaning the country might repeat mistakes seen in the United States. “We’ve learned in the West that if you build more roads, it won’t solve traffic problems,” Ringelstein says. “It means more cars will come.”

By C. J. Hughes

http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2011/07/110722-Vietnam.asp

 

August 20, 2011

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: , England
Client: Olympic Delivery Authority
Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty
Project Team: Alex Bilton, Alex Marcoulides, Barbara Bochnak, Carlos Garijo, Clay Shorthall, Ertu Erbay, George King, Giorgia Cannici, Hannes Schafelner, Hee Seung Lee, Kasia Townend, Nannette Jackowski, Nicolas Gdalewitch, Seth Handley, Thomas Soo, Tom Locke, Torsten Broeder, Tristan Job, Yamac Korfali, Yeena Yoon
Project Area: 15,950 sqm (Legacy), 21,897 sqm (Olympic)
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Hélène BinetHufton + Crow

Design Concept

The architectural concept of the London Aquatic Centre is inspired by the fluid geometries of water in motion, creating spaces and a surrounding environment that reflect the riverside landscapes of the Olympic Park. An undulating roof sweeps up from the ground as a wave – enclosing the pools of the Centre with a unifying gesture of fluidity, while also describing the volume of the swimming and diving pools.

The Aquatics Centre is designed with an inherent flexibility to accommodate 17,500 spectators for the London 2012 Games in ‘Olympic’ mode while also providing the optimum spectator capacity of 2000 for use in ‘Legacy’ mode after the Games.

Site Context

The Aquatics Centre is within the Olympic Park Masterplan. Positioned on the south eastern edge of the Olympic Park with direct proximity to Stratford, a new pedestrian access to the Olympic Park via the east-west bridge (called the Stratford City Bridge) passes directly over the Centre as a primary gateway to the Park. Several smaller pedestrian bridges will also connect the site to the Olympic Park over the existing canal.

The Aquatic Centre addresses the main public spaces implicit within the Olympic Park and Stratford City planning strategies: the east-west connection of the Stratford City Bridge and the continuation of the Olympic Park along the canal.

Layout

The Aquatics Centre is planned on an orthogonal axis that is perpendicular to the Stratford City Bridge. All three pools are aligned on this axis. The training pool is located under the bridge with the competition and diving pools located within the large pool hall enclosed by the roof. The overall strategy is to frame the base of the pool hall as a podium connected to the Stratford City Bridge.This podium element contains of a variety of differentiated and cellular programmes within a single architectural volume which is seen to be completely assimilated with the bridge. The podium emerges from the bridge to cascade around the pool hall to the lower level of the canal.The pool hall is expressed above the podium by a large roof which arches along the same axis as the pools. Its form is generated by the sightlines of the 17,500 spectators in its Olympic mode. Double-curvature geometry has been used to generate a parabolic arch structure that creates the unique characteristics of the roof. The roof undulates to differentiate between the volumes of competition pool and the diving pool. Projecting beyond the pool hall envelope, the roof extends to the external areas and to the main entrance on the bridge that will be the primary access in Legacy mode. Structurally, the roof is grounded at 3 primary positions with the opening between the roof and podium used for the additional spectator seating in Olympic mode, then in-filled with a glass façade in Legacy mode.

http://www.archdaily.com/161116/london-aquatics-centre-for-2012-summer-olympics-zaha-hadid-architects/

 

August 20, 2011

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston | Mies Van der Rohe

After completing a master plan for the site in 1953, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was commissioned by The Museum of Fine Arts Houston to do two additions to the Caroline Wiess Law Building. Cullinan Hall and Brown Pavilion were added in 1953 and 1974 respectively. See more after the break.

The museum’s original building was designed in 1924 by William Ward Watkin in the Neoclassical style. Here, the South facade features tall Greek columns. In contrast, Van der Rohe’s addition on the North side of the museum stands as a renowned example of International style. Along with the National Gallery in Berlin, the additions to MFAH is Mies van der Rohe’s only museum work.

Utilizing 30 foot ceilings, and 6,800 square feet of open floor space, Cullinan Hall is the museum’s largest and most flexible space for events. Selections from the museum’s permanent collection of Modern and Contemporary art are generally showcased in this portion of the museum. The gently curved gallery is often used for formal events. Together, Cullinan Hall and Brown Pavilion make up over 10,000 square feet of gallery and reception space.The fan-shaped design featured by Mies van der Rohe increases floor space while the radial steel construction allows for a dramatic curtain wall facing the street. The use of modern materials of the time, such as industrial steel and large-pane glass, helped Mies van der Rohe define his “skin and bones” approach. By producing minimal framework for the museum, he implies the freedom of free-flowing open space throughout the interior volume.

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Location: Texas
Project Year: 1953, 1974
References: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Photographs: Wikimedia CommonsMFAH archiveFlickryan.da

http://www.archdaily.com/153819/ad-classics-the-museum-of-fine-arts-houston-mies-van-der-rohe/

August 20, 2011

China Diamond Exchange Center | Goettsch Partners

Architect: Goettsch Partners
Location: Shanghai, 
Project Year: 2005-2009
Photographs: 1st Image

The China Diamond Exchange Center is a 535,500 square foot office complex designed by Goettsch Partners of Chicago, Illinois.  Located within Shanghai’s sea of massive and often overstated high-rises, this modest-by-comparison structure is brilliantly detailed, appropriately scaled, and aesthetically beautiful.  The complex was completed in 2009 with the help of associate architects Zhong-fu Architects.  The Diamond Exchange Center is sited within Shanghai’s Pudong district, an international financial and commercial hub and houses both the Exchange and additional relative tenants.

In addition to office space on the upper levels, the building includes retail on the ground floor and a second floor that features the elevator lobby, exhibition space and a restaurant.  According to the architect description, the building was conceived as two rectangular office slabs joined by a skylit atrium.  One of the two office slabs is dedicated to the members of the China Diamond Exchange, while the other tower houses the remainder of the complex’s tenants.  The separation of tenants allows for secure transport for Diamond Exchange members within their own tower, thereby eliminating any potential security breaches for the high-profile office functions.  While distinct with regards to program,  both towers are clad with exterior  and contrast the transparency of the atrium.

The atrium is the undeniable focal point of the building, featuring a 66×230 foot cable-supported curtain wall.  The immense scale of the atrium is an impressive entrance to visitors and employees and provide access to the elevators that serve as the complex’s primary vertical circulation arteries.  Not only is the atrium an impressive architectural statement, it is also integral to the daylighting scheme of the complex and brings natural light to the relatively narrow 20m wide floor plate of its abutting towers.  The primary tenants’ core business inspired the design, with  diamond-shaped elements featured throughout the scheme — these elements includes the atrium’s glass skylight, the geometry of the entry canopy, and the main lobby floor pattern.

http://www.archdaily.com/157675/china-diamond-exchange-center-goettsch-partners/

read it here from: http://trendsideas.com/Article13947/UnitedStates/OfficeDesign

Credit List
Location : China Diamond Exchange Center (Shanghai)
Architect : Goettsch Partners
Interior design, public spaces :Goettsch Partners
Construction company : Shanghai No 2 Construction
Associate architect : Shanghai Zhong-fu Architects
Structural engineer : Shanghai Tong-qing Technologic Development
Civil, mechanical and electrical engineer : Shanghai Zhong-fu Architects
Quantity surveyor : Shanghai Sunking Construction Project Management
Landscaping : ADI
Fire consultant : Shanghai Zhong-fu Architects
Cladding : Aluminium
Roof : Glass and aluminium skylight by Shanghai MeiTe Curtain Wall System Co
Facade : Glass from China Southern Glass Glazing
System : Curtain wall by Shanghai MeiTe Curtain Wall System Co
Hardware : Dorma
Flooring : White Carrara marble
Wallcoverings : Water-white glass with specialty frit from China Southern Glass
Lighting : Shanghai Hai New Century Co
Heating/air conditioning : Toshiba
Lift and escalator services :ThyssenKrupp

Story by Charles Moxham
Photography by 1st-image

Even in a substantial Grade A office tower, the potential reallocation of spaces can be a major design consideration. Together with clean, contemporary architecture, generous floor plates, and ergonomic pedestrian flows, there should be the option to repurpose the spaces as business needs evolve.
The China Diamond Exchange Center, designed by Goettsch Partners and commissioned by Shanghai Lujiazui Development Co, stands tall on Century Avenue – the main boulevard in Shanghai’s Pudong district and the city’s financial and commercial hub.
The 15-storey, nearly 50,000m2 building provides space for the China Diamond Exchange, which currently occupies one side of the building, as well as other related tenancies. In addition to office space on the upper levels, the building includes ground-floor retail facilities, with the elevator lobby, exhibition space and a restaurant on the floor above.
Partner at Goettsch, James Zheng says the building was conceived as two large rectangular structures connected by a central glass atrium, which looks like a giant sparkling diamond sandwiched between great slabs of coal.
“The core business of the major tenants inspired the design in other ways, too,” says Zheng. “Diamond-shaped elements can be seen in the atrium’s glass skylight, the structural geometry of the entry canopy, and the lobby floor.”
Essentially, the architecture of the China Diamond Exchange Center is a tribute to its stock in trade – an aesthetic that also helps it stand out from other, in many cases taller, structures nearby.
A colour palette of black, grey and red dominates the building. The two office blocks are fronted in black, which provides hard-to-read surfaces that disguise the intakes and exhausts of the mechanical systems. All building systems were pushed to the outer areas of the building in the pursuit of large, uncluttered floorplates that are both attractive to tenants and practical in terms of reconfiguring offices as required.
Exposed metal elevator cabs, stainless steel cables and other, more reflective surfaces lend a subtle contrast in grey. In addition, there are several splashes of red within the decor. With many positive connotations in Chinese culture, this colour brings a sense of warmth to the minimalist spaces.
“The translucent glass atrium and open elevator towers are the central focus of the building,” says Zheng. “Besides evoking the strength and sparkle of diamonds, the atrium creates a sense of business transparency. At the front and rear of the building, 20m x 70m net walls supported by cables admit maximum light into the cavernous central space.”
The three elevators, in the middle of the atrium, climb to sky bridges on all levels that lead to both towers. The activity of the elevators is not only visible from the lobby but also from outside, through the gleaming net wall. Similarly, activity on the street can be seen from within the atrium, further animating the ground-level spaces.
The architect and developer had far-sighted plans for this tower and the elevator banks are a clue to the ongoing viability of the building.
“With diamonds being such a valuable commodity, staff working in that tower enter through a screening room and then travel up to their floor on separate, secure elevators away from the public eye,” says Zheng. “So, while the central elevators appear to service both sides, in reality they currently only take people up to the multi-use tower.”
It is envisaged that in the future, the China Diamond Exchange will occupy both sides of the building, and at that time all levels and both towers will be accessed, via security, by the central elevators.
“We could have built separate elevator shafts for both towers, but the long-term view dictated that we build the central, feature elevators that could eventually be utilised by all,” Zheng says.
Topping the towers – and adding to their adaptive use – are upscale penthouse spaces that are likely to evolve into executive offices or exhibition areas.
“Everything about the China Diamond Exchange Center was designed with an eye on the future.”