Project Type / Use: Mixed-Use Development: Office Space, Hotel, Retail Center, and Cultural Center
Project Location (City/Country): Shanghai / China
Year Project Opened: 2017
Project Architect (Name of architectural firm and office location): Heatherwick Studio, Foster + Partners
Material Provider: Kloeckner’s Chinese partner Double Stone Steel
Client (Name of company/organization and location): Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio and Senior Executive Partner, Foster + Partners / Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio
Client: Fusan Foundation (Cultural Center)
Overall Project Size: 430,000 square meters total (Office, retail, cultural center), Fusan Cultural Center 4000 square meters
Opened in 2017, the Shanghai Bund complex functions as the gateway to the new China. Located between Shanghai’s19th-century landmarked waterfront and the new financial district, the complex connects the old with the new Shanghai. Designed by Fosters + Partners in collaboration with Heatherwick Studios, the 18-building complex with a landscaped public plaza includes office, retail, hotel and cultural spaces.
Sitting at the core of the development is the Fusan Cultural Center, a 4,000-square-meter building conceived as a platform for exhibition, performances, events and corporate functions. The flexible use of the building is reflected in its exterior – a kinetic curtain serves as movable veil that adapts to the changing use of the building. It can reveal or conceal the performance stage on the building’s balcony as a nod to the Chinese tradition of stages open to the street.
The curtain concept requires the use of innovative building materials, as it has to withstand earthquakes, typhoons and severe weather. Thomas Heatherwick referenced the traditional Chinese bridal headdress using 675 individual “tassels” in varying lengths running on three separate tracks. Each tassel consists of a structured aluminum extrusion core clad in stainless steel sleeves finished with a PVD finish.