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15 Nov 2017

The new Shanghai arts centre designed by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio

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A dramatic kinetic facade is making its debut on the new Shanghai arts centre designed by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio

"Thinking globally and acting locally is an integral part of our holistic approach,” says Gerard Evenden, head of studio and senior executive partner at Foster + Partners. 

As an international studio dealing with architecture, urbanism and design, every project pursued by the team represents thoughtful and forward-thinking construction. But Foster’s latest venture, a joint development in which it has collaborated with Heatherwick Studio, falls nothing short of pioneering. 

The Bund Finance Centre is a mixed-use development close to the Shanghai waterfront – eight buildings that bring together offices with a boutique hotel, a cultural centre and luxury retail spaces, arranged around a public plaza. With a blend of the urban and historic at its core, it is contributing to the continuing rebirth of the city’s historic waterfront. 

“The Bund Finance Centre has been conceived as a point of connection between the old town and the new financial district,” Evenden tells me. With two 180m landmark towers at the south end of the site, the other buildings are staggered in unison facing the water’s edge. The whole production relates to the “scale and rhythm” of the grand 19th century landmarks along the Bund. 

Viewed as the end point to Shanghai’s most iconic street, the cluster of buildings occupies a huge 420,000sq m masterplan and is highly accessible for pedestrians, connecting the old town and its new financial district. To say the scheme is on an impressive scale would be to undersell the project.

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A dramatic kinetic facade is making its debut on the new Shanghai arts centre designed by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio Film by Proudfoot

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