ORDOS 20+10

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This project is part of a larger group of tightly packed speculative office parks under construction in Ordos, China. These developments are all subject to zoning envelope regulations mandating multiple cubic volumes, without an immediate urban context. We developed three planning strategies to accommodate these parameters: first, we emphasized both pedestrian and vehicular approaches to the site as symmetrical thresholds; second, we developed a central public space that orients the assembly of cubic buildings; and third, we arranged the volumes to enable an innovative and flexible approach to real estate practices. These primary strategies produce a morphology of rotated buildings, linked together with a long interior promenade that enables both vertical and lateral layout customization for office tenants.

The basic logic of rotated and intersecting cubes is refined by strategically slicing the cubes’ corners. These operations share the same visual language, but their spatial effects vary widely, depending on where the cut is made. Some corner-cuts produce dramatic entrances, where others create archways, paths between buildings, sky-lit atria, or a dramatic mirrored level change.

We selected a rough volcanic stone for the facade, which provides a counterpoint to the delicacy of openings revealed through corner slices. The array of stone panels produce a language of rhythmic openings that express a finely-grained cadence of work stations. The spandrel beams are concealed behind the logic of panelization, which produces an effect of “windows stacked on windows” similar to a masonry logic. The project’s materiality and morphology combine to produce an abstract set of associations: volcanic geology, chunks of coal, the cuts of stone quarries. In spite of these readings, the project assembles itself with a rational logic of discrete spatial and typological organization that combines the mandates of real estate with aspirations for a shared public experience.

Principals In Charge: Nader Tehrani, Katie Faulkner/ Hailim Suh
Project Coordinators: Tom Beresford, Remon Alberts, Arthur Chang/ Cyrus Dochow
Project Team: Dan Gallagher, Tim Clark, Sarah Hirschman, Sina Mesdaghi, Li Huang, Andrew Manto, Jonathan Palazzolo, Tim Wong, Joanna Rafael, Caitlin Scott, Ryan Murphy

Associate Architect: Himma Studio
Local Architect, Structural Engineer, MEP Engineer: China Construction Design International (CCDI)

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