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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Guangzhou Metro Authority Headquarters, Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou Metro HQ envokes speed, movement and progress
As part of an invited international design competition, Perkins Eastman created a sweeping, grand vision for the future 50,000 sq m (538,000 sq ft) headquarters of the Guangzhou Metro Authority. With the expansion of several metro lines, this building will enable the company to house all the planning and construction group activities under one roof. Sited on a major transit intersection, the concepts of “speed” and “progress” are incorporated into the plan, facade, and volume to provide a distinct identity for the corporate image of the Authority, while sustainable features reflect the core environmental values of the organization. The building will be developed in partnership with The Metro Design Institute in China, with construction expected to begin in mid-2010.

The building’s form represents physical speed, beginning at signature prow - the symbolic and functional entrance into the interpretive traditional courtyard - and spirals up around the circumference of the dynamic circular form. A significant part of the program includes a facility for training new employees while providing continuing training to existing employees, contained in the lower volumes of the building. The taller tower houses the administrative functions. Located in the plinth and spiraling to street level, the complex also includes public exhibit space and a museum to disseminate information to the public about the achievements in transportation engineering of Guangzhou Metro.

The Metro Authority is committed to being a 'green' company, and sustainable design strategies are specific to the climate, construction techniques, and technologies of the region. The humid, tropical climate in this part of China is addressed in the building design in several ways, most visibly is the integration of a terracotta sunscreen system on the exterior envelope that contributes to a reduction in the cooling system by providing direct shade. Green roofs insulate the building and are part of a larger design strategy to address storm water management as well as to create an outdoor amenity for employees. A significant percentage of the exterior envelope will be constructed with high-performance glass to provide daylight to the majority of the indoor spaces as well as to visually connect interior with exterior spaces.

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