suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Joel Sanders Architect with FreelandBuck: Our first-place winning design for Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall melds two generic building types—the mall and the cultural building—to create a unique hybrid, the “cultural mall.”
A 20-story office tower is perched upon a five-story podium organized around four “cultural cores” that respectively house theaters, exhibition halls, a fitness club and an education center. A retail loop, comprised of affiliated stores, restaurants and cafes, spirals around each cultural core, allowing culture and commerce to mix. The scheme breaks down the scale of the given superblock by subdividing the site into a sequence of human-scaled indoor and outdoor public spaces that seamlessly integrate into the surrounding city while preserving the single identity of the entire complex.
The slab’s elongated facades maximize favorable southern and northern light while minimizing solar heat gain from the short east and west exposures. The Tower is clad in a solar screen composed of horizontal and vertical louvers whose spacing and depth are calibrated to shade the different faces of the slab based on sun angles. Our sustainability strategy makes use of the porosity of the building to produce a range of pleasant micro-climates that also enable passive heating and cooling. Structurally, the building’s cultural cores provide lateral stability in combination with conventional gravity columns and beams.