Raffles City Hangzhou / UNStudio

Wide view of Raffles City Hangzhou

A new addition to the distinctive skyline of Hangzhou, CapitaLand’s ‘Raffles City’ is a centre for urban sustainability, integrating offices, residences, restaurants, retail, leisure facilities, a hotel and even a rooftop helipad into one development.

1 of 8 identically named developments, Raffles City features two 250-meter, 60-storey towers and a central 6-storey podium. With an outer layer of solar shading fins, the complementary towers have a wave-like shape that reflects the movements of the nearby river and connects the interior integrated programmes seamlessly. In contrast, the podium boasts shimmering aluminium tiles, resembling scale-like skin and reflecting the building’s activities.

The building is designed to contribute to the surrounding landscape, straddling an urban and a green area. In response to these contrasting sites, each tower has an urban and landscape façade. Acting as a grandiose gateway from the park and civic centre, the main entrance is south facing. The towers have an east-west orientation, maximising the amount of daylight the living and working spaces receive.

Inside the podium, a vast atrium is the visual focus, spiralling with overlapping layers. A continuous bamboo handrail echoes the building’s curves and emphasises the seamless connectivity between spaces. Along with the atrium, two large diagonal voids allow natural lighting to filter down even to the lowest floors of the podium while always-present views of the towers from inside merge the interior with the exterior.

Ben van Berkel, designer of the building in conjunction with UNStudio, describes it as “an all-in-one destination for working, living and leisure”. With rapid urbanisation and future needs for improved efficiency and density in cities, integrated buildings like Raffles City are part of UNStudio’s continuous research in Superliving.

To read more on this unusual design, click here.

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