Located in the Xuhui District of Shanghai, China, the two-phased Golden Union Park is leading the transformation of an old industrial plant area into Shanghai’s new tech office district. The development includes three 72m tall towers in Phase One, five low-rise office buildings along with retail and hotel elements in Phase Two. In conceptualising office buildings of the future, the design merges the concepts of office and park to render an innovative office campus that connects leisure, commerce and communities.
The master planning deliberates on site’s surrounding and seeks to maximise accessibility and connectivity: 24-hour walkways and circulation were designed to provide easy access to functions and amenities within and outside the site boundary. A central elevated walkway, installed with ample greenery, acts as the main gateway to circulate between the buildings across the two phases. “We place the taller office towers in the north as the backdrop of the development, overlooking the low-rise building blocks, each designed with their own courtyard that connects to the spine of the central walkway.” Aedas Global Design Principal David Clayton explained.
Inspired by the origami cut-and-fold technique, the design uses intersecting lines to shape the landscape and walkways that run through the campus of office buildings. The intersecting points become key spaces for programs, while the central green axis links the interior and exterior spaces visually, enhancing the integrity of the design. The cut and fold design sculpts negative spaces for balconies and stepping terraces that function as social hubs within the office while visitors could explore the many activities scattered through the multilevel walkway.
“True to the project’s principle, the design offers a slew of communal and recreational activities, such as sunshine lawn, skate park and water courtyard and more, promoting a healthy work-life balance in the face-paced city of Shanghai.” said Christine Lam, Aedas Global Design Principal.
To bring green landscaping into the office buildings, green atria are set on the south corner of each building, carving out social gathering spaces that serves to encourage communications, sharing ideas in a positive, laidback working environment. It is conducive to creating a visual of vertical greenery, in which spectators gaze move fluidly from the roof garden upwards through atriums and to balconies. The design includes rooftop gardens and internal courtyards that are semi-enclosed, idyllic spaces, featuring an amphitheatre which can be used to host activities such as seminars, press conferences, training and tech exhibitions.
To identify different functional space without compromising the overall character of the development, the design applies distinctive facade treatment to office blocks, each with its own elevation, material and color palette, which produces in the end an altogether unique, coherent design language that hones every tower’s individuality.
Within each of the low-rise office towers in Phase Two, a series of meeting rooms are designed as floating boxes contained in a glass atrium, which are shared common office facilities and conference equipment that help enforce an interconnected working office space.
The crux of the development lies in its social focus, exemplified by the numerous interactive features, and supported by the central green axis. It guides users along big gathering lawns, running track, and sports facilities in the office campus, as well as the performing arts theatre, which is installed to incorporate art and culture into the project. To fulfill its goal of being fully engaged with the neighborhood and create a mesmerizing journey, a community center, and an idyllic bookstore within the retail mall, are included in the design scheme.
“Our vision for the Shanghai Golden Union Park is to blend the boundaries between work and social life, and set a new benchmark for a smart office hub.” —David Clayton, Aedas Global Design Principal.