MVRDV's designs for a hotel and an office tower contribute to a positive legacy for the World Expo 2010 site in Shanghai. The tower becomes a symbol for the area, and is placed at the entrance to the main axis of the site. It is twisted to maximise views. The hotel will work together with the World Expo Centre next to it, and is designed to create an interior garden, with meeting and conference rooms on on top, also to maximise views.
In a city as large and flat as Shanghai, views become the most important factor in architectural and urban design, along with common criteria of floor space and functions. MVRDV's proposals for a hotel and office tower on the site of the World Expo 2010 take this principal to its extreme, and are designed to maximise specific views of the city, which are assigned to appropriate areas of program. Restaurants face the glowing night skyline of Pudong in Central Shanghai, a spa looks out over the river flowing past, and a hotel lobby has views at one end to the monumental Lupu bridge, and at the other to the equally monument and iconic Chinese Pavilion of the World Expo.
The hotel is designed as courtyard building, to maximise light for the rooms and to create a grand public space. This space is rich in plant and tree life, and has terraces for various public amenities. The courtyard is pierced by various boxes of program, such as meeting rooms, a restaurant, entertainment areas and a spa, which are oriented towards specific views of the surrounding city. Atop the whole block is a venue space with the capacity for 800 people, looking out over the Huangpu river. The rooms of the hotel are a luxurious 60 m2, and all have windows looking out to the city. Back office, storage, service functions and parking are in an underground podium which is connected with the other expo sites and includes a shopping mall.
By making two towers instead of one, high quality, naturally lit office floor plates can be achieved, as well as wonderful views of the city. Both towers have a central lobby at ground level, and the lobbies are connected at basement one for easy access; they connect to the restaurant and office levels with high speed elevators.
The open floor plan at ground level creates a visual connection to the Expo Axis from Yaohua road. On top of the two office towers a sky restaurant is placed, with a panoramic view of the city.
By making large steps in the restaurant, every guest can enjoy the fantastic view and look down to the Expo Axis. To host bigger groups, bigger steps are introduced. Horizontal spaces, such as kitchens and meeting rooms, are placed underneath the restaurant with a glass floor on top of the center. To create perfect views at the top, the tower is twisted. It is orientated to the skyline of Pundong, the Expo Axis and the China Pavilion. The tower marks a new beginning for the Expo Area and respects the urban relations with the surroundings.The tower has an energy efficient concrete facade. Deep windows provide shadow to the interior and protect users from the heat while offering users panoramic views to the surroundings.