A Shanghai building with a veil.

by The REJIGIT Blog

Two U.K. based architectural practices, Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio jointly co-operated in the design of the Bund Finance Centre situated to the east of Shanghai’s old city.

The overall architectural team involved Foster + Partners, Heatherwick Studio and Martha Schwartz Partners and the East China Architectural Design & Research Institute was responsible for engineering the core building's moveable veil.

The Bund is a section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River in the eastern part of Huangpu district.

Construction commenced in 2013 and the development helped revitalise Shanghai’s waterfront precinct  occupying a prominent site within the city's historic Bund (embankment). The complex is very accessible to pedestrians and the architectural design was inspired by traditional Chinese theatre while providing a link between the old town area and the modern financial district.

Two 180 metre high towers with 190,000 sq.m. of floor space are placed within the south sector of the site and the buildings which face the waterfront are staggered in height and are architectural sympathetic with the many nineteenth century buildings along the Bund. At the heart of the Bund Finance Centre is a versatile arts and cultural centre encompassing 4,000 sq.m. and is home to the Bosun Foundation which fosters and supports a range of cultural and community activities. 

The 426,073 sq.m. development comprises eight buildings and includes premium office space, boutique hotel, cultural centre and an impressive array of retail spaces covering 96,000 sq.m., all sited around a landscaped public plazza.

The buildings are clad in stone and bronze detailing with the edges of each section adorned with hand hewn granite.

The principal building is encircled by a moveable veil facade which can be adjusted in terms of any current cultural use of the precinct. The veil comprises layers of six hundred and seventy five individual magnesium alloy tassels ranging in length from around two metres to sixteen metres running on three overhead tracks which creates semi-transparent screens. 

All buildings have achieved LEED® BD+C: Core and Shell Gold pre-certification and China Three-star Green Building Certification.

With the veil open for a cultural performance.