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World Trade Center building unveiled by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects

International architecture practice, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects has unveiled their scheme designs for the World Trade Centre paid competition project in Yiwu City, Zhejing Province, Central Eastern China. The 462,750 sq m project, commissioned by Hangzhou Duonaohe Real Estate Co., Ltd consists of four towers, with the tallest being 62-floors connected via a common retail podium.

Steven Brown of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, said: “The first and most prominent tower will become the signature architectural element of the project. Its bold geometry and prominent height create a dramatic statement to mark the entry to the new business district.”

The tower is composed of a pair of gently curved ‘shells’ juxtaposed around an inner core. The lower portion of the tower, with the larger floorplates, contains the office building. As the tower rises, one of these shells falls away to reveal a luminous, crystalline inner core.

The upper levels of the tower, with the smaller floorplates, contain the hotel and offer spectacular views of the new business district, the river, and the surrounding landscape. Especially when illuminated in the evening, this crystalline inner core will form a shining beacon and an unmistakable skyline feature for the new development.

The three other towers, two residential and one serviced apartments, match the scale of the adjacent buildings and help to unify the new development with the surrounding context. Their materials and geometry create a harmonious counterpoint to the main tower with folded glass curtain walls on their external urban facades and a residentially scaled screen of balconies on their inner facades. The residential towers face each other to frame a private garden on the top of the podium.

At the heart of the podium is a raised inner courtyard that serves as the focal point and primary drop-off areas for both the retail and office functions. The centre of the retail development is a winter garden atrium, which serves as the primary orientation space and vertical circulation link for the retail floors. It also provides a direct connection between the courtyard and the landscaped park along the riverfront.

This winter garden is both a luminous symbol and a center of activity for the retail area as well as a key link between the courtyard and the street. Around the perimeter of the podium are the retail storefronts and residential building entries that will create a lively street façade.