Urban Habitat - District/Master Plan Scale Award of Excellence: Poly Greenland Plaza, Shanghai
von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects, Hamburg
Poly Property Group Co., Limited, Shanghai
A New Urban Quarter that is Responsive Scale and Context
Shanghai’s Poly Greenland Plaza stands as two rows of pentagonal buildings, arranged to form a sequence of spaces within itself, defining clear boundaries to the street. The project mediates between the various scales and uses of the immediate neighborhood by reflecting the tall residential compounds nearby with carefully-placed towers, positioning lower, horizontally-oriented commercial buildings, which face the older quarters and industrial complexes across busy Changyang Road.
The new urban quarter is completely permeable along its peripheries, opening generous plazas to the neighborhood and inviting pedestrians into the landscaped interior. On multiple levels, there is ample green space, outdoor seating and places to socially interact. The arrangement of the round-cornered, angular building volumes provides pedestrians with meandering paths, dotted by sunny and shaded spaces.
The building envelopes are constructed as unitized curtain wall façades with polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF)-coated aluminum for the closed parts, and extremely low-reflective glazing. Curved glazing at the corners adds to the overall elegance of the buildings, while natural ventilation and smoke exhaust are facilitated via openings behind decorative front panels. The linear façade lighting on the towers is integrated as indirect light in each vertical joint between units, and in the horizontal façade profiles that wrap the buildings at varying heights. Granite paving on multiple levels in the external areas connects to warm-toned natural stone surfaces in the interior. Diamond-shaped green islands are framed with seating benches of sculptured granite. While during the day the building ensemble appears as a strong dark and silvery contrast, the coloring shifts through a range of bluish shades in the early morning and evenings, to become brightly illuminated floating islands in the city ocean at night.