Huayuan Group’s Changsha Hua Center Phase II project, located in the center of the old city of Changsha, is now complete and ready for occupants. At the busy intersection of Jiefang West Road, Taiping Street and Pozi Street, the new “urban life center” will host a double ground-floor retail space, diversified vertical traffic, offices, sky lobbies and other amenities.
The designer, Aedas, drew inspiration from the world heritage site, Zhangjia Jie, a tourist destination in Hunan known for its rigorous landscape of sandstone pillars, caves and waters canyons, an ancient village, and rugged and weathered mountain rocks. The scheme is intended to evoke the mountains in Zhangjia Jie, each with its own unique shape while simultaneously linking with each other: independent, energetic, and interactive.
“Why do we have to build a regular or ordinary building at the most ‘passionate’ intersection of Changsha?”
According to Andy Wen, Global Design Principal of Aedas, “Why do we have to build a regular or ordinary building at the most ‘passionate’ intersection of Changsha? I hope it could embody the personality of Changsha and preferences of the younger generations, and blend well with the rich nightlife around.” He positions this project as a pioneering cultural innovation hub with integrated retail, office, residential, art, and exhibition elements targeting the city’s youth.
The podium has different setbacks in each direction and features with a huge glass dome on top. Brilliant yellow light sheds mimic the stalactites and stalagmites of Huanglong Cave. Between podium and tower, an elevated transitional platform is constituted with the silhouette of an ancient village reinterpreted in a modern architectural language of metallic materials. The two 137-meter towers are staggered and twisted with uneven setbacks on each story, creating plateau-like platforms for roof gardens and viewing platforms. A link bridge connects the South and North towers.
The buildings’ programs are easily distinguished by individual expressions of the façade. Glazed curtain walls are used on the ground floor for retail, the remaining podium adopts stone with horizontal glass display windows. The tower façade is dominated by vertical lines, echoing the design of the podium.
The unique architectural structure also greatly emphasizes spatial connection with the city and promotes user experience. A semi-enclosed micro-environment, with natural ventilation and unobstructed daylight, is provided by the curved contours. The terraces and public spaces, formed by the tower setbacks, become urban parlors, as well as new leisure destinations for both local citizens and tourists.
Entrances of the upper ground floor form a commercial corridor with the adjacent Taiping Street and Pozi Street, with a public plaza in-between to attract pedestrians. The atrium of the podium also reserves a sizable public space for art exhibitions, events and performances, and the round shopping mall has multiple vertical transportation routes to guide pedestrian flow.
The towers, with a story height of 4.5 meters, offers wider possibilities for spatial utilization, such as loft apartments and small office/home office (SOHO) configurations.
For more on this story go to ArchDaily.