Sky City TOD / Superimpose Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Superimpose Architecture completes the mixed-use Sky City TOD hub with a unique and green arrival situation in Hangzhou, China. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is an urban typology on the rise, especially in China.
The most distinct characteristic of a TOD is that during the project-planning phase, one or more stations of high-end public transportation are integrated in mixed-use developments by the implementation of efficient pedestrian- or bicycle-friendly routes. The one-square-kilometer Uni-City – designed by SOM – is situated in Hangzhou’s very own ‘Silicon Valley’ which locates in close proximity to Chinese mega e-commerce companies such as Alibaba and Tencent.
Within this master plan, Superimpose Architecture designed ‘Sky City’ for Vanke Hangzhou and the Hangzhou Subway Group. ‘Sky City’ is a project of 72,000 square meters with two office towers, 4 office villas and retail alongside a new subway station. The TOD will become the main connection and transportation hub of ‘Uni City’. Superimpose Architecture won the invited tender for this project by carefully integrating pedestrian routes and by creating a unique and green arrival situation for the subway.
Superimpose Architecture integrated the green belt zone belonging to the government in the design and created voids in the landscape to get more daylight in the otherwise dark basement. By doing so, the design offers commuters a unique, pleasant, green and smooth transition from subway arrival to urban development.
The design is defined by the concept of ‘The Valley’ for the podium levels and ‘The Cloud’ for the upper levels. The ‘Valley’ is meant to relate to the human scale and naturally integrates green and water. The Valley is architecturally defined by shifting slabs that provide terraces or canopies for the lower levels. Strategically placed staircases and escalators connect the basement levels to the upper floors and ultimately to the pedestrian bridge on level 3, which is connecting to the adjacent cultural plot.
For the upper ‘Cloud’ levels, Superimpose Architecture chose to have a calmer façade approach. The appearance is defined by a repetition of vertical elements. These aluminum ‘fins’ are perforated and allow for a hidden ventilation concept. The massing of the tower is split in two by a large glass box, to even further break down the massing and create two ‘special tenant’ levels for tenants who need a showroom, more open space, or want to do something different with the interior than the other standard office floors.
Now, Sky City TOD in line with the new urban life was officially completed. It uses diversified modules and elegant appearance to shape the coexistence of function and traffic, harmonizes some contradictions between traffic and land use in the process of urban development, and provides residents with a new way of life and more opportunities to interact with the city and nature.