Steven Holl’s Chinese masterpiece, a 2.4 million square-foot “city within a city,” has just won the title of “Best Tall Building in Asia and Australia,” awarded by The Council on Tall Buildings and Habitat, an international trade group for builders.
“Linked Hybrid” comprises has 750 apartments, housing over 2,500 people, but it’s more than simply a massive apartment complex. From the outset, Holl’s idea was to create a new type of urban space, and he did that here with eight towers, linked by eight massive skybridges. The entire circuit is lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, and a gym–thus creating what amounts to a public promenade in the sky, which cuts through the entire complex. By contrast, most massive high rises are hermetically sealed off from the surroundings. At Linked Hybrid, the the street life–in the form of parks and reflecting pools–plug into the public spaces above via elevators. Holl calls that movement, from street to sky, a “jumpcut” inspired by cinema.
The complex is also tremendously green: It’s one of the largest geothermal powered buildings in the world, relying on 660 geothermal wells dug 330 feet into the ground.
The next couple years are set to be a boom time for Holl. He currently has an astounding seven buildings under construction, three of them in China, including this one, the Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture, which will be completed later this year: