A new mixed-use commercial building of 90,000 square feet has been designed by Kevin Kennon Architects for Tianjin Eco-City in China. The 200 meter-tall building is a joint development between China and Singapore and will serve as an office tower and a luxury shopping center. The developers, Tianjin Real Estate Development and Management Group, LTD, were inspired by the shape and growth of a real bamboo forest in an attempt to reconnect people with nature, by using the most advanced Biophilic design technologies and strategies.
It is estimated that the Tian Fang tower will generate as much as 20 percent of its clean energy with the help of an ingenious combination of fuel cells, solar panels and wind turbines. All of these features will help the building save almost 20 percent of the energy used. As compared to a similar fully occupied mixed-used building, the Tian Fang tower is expected to rely only 60 percent on the grid. This new landmark building will be one of China’s most advanced sustainable commercial buildings once completed in 2013.
The building features innovative design strategies. Green space and natural light will sneak into the building through approximately 50 atriums that were designed based on the site orientation and building massing. What is innovative about this commercial tower is the advanced Biophilic design, which means that natural convection is used to heat and cool the building with filtered fresh air.
The Tian Fang tower is based on a 14×14 meter square module and has as many as 18 corners, as opposed to a typical office building, which normally has only four, providing prime real estate in corner offices. The top floor will house a fine international and Chinese restaurant as well as a luxury shopping area. The distinctive angled roofs are shaped at different orientations to the sun in order to provide solar power. The overall effect of this new building is that the tower and the base become one.
According to Kevin Kennon, president and design principal of Kevin Kennon Architects, the goal of this building project is to act as a catalyst for green design in China, a rapidly industrialized nation facing severe pollution. It is the culmination of many years of research about tall building design combined with environmental strategies and adaptive innovation to create signature architecture.
Tianjin Eco-City is a fascinating, 30 square-kilometer development designed to display and promote the newest green technologies and to serve as a model for future developing Chinese cities. The city was built only 10 minutes away from the Economic Development Area and is the result of a joint development between the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, and the Singapore planning team led by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore to develop a socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city in China.