Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio have revealed joint designs for the Bund Finance Centre (BFC) in Shanghai. The 420,000sq m mixed-use development comprises eight buildings, including two 180m towers, with Grade A offices, a hotel, retail space an arts centre, surrounding a public plaza.
The masterplan aims to connect the old town, the new financial district and the Bund – Shanghai’s well-known waterfront skyline. The two largest towers sit at the back of the site, with the buildings in front gradually staggered in height to relate to the scale of its surrounding buildings, which include a mix of 19th century buildings and modern skyscrapers.
A materials palette of stone with bronze details aims to give the buildings a ‘jewel-like quality’ says Foster + Partners. The edges of the buildings are made in handcrafted, textured granite, which becomes slimmer towards the top of the buildings, to give the impression of solidity at the base and transparency at the top.
Thomas Heatherwick said, “this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years 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 project is under construction and expected to complete in 2015.