The winner of a competition to design a new building for the China Insurance Group has just been announced, and the winning design is a truly futuristic-sounding creation. Shenzhen "4 Tower in 1," from Coop Himmelb(l)au will be a 49-storey solar-power-generating monster that has a multimedia projection outer layer.
The 200m building is in fact sculpted all over to moderate its wind resistance and provide natural ventilation for the interior as well as shading rooms from strong sunlight. Solar power is handled by photovoltaic cells all over its exterior, and though there are no figures for the power that will be generated, any power generation on this scale will be a welcome offset for the large eco-footprint of the structure.
There will also be the facility to display multimedia banners on the buildings outer layer—presumably through computer-controlled lighting of its vaguely-pixellated external form.
Inside it's stratified into layers, with business offices at the top, public areas at the bottom and a central zone for semi-public events and uses like conferences and gardens.
All in all it's a remarkably interesting piece of design. The building aslo represents a mix of both passive and active eco-engineering that sounds very much reminiscent of Azerbaijan's plans for an entire eco-island. And that is particularly refreshing in a country where pollution levels are so high that two birth defects a minute are a direct result of the damaged environment, and Shenzhen itself is famous for its pollution and smog. Hopefully similar levels of eco-awareness will be used throughout the structure's construction and lifespan, so that the environmental benefits offered by its smart design don't go to waste.