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Behind the Design: Huamu Lot 10

A mixed-use urban development comprised of three office towers and a museum surrounding a central plaza, Huamu Lot 10 invites Shanghai's residents and visitors to interact with nature and art. Learn about the development's façade concept, providing Huamu Lot 10 with a distinctive design character through a thoughtful material palette and lighting features, as well as extensive sustainability strategies.

“We’ve conceived Huamu Lot 10 as an integrated place of culture and commerce,” says KPF Design Principal Jeffrey A. Kenoff. “The project seeks to flip the equation of a tower, which typically includes an iconic top, and instead uses the gallery program as a cantilevered volume near the mid-point of the tower. The result is a moment that engages the pedestrian realm while simultaneously sculpting the project’s identity within the Shanghai skyline.”

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Overview of Huamu Lot 10 development in Shanghai. Right rendering by Plomp.

Green Façade

Sustainability

The design of Huamu Lot 10's curtain wall employs many techniques to enhance sustainability. The horizontal band overhang reduces direct solar gain into the interior spaces. The ample natural daylighting reduces electricity consumption. The fins provide shading and protect against sunlight glare. Operable windows provide fresh air to increase occupant comfort. The glass delivers high performance by adopting a sophisticated, double silver low-E coating, its glazing insulated with argon. Low reflectivity glass has also been integrated into the façade to avoid unwanted reflections on surrounding residential buildings. Finally, insulation and thermal breaks with thermal energy modeling serve to improve the performance in order to meet China 3-Star standards.

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Tower Façade

Sophisticated and Smart Façade

The tower’s geometrical shifting serves to distinguish the project from its surroundings. Prominently integrated into the design is the horizontal expression of the façade. This rhythm follows the shifting language of the project, maximizing daylight in the office spaces and providing vast views of the evolving skylines in Pudong. Mindful of the residential neighborhood adjacent to the site, the design team avoided excessive amounts of overly reflective glass, giving the project a harmonious and sophisticated presence within the built environment.

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Close up of the three towers. Rendering by Plomp.

Curtainwall

Elements


A typical tower wall adopts a unitized curtain wall system, comprised of a classic combination of glass and metal mullions. However, an unfortunate side effect of Shanghai’s well-intended restrictions on glass results in dark buildings with low reflectivity. Huamu Lot 10 avoids this scenario by adopting a bright palette of white and silver metals, located on the fins and horizontal projections.

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Diagram depicting the sections of the façade.

Glass Panel Size

Operable Windows and Panoramic Views

Efficiency is the centerpiece of Huamu Lot 10's technical design. While many office towers utilize 1.2m or 1.5m wide curtain wall panels, this project employs a wider 1.8m panel, divided into 0.6m and 1.2m modules. This allows for an operable window located on the smaller side of the panel. Panoramic views are achieved by a single, unitized glass panel. As a result, the view is enabled by a façade with fewer panels, fewer joints, and a faster construction sequence.

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Diagrams visualizing the panel sizing and the increased wall-to-window ratio.

The KPF team used parametric software tools to perform an analysis of views at various angles. This allowed for adjustments to the mullion pattern and alignment relative to the columns, ensuring clear views from the office interiors.

Fins

Nested Fin and Mullion Profile

Both mullion and vertical fins adopted a nested profile, which carries large-scale project design language down into the smallest detail. The nested profile visually reduces the apparent thickness and heaviness of the façade. It also introduces a greater character to the details, adding layers of rhythm and texture across the façade.

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The joint of a conventional unit panel is in the middle of the left and right mullions, making the unit appear wider from an interior view.
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In order to create the illusion of a slim exterior, the fins were designed with an asymmetric, stepped shape, keeping the visible interlock joints in the internal corner of the side of the mullions.

Hidden Wellness

Operable windows are hidden in the minor panels to minimize their view from the interior. The operable panels swing in to avoid interrupting the building’s exterior appearance, as compared to a top-hung window once open.

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The exterior effect of the opening side is the same as the unit panel which has no window. The hidden hinge is designed to appear simple and generous.
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View overlooking the Huangpu River.

Horizontal Projection

Decorative and Functional

The horizontal projection expresses the floors and shifting design language of the building; it also features spandrels decorated in white metal. Each component spans two typical wall modules in order to reduce joints. The one-piece corner module yields a cleaner appearance, higher quality, and solid feeling. Considering the rainy and dusty weather in Shanghai, the projection is designed to allow water to run behind so it does not stain the white front. All drainage stays in a simple vertical plane.

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Sky Lobby Wall

Floating Glass Box

The sky gallery shifts out from the tower massing, creating the illusion of a glass box floating in the sky. The aesthetics are emphasized by the maximized transparency of the glass fin facade, which is achieved by a single piece of glass with no corner mullion. At night, this feature is illuminated to mark the project on the city skyline.

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Rendering by Plomp.

Soffit Material

Accent in the Sky

Huamu Lot 10’s shifting sky galleries are the defining movements of the project, so the KPF design team emphasized the moving volumes with stainless steel covered in a bright copper base tone. The material has a hammered texture that enables both a rich appearance during the day and is illuminated at night. The scale of the running bond soffit pattern varies according to the distance from the ground: small at retail canopies, medium at podium soffits, and large at sky gallery high in the air.

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Podium Façade

Dynamic Scales

The retail podium’s cantilever creates a landmark for the project that defines an open view, while the ground-level module serves to scale the pedestrian realm, capturing the active street life of the district. The unique architectural language embedded in the complex signifies a diverse spatial quality and resonates with the continuity of the surroundings.

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Podium Wall

Openness



Edge planters frame the podium wall with lush greenery, enhancing the horizontal reading and juxtaposing natural elements against the retail’s transparent glass. The large-format glass with butt joints forges the openness and transparency for retail display.

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Functional Walls

Unified and Integrated

As an innovative instrument, the ribbing pattern repeats at different scales, strategically grouping and unifying the different functional components: shadowbox, mechanical louver, and hidden egress door. The nuances of the ribbing patterns converge on the same visual axis, forming a unified appearance across wall types. Through this visual effect, the egress doors are hidden, providing the building with a cohesive façade design.

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The lobby wall at the ground level of the building is draped in a tall glass curtain wall. The transparency of the glass echoes the openness of the view while also unveiling the refined and elegant lobby interiors. The lobby height measures 12 meters. Rendering by Plomp.

Façade Lighting

Enhanced Unique Identity

The lighting scheme of Huamu Lot 10 enhances the main concept of the project by emphasizing the horizontal shifting of the sky gallery volumes. This is achieved by lighting the exterior soffit as well as a full luminous film ceiling in the interior.

For special events, unique lighting animations can appear on the full height of the buildings thanks to lights integrated across all three towers. These special event lights are applied on the rectangular volumes of the towers, while cantilevered sky galleries are highlighted separately. LED strip luminaires are fully integrated into minor mullions at every curtain wall module and covered with a lens so there is no impact on the daytime appearance of the façade.

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Huamu Lot 10 KPF Team Credits:

President: Jamie von Klemperer, FAIA RIBA

Design Principal: Jeffrey A. Kenoff, AIA

Managing Principal (New York): Inkai Mu, AIA

Managing Principal (Shanghai): Rebecca Cheng, RIBA HKIA

Project Manager: Sean Roche, RIBA

Senior Designer: Katsunori Shigemi, AIA

Senior Designer for Interiors: Rodney Bell

Technical Leaders (New York): Eric Engdahl, AIA, Michael Linx, AIA

Technical Leaders (Shanghai): Rayka Luo, Ding Yong

Project Team: Matt Burdalski, Wenxin Chen, Yunxia Dai, Laura Sandoval Illera, Max Leclerc, Fan Yang