Yichang City / 2012
150,000 Square Meters
On a site next to Yiling Square, Yichang’s largest urban park plaza, NMDA were ask to develop a concept for a mixed use project to be anchored by a 150 meter tall office / hotel tower. Like our predecessor project in Wiefang, China of 2010, this tower would become the tallest in the city and by default, an iconic figure. The client also asked for buildings with “distinct addresses” on the site which generated a tableau of three self-similar objects.
The 35 story tower marks the corner of the site and the park while a shorter, 18 story piece stands next to it connected by a bridge that creates a concourse floor of restaurants. A 10 story horizontal vessel sits to the South, with extreme cantilevers on each end. Formally, each building begins with a bi-laterally symmetrical volume, with the tower the only one of the three that morphs away from the original form. It does so to contain an atrium hotel that occupies the top 16 floors of the tower. By injecting void into the top, the tower pushes out rather than in like the other two buildings.
The two vertical buildings have a steel dia-grid structure that works in tandem with a central core of concrete. Rather than expressing the grid explicitly in the skin, we have developed a “razzle-dazzle” striping that satisfies the client’s wish to have at least 50% opacity to the skin, while at the same time the pattern contributes to the identity of its iconic presence in the city.