One Shenzhen Bay

Shenzhen, China

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Design inspiration that stems from the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and placid waterways.

One Shenzhen Bay is a new mixed-use high-rise community that represents the future of urban eco-living in one of the most high-density cities in the world. We refused to follow the popular “towers in the park” model, where landscape is nothing more than a setting for a signature building. Instead, One Shenzhen Bay integrates with the surrounding context by threading public promenades through the block to create fluid connections with the adjoining developments. Landscape is layered through a series of porous architectural volumes to create a living building. Here high-performance landscapes soak up and recycle stormwater, shade and insulate dwellings, and passively cool residents.

The center of the site is vacated to create a central garden courtyard designed as an artful retreat for residents. Active site amenities are intentionally located on upper level roof gardens to preserve the tranquility of the courtyard. The streetscape includes dedicated cycle tracks, generous sidewalks, and covered walkways with porous paving to infiltrate stormwater locally.

In response to Shenzhen’s intense heat and torrential rains, we designed a folded terrain to both channel rainwater and insulate the project from heat. Greywater in the towers and stormwater from the site are collected and recycled. Reflecting pools passively cool residents. To reduce energy loads, moving water is limited to a thin skin over a water curtain and a water stair propelled by gravity. Trellises, green and blue roofs, and photovoltaic panels shield rooftops. To reduce irrigation demands, the vegetated slopes are specially designed as deep planters rather than thin green wall systems to improve soil moisture retention and insulate the parking below. Light-colored stone is used for all primary pedestrian surfaces and walls to reduce the urban heat island affect. The granite is locally sourced. Mature trees line the streets and shade the interior of the site.  Perhaps the most valuable ecological contribution is committing to building a project that will stand the test of time. Using quality materials and thoughtful design, it is our hope that this project will live on as a community asset for many years to come.

Shenzhen’s cultural heritage of storytelling, ceramics, and wood carving is reflected throughout. The design team worked with an artist to create illuminated benches, sconces, and sculptures to reference the brightly colored shadow puppets found locally in the shape of fish. The north wall of the garden features a high-relief wave pattern translated from local ceramics. The upper decks feature wood carved into the contour of the building to create cascading lounge seating overlooking the pool deck.