Civil Engineering, the monthly magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers, published an interview with Friso van der Steen that focuses on the design and structural integrity of the Three Cultural Centers & One Book Mall in Shenzhen, China. Construction of the Mecanoo designed complex has recently begun and involves a number of inventive solutions to create a building that is open and curvaceous, connecting the commercial district of Longgang to the Longcheng public park.
Catherine Cardno reports on the angled walls and the “super cores” of the complex’ four connected volumes: “These ‘super cores,’ Van der Steen explains, are much larger than traditional concrete cores, so that large open spaces in the volumes’ centers could be created. Additionally, the spaces at the edges of the volumes that are formed by the angled exterior walls are become interior architectural highlights. These spaces are range in height from two to four stories, dramatically increasing the sense of expanse from the interior. ‘We wanted in the interior to show all those spaces,’ Van der Steen explains. By using the super cores in combination with the structural facade, the interiors of these spaces did not need to be cluttered with a grid of columns and beams, he notes.”