A 2015 WAF World Building of the Year Finalist, the Urban Block stands as a visual anchor in contrast to its neighbors. This commercial mixed-use development espouses a minimalist basic form that enriches the surrounding towers by creating a huge elevated mid-level green square on its deck. With a gross leasable area of 94,000 square meters over an 8,300-square meter prime property, it envelopes a diverse commercial program comprised of offices and retail, events and sports facilities, and an urban park and food exposition in an adaptive volumetric space.
The cubic form stands in stark contrast to the existing and future point towers of BGC – adding an iconic character to the structure. This form also maximizes the allowable floor – area ratio to a much lower height and entails huge floor plates that allow flexibility in office and retail planning as well as multiple connections that create a stronger core centrality. This centrality increase activity and maximizes foot traffic by allowing seamless and convenient travel throughout the complex.
To make the massive block permeable, an urban valley is created in the base levels. This attracts activities and foot traffic while functioning as the main public space of the building. On all sides of the upper floors, campus deck that serve interactive flexible spaces with various activities create punctures to the facade. A solar well is also integrated to allow filtered and indirect natural light into the structure’s core. On top of it is a cooling pond that acts as a wading and reflecting pool of the urban park. Clothing the entire structure is as ETFE skin that makes The Urban Block appear softer while aiding in minimizing solar heat gain.