Finalist, MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards 2006

Magnolia Tower, Shanghai

Client: Shui On Land

Metaphorm Architects were invited by Shui On Land to participate in a limited competition for a 86-storey, 360m high office development in the former French Concession in the centre of Shanghai. The tower will form the crowning phase of the 52 hectare Taipingqiao Redevelopment programme comprising the now complete retail and entertainment area Xintiandi, a residential, office and hotel quarter and an urban park.

Our scheme proposes the creation of a large urban square to negotiate the differences in scale arising from the juxtaposition of the tower next to traditional three- and four-storey Lilong buildings, prevalent throughout the district. The building design is based on a compact core with double-decker lifts allowing an efficient net-to-gross floor area ratio. A column-free floor plate is achieved through perimeter supports and a structural core.

The sizes and subdivision capabilities of the floor plates have been designed to reflect the forecast development of the Shanghai office market. Despite a complex curvature, the façade cladding has been geometrically optimised to an economical number of modules.

A public exhibition gallery is located at the base levels of the tower, intertwined with the office lobby, offering visual and physical cross links. An outdoor amphitheatre in the undercroft of the building provides a venue for performances. Underground connections allow direct access to public transport. Metaphorm teamed up with HOK New York for the project.

· architects: Metaphorm in association with HOK New York

· engineers: Arup, Yolles, HH Angus