At Wulin Square, a new 130-meter-high tower is part of the extension and redesign of the GDA Plaza, a hotel and office complex in the traditional business quarter of Hangzhou.
Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp), who had previously won the competition, were in charge of the design and implementation.
The GDA Plaza was substantially extended by a new 28-story building with a gross floor area of 57,500 square meters. The existing main building was retained as much as possible, but completely reorganized. Construction work was carried out in phases, while operation of the shopping mall and hotel continued. The overall process took eight years to complete.
The extension, at the corner site between Yan’an Road and Tiyuchang Road, created additional offices and commercial space, as well as new leisure facilities such as cinemas and restaurants.
With its elliptical curved form, the tower supplements the two immediately adjacent high-rise buildings: the triangular Radisson Hotel with its rounded corners, and a semicircular office building, both of approximately the same height.
In order to achieve a uniform architectural effect for the entire building complex, the new building is linked with the existing ones via a 10-story plinth. Recesses between the old and new parts of the buildings make these transitions visible. The plinth, with a gross floor area of 17,997 square meters, supplements the hotel, retail, and commercial area.
Designed to be flexible in use, areas of the new tower can be reconfigured from an office to hotel function at any time.
From the Radisson Hotel, the new building can be reached via direct-link passages on the plinth floors. The internal circulation systems follow the geometry of the elliptical high-rise building. Behind the new shopping mall, a pedestrian route creates an additional passage through the complex from the two main roads to the hotel. Below ground, the GDA Plaza is connected to the metro.
“The design of the façade enhances the uniform architectural effect of the entire building complex.”
The design of the façade enhances the uniform architectural effect of the entire building complex. With its curved and dynamic shape, the façade envelops the building and creates flowing transitions between the newly-clad old portion and the new building, as well as a link to the Hotel tower.
GDA Plaza Hotel and Business Center is close to West Lake, considered a focal point and special attraction of the old, traditional city of Hangzhou. Its highly cultivated landscape is an outstanding feature of this 9-million-person metropolis to the southwest of Shanghai, and in 2011 was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
For more on this story go to gmp.com.