Plaza 66 ( Hang Lung Plaza ) in Shanghai, China by KPF

Description by KPF :

As one of the tallest buildings in Shanghai and the most successful commercial developments ever built in China, Plaza 66 is home to a mix of retail, entertainment, and extensive below-grade parking areas with more than one million square feet (92,900 square meters) of office space in Tower I and 750,000 square feet (75,000 square meters) in Tower II. Situated on the busiest commercial street in Shanghai’s central district, the five-story retail podium fronts Nanjing Xi Lu, matching the scale of the historic streetscape and reflecting the active street life of the district. The complex is home to several high-end designers, including Christian Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Versace, among others.

The office towers, which are set deeper into the site, are punctuated by two major interior public spaces cradled by the buildings’ curved volumes. The solution arranges a series of radially derived volumes—lozenge, cone, almond, and arc¬—in the manner of a collage. The office towers are accessed by a cross-lot street that transverses the site with two one-way traffic lanes: Xi Kang Lu to the west and Shan Xi Bei Lu to the east. Below-grade parking for cars, as well as access for trucks to the below-grade truck dock, is accessed from the interior drive lane. Another ramp from the below-grade parking levels empties at the back of the retail podium and is used primarily for bicycle parking access.

Completed in 2000, the first phase of Plaza 66 Tower I is an established landmark on the Shanghai skyline. Tower II, completed in 2006, joins the taller Tower I to become an integral component in the overall site composition by virtue of its complementary curvilinear shape. While the street-level entrances separate their functions, the towers’ massing creates a unified composition. The curved volumes of the base spiral in ascending fashion to the top of 66-story Tower I. The top of Tower II reinforces this spiraling energy, and acknowledges its taller neighbor with a sweeping planar gesture toward the apex of Tower I—a lantern formed of billowing screens that glow at night.

The exterior expression of Tower II echoes that of Tower I by employing the same wall types with matching glass and aluminum. Multiple building entrances are protected by canopies, including the primary entry on the south façade. Fitted with flat-glass cladding and a minimal amount of aluminum, the east side of the tower presents a powerful monolithic backdrop for the other, more plastic walls of Tower II.

Vehicular drop-off areas with canopies above are provided at both towers, and a dedicated automobile court at the west façade of Tower II also provides access to at-grade parking. Generously landscaped areas buffer Tower II from the residential neighborhood to the north with a screen of planted trees obscuring the parking from the main entry to the building. Similarly a variety of planted areas soften the edge of the site.

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