Qianhai, Shenzhen City, China
Located in the Qianhai Cooperation Zone, the BMW Customer Experience Center in Qianhai by Hihope Zhu of ARCHIHOPE takes into account both the hot and humid environment of Shenzhen and embraces the spirit of the city with its sustainable design.
As the forerunner of the New Special Economic Zone, Qianhai continues the innovative characteristics of Shenzhen for more than 20 years of reform and opening up.
Shenzhen carries the unique Marine culture as its core internal driving power and demonstrates an innovative and inclusive urban spirit.
The designers reinterpreted the existing building based on the design principles of sustainable development.
The relationship between buildings and urban texture is a synthesis of objective existence and subjective judgment.
Integrating into the urban texture is not only important for the agreement on the style of the facade, but also for the integration of the internal spirit of the place, the synchronization of lifestyle, and correspondence to future development.
The project is the transformation of an existing old workshop building.
The designers focused on problems such as facade, noise, shading, ventilation, and daylighting and then rejuvenated the inherent vitality of the overall project.
Focusing on facade design and according to the characteristics of Qianhai as the forefront of the New Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, the designers abandoned design forms with special and exaggerated shapes and used simple and succinct stacked cube boxes.
This design looks like containers arranged in geometric patterns and integrates the features of modern industry into the texture of the urban streets.
A building with a sense of life should not only form an exterior interior echo with the urban context, but also vary with the dawn or dusk and the four seasons.
Shenzhen, as a marine city, features a distinctly hot and humid climate, so it is necessary to face its climate and geographical features so as to integrate life and work into Qianhai.
The design team adopted a passive building prevented-heat strategy that using PVDF fluorocarbon coating perforated plates, perforated aluminum plates, and round hole perforated plates on the facade.
In addition to forming a “composite skin” with a double-layer curtain wall, the design also makes it possible to filter sunlight into diffuse light, providing natural ventilation and a stable temperature for indoor space.
Another advantage of the perforated plates is that they can display rich changes in texture effect and clear layers of blocks surface by properly controlling the proportion of material and texture.
Besides ensuring good daylighting, it is also covered with a layer of “veil” on the building facade to create a mysterious and science fiction atmosphere.
Synchronized with the weather conditions from morning to evening of the city, the overall building directly reflects the movement and transformation of the sunlight as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, showing the light and shadow effects.
Along with the general development trend of the special economic zone and to meet the needs of office and logistics expansion, the design extends the office area to the area which is originally open below.
The facade is made of double Low-E hollow glass, which can prevent the outdoor heat from entering the room, and can also completely keep the heat indoors in winter, effectively improving indoor comfort.
Drawing inspiration from the marine context, the ceilings of the space simulate the natural radian of the sea waves and create a visual effect of stacking waves by the layers of ceilings.
While arc shapes of the sails on the facade echo the surging waves on the ceiling, allowing customers to enjoy a vast landscape of the sea and sky upside down and sailboats racing.
The project reconstructs the muscles and bones from the original building structure made of steel and concrete.
In order to make a large number of columns on the border of the original two structures “disappear,” the designers transformed the columns into arc-shaped walls, incorporating them into the structure with sail shapes.
There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.
The designers changed the “fragmented” layout of the functional areas, incorporated the meandering wavy coastlines into the spatial shapes, and strengthened the traffic flow of the interactive experience, providing customers with more freedom and comfort to “float with the stream eastwards or westwards.”
In addition, the sale traffic flow on the first floor is more distinct from the after-sale traffic flow on the second floor.
The rational planning of the traffic flow effectively diverts the passenger flow, and improving service of operation also promotes the customer experience to the utmost extent.
When stepping up on the stacking floating waves, the original point of the intersecting line of the sea and sky becomes more accessible.
The area on the second floor is divided into a beverage bar counter and a customer rest area.
The artistic bar is surrounded by wave shapes hovering and falling from the ceiling, forming a harmonious relationship with the continuous wavy wave shapes of the ceiling.
The functional attribute of the beverage bar counter also implies the essential meaning of water.
Customers sit around by the side of the bar counter, and the external scenery and daylight shine through the grille gaps into the room.
The entire leisure area is skillfully divided by bookshelves, allowing customers to enjoy themselves without being disturbed, either finding a quiet place to take a nap, reading at will, or gazing freely at the distant view.
When the night takes away all the heat and clamor of the day and the sunset glow ripples with the last trace of beauty in the building with both steel exterior and candyfloss heart, lights scattered on the facade will light up, responding to the crisscrossing streamer of car tail lights under a slow speed shutter.
With its sustainable design concept, the Customer Experience Center for BMW embodies the spirit and body of the Greater Bay Area of Qianhai and converges with the grand vision of the Special Economic Zone to build a future city.
Project: BMW Customer Experience Center in Qianhai
Architects: ARCHIHOPE Ltd.
Lead Architect: Hihope Zhu
Concept Designers: Jane Fang and Xu Chang
Additional Designers: Tan Chuanli, Zhao Qing, Deng Guanying, and He Mengjun
Client: BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG)
Photographer: Vincent Wu