New York firm Steven Holl Architects has recently completed the Sliced Porosity Block, a complex of five multifuctional towers around a public plaza in Chengdu, China. Creating a metropolitan public space instead of object-icon skyscrapers, this three million square foot project, made by white concrete and glass, takes its shape from its distribution of natural light. The large public space framed by the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of the city’s greatest poet Du Fu (713-770) who wrote, ‘From the northeast storm-tossed to the southwest, time has left stranded in Three Valleys.’
The Sliced Porosity Block is heated and cooled with 468 geothermal wells and the large ponds in the plaza harvest recycled rainwater, while the natural grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are among the other methods employed to reach the LEED Gold rating.
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images © Hufton + Crow