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Foster's Chinese mega-centre emerges from ground

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Construction work has started on a huge Foster + Partners mixed-use scheme in central Shanghai

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week for the Hongqiao Wantong Xindi Center project.

The 160,000m² development for clients Vantone Real Estate and Sunny World Group will include offices, shops and restaurants as well as an underground car park.

It is aimed at establishing a new landmark in the centre of Shanghai as well as ‘a new benchmark for sustainable architecture’ in the city.

Office floors are shallow to maximise natural daylight and ventilation as well as to provide a flexible working environment.

The buildings were designed to minimise solar gains and maximise views, and were laid out around a central park in a bid to bring the greenery deep into the site.

Foster + Partners said the layout added an ‘exciting social dimension’.

Meanwhile, University College London has announced plans to launch built environment clubs in Shanghai and Hong Kong in October.

These networking clubs will welcome UCL alumni from several faculties and departments as well as others working in the built environment.

The AJ reported in July that despite a building slowdown in China, architects were confident of a recovery and even a ‘second design boom’ for UK firms.


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