Vast cultural centre completes in Shenzhen
Mecanoo create 400m linear arts complex
Mecanoo have completed The Longgang Cultural Centre in Shenzhen, a 95,000 sq m complex containing varied cultural facilities inside an iconic structure which links the nearby park to a new business district. The designers rose to the challenge of the narrow 3.8ha location by creating a 400m linear building, divided into four separate structures with passages between them providing access to surrounding areas.
The buildings all feature curved edges and tilting facades, which frame views, shelter public squares and naturally guide pedestrians through the complex. By using the same style for the various buildings, the complex is visually cohesive without an apparent front or back facade. This design is also a response to the subtropical climate, with fluid forms channelling air currents and providing protection against the sun and rain. The designers released a statement explaining the overall vision to create the building as a piece of art in itself, saying: “The building connects the surrounding areas by subdividing the programme into separate volumes. The in-situ concrete structure was carefully designed to become part of the visitors’ experience; wandering through the building is like viewing a cast concrete sculpture from the inside. The structural facade of each volume integrates beams, columns and massive concrete cores, resulting in a building where everything is revealed.”
The Cultural Centre has four main elements: an art museum, youth centre, science centre and book mall. The science centre focuses on popular science for children and young adults, while the adjacent youth centre offers a place for extracurricular activities such as music and sports. The art museum combines public arts on the upper floors with an urban planning centre on the ground floor and in the basement. The largest of the four structures contains a “book mall” – a retail space reserved for books and related activities such as signing sessions and exhibitions.
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