Agile B1-7 is located in the central area of Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou. China-a mixed-use development that comprises commercial, financial, consular, administrative. residential. and recretional projects—which is envisioned to be the new city centre for Guangzhou. Anchored at the intersection of two arterial roads that connect to major transportation and the Central Plaza, the highly prominent site will be visible to all visitors to the new centre.

The project contains 88,450 square metres of programmed office space in 39 storeys and is 189,7 metres in height. The scheme also includes an elevated pedestrian bridge running along the northem side of the office tower connecting to adjacent buildings. The elliptical shape of the tower allows for a unique and ever-changing experience as pedestrian and vehicles circulate throughout the site. Through the use of metal, stone, glass, and horizontal shading devices, the building is tuned to environmental and solar conditions. This tuning allows the building to change its appearance based on the time, date, and the position of the viewers.

The pedestrian bridge is an open, elevated public connection located approximately 10 metres above the ground and between adjacent sites to the north (B1-5) and south (F1-1) of B1-7. Along the pedestrian bridge and within B1-7 redline there will be a small cafe with northwestern views towards the park. The roof of the pedestrian bridge will serve as an exterior terrace space tor the third floor conference rooms and act as an amenity space for the office tower tenants. 

The atrium is an enclosed public space providing vertical circulation from the ground floor banking hall lobby to the second floor banking halls and third floor conference centre. in addition, during the building's operational hours, the atrium will provide access to the tower for the public travelling along the pedestrian bridge. The office tower also contains five levels below grade that include mechanical, building service and parking areas.
Architectural Concept
Although one of the main design objectives is to protect the building from solar radiation, the design was also meant to embrace the ephemeral qualities of light. By layering different materiaIs incIuding metal fins, fritted glass, and corrugated metal panels of two different orientations arranged in a shadow box a rich. delicate and constantly changing pattern of light is created. The combination of the three layers of materials on the elliptical tower elegantly expresses the temporal dimension of the spatial experience as the light subtly shifts along the curvature throughout the day and creates dramatic shimmering waves of sparkles that are unique from different points of view. It creates a symphony played by light and material that provides the building with an appearance that varies from day to night and season to season.

Sustainable Features
The subtropical climate of Guangzhou does not have distinctive seasons. The summer, lasting from mid April to September, can be very hot and humid. The facade design layers horizontal metal fins, fritted glass. and corrugated metal spandrel panels to create a custom curtain wall system with an optimal energy-saving skin that directly responds to the solar conditions of the location in order to leave a lighter footprint on the natural environment.

Urban Context
The elliptical geometry of the tower presents a continuous street frontage, harmoniously embracing the context of the city. The building’s orientation allows for a generous plaza in the foreground while creating a formal building face toward the city. While echoing the river toward the south of Zhujiang New Town development, the flowing bridge and curved landscape designs allows for a three-dimensional pedestrian experience.

Design Challenges
One significant challenge was to determine how best to protect the building from solar radiation, which eventually led to the design of the buildings innovative facade. The design team used solar radiation simulation modelling techniques to analyse the facade through a series of rigorous scientific solar studies. The results of these studies were translated into the design in order to achieve an ultimate balance of functional, environmental, economic, and aesthetic considerations.

The design team began their studies with an overall building solar simulation that had no shading devices. This simulation identified the solar exposure the building would experience throughout the course of the year. Further studies determined that a horizontal shading device would provide the most effective solar reduction. Through both ol these studies an abstract horizontal pattern was designed and a series of rules were developed to create a more dynamic pattern that corresponds to the original solar simulation. These rules determined the fin geometry, dimensions, and pattern of composition by unit. Another design challenge was that planning requirements in Zhujiang New Town required that each building connect to adjacent buildings through elevated pedestrian bridges. Centrally positioned, this site serves as a hub with three bridges springing from it. The constraints of this small site further complicated the office and retail programme requirements and necessitated a unique design solution.

The resulting design solution optimises the function of the pedestrian bridge. instead of providing a passive pedestrian connection between sites as per requirements,  the design aggressively combines the retail programme into the bridge program transforming the bridge from a solely utilitarian use into a public architectural platform. This platform adds a dynamic architectural feature to the neighbourhood context by providing a unique wandering experience for users walking through, under and around the site. The bridge also features an elevated landscaped roof garden that provides a social gathering space for office tenants. The placement of the bridge is an equally important element of the overall design concept. In addition to providing an identifiable image for the protect and surroundings, the bridge reinforces the importance of Agile as a business centre by bringing people together.
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