The Sliced Porosity Block in China has been declared finished by Steven Holl Architects. The building, which was designed with daylighting in mind, is made up of five irregular structures interspersed with open spaces to allow light to reach a plush inner courtyard.
The project was inspired by valleys and canyons and also aims to attain LEED Gold status in its use of technology that improves energy efficiency such as rainwater recycling and geothermic heating.
The inspiration of valleys was provided by Chinese poet Du Fu’s writing Three Valleys. The structure in Chengdu thus has three plaza levels representing the valleys, with water gardens which represent the Fountain of Twelve Months, the Fountain of Thirty Days and the Fountain of the Chinese Calendar Year. Holl also designed these plaza ponds to act as skylights of the shopping mall located below, to alter the daylight that reaches the mall through the water.
The three entrances for the building also act as pavilions for Local Art, Light and History respectively, as designed by Lebbeus Woods. The entrances lead to parks and pools found on various levels as well as the interior plaza. The water making up the pools is harvested rainwater which is also filled with the naturally-cooling grasses and lilypads.
The exteriors of the complex are made with complex with high-performance glazing applied which inhibits solar gain while allowing the interiors to be lighted with natural daylight. A total of 480 geothermal wells provide the heating and cooling, emphasizing the use of energy efficient technology throughout the building.
This LEED Gold Sliced Porosity Block makes available to the public apartments, restaurants, retail spaces, a public space also a hotel in a structure that is focussed on energy efficiency and filled with natural light and air.