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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 thoughtful material palette and lighting features, as well as sustainable 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.”

1. GREEN FAÇADE

Sustainability

The design of the curtain wall employs many prominent elements to enhance sustainability. The horizontal band overhang reduces direct solar gain into space. The ample natural daylighting reduces electricity consumption for lighting. The fins pro- vide shading and protect against the glare of the sunlight. Operable windows provide fresh air and occupant comfort. The glass delivers high performance by adopting sophisticated double silver low-E coating, its glazing insulated with argon. Low reflectivity glass has also been integrated into the facade to avoid unwanted reflections on surrounding residential buildings. And finally, insulation and thermal breaks with thermal energy modeling serve to improve the performance in order to meet China 3 star standards.

Tower Façade

Sophisticated and Smart Façade

The tower’s geometrical shifting serves to distinguish it from the surroundings. Prominently integrated into the design is the horizontal expression of the facade. On one hand, the horizontal rhythm follows the horizontal shifting language of the project. On the other hand, it generates maximized daylight in the office space, providing it with vast views of the evolving skylines in Pudong, while complying with light pollution requirements (GWR), avoiding excessive glass that would reflect onto adjacent residential buildings, embodying a harmonious and sophisticated presence in its environment.

Close up of the three towers. Rendering by Plompmozes.

Curtainwall

Elements

The typical tower wall adopted 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 reflectivity is the trend of dark buildings with low reflectivity glass. This building avoids this undesirable scenario by adopting a bright palette of white and silver metals on the fins and horizontal projections while complying with all rules and tests to avoid light pollution on surrounding residential buildings.

Glass Panel Size

Operable Windows and Panoramic Views

Efficiency is the centerpiece of the technical design. While many office towers utilize 1.2m or 1.5m wide curtain wall panels, KPF looks beyond the convention. This project employs a wider 1.8m panel, divided into 0.6m and 1.2m modules, which allows for an operable window into the smaller side and simultaneously a panoramic view that is achieved by a single, efficient, and unitized glass panel. As a result, a panoramic view is enabled by a façade with fewer panels, fewer joints, and a faster construction sequence

We used parametric software tools to perform an analysis of views to the exterior at various angles. It allowed us to adjust the mullion pattern and alignment relative to the columns, to ensure access to clear views for the office interior.

Fin

Nested Fin and Mullion Profile

Both mullion and vertical fin adopted 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 facade members. It also applies more character to the details and adds layers as well as rhythm and texture across the facade.

Technical Details

The joint of a conventional unit panel is in the middle of left and right mullions, which appear wider from an interior view. In order to make a slim exterior, the architect designs the fin with an asymmetric stepped shape, which keeps the visible interlock joints staying in the internal corner of the side of the mullions.

The airtight line of the insertion position of the beam and mullion is moved forward, and based on the female mullion with a small section, the protruding part of male mullion is placed inside the airtight line. Then 3D modeling is used to check continuity of water and airtightness, which comes to the result that some effect on processing.

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.

Because of the external cap, 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. The façade displays a visual consistency regardless of the window’s position.

Horizontal Projection

Decorative and Functional

Decorative and Functional

The white metal horizontal projection decorates the spandrels, expresses the floors and horizontally shifting design language of the building. 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. To ensure surface flatness, the horizontal projection is constructed of honeycomb panels. Also considering rainy and dusty weather in Shanghai, the projection is designed to allow water fun behind, so it does not stain the white front face. All drainage stays in a simple vertical plane.

Sky Lobby Wall

Floating Glass Box

Floating Glass Box

The sky gallery shifted out from tower massing, creating the image of a glass box floating in the sky. Its aesthetics is emphasized by the maximized transparency of the glass fin facade, which is achieved by an allowable single piece of glass, with no corner mullion. The floating box glows at night lighting up the next altitude of the city.

Rendering by Plompmozes.

Soffit Material

Accent in the Sky

The shifting is the signature moment of the project, so we emphasize the shifts of those volumes with a special rich warm material. Stainless steel with a bright copper base tone and hammered texture is selected to enable both a rich appearance during the day and illumination by night. The scale of the running bond soffit pattern varies according to distance to human scale on the ground: from small at retail canopies, medium at podium soffits, and large at sky gallery high in the air.

Podium Façade

Dynamic Scales

The retail podium facade is built in a multidimensional structure, where the impressionable cantilever creates a landmark that defines the openness of the view, while the ground-level module serves the scale of the pedestrian realm, capturing the active street life of the district. The unique architectural language embedded in the complex both signifies a very diverse spatial quality, also resonates with the continuity with the surroundings.

Podium Wall

Openness

The edge planters frame the podium wall with greenness, expressing a tincture of nature quality, enhancing the horizontal reading, while being juxtaposed against the maximized glass size that is designated for retail transparency. The large-format glass with butt joint forges the openness and transparency for retail display. Fire-rated glass is installed at fire compartment junctions to avoid incongruous solid stripes of fire wall.

FUNCTION 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 in the function wall converge on the same visual axis, forming a unified appearance. Through this visual effect, the egress doors are ingeniously hidden, providing the building with a faultless facade.

Rendering by Plompmozes.

Façade Lighting

Enhanced Unique Identity

The lighting scheme enhances the main concept of the project by emphasizing the horizontal shifting of the sky gallery volumes. This is achieved by lighting at the exterior soffit as well as a full luminous film ceiling at the interior. Since this lighting effect was so important to the overall nighttime appearance of the buildings, a full-scale mockup was built to ensure the full 9m soffits could be fully illuminated.

The perfect fit of lighting and volume is the unique highlight of this project. The uplight is smudged with white-colored glazed glass to lighten the tower crown softly. The light stand is located above people’s line of sight so that people can enjoy the panoramic view of the city without being disturbed by glare.

For special events, all kinds of unique lighting animations can appear on the full height of the buildings thanks to lights integrated across the entire tower facades that are programmable at a very fine scale. These special event lights are applied such that the fundamental rectangular volumes of the towers are visible while the 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 there is no impact on the daytime appearance of the facade.

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