So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture.
A design crafted by Chicago’s own Goettsch Partners has been selected for thee new Optics Valley Center project in Wuhan, China.
The centerpiece of the complex is a 1,300-foot-tall office building with rounded corners and concave sides.
The Chinese government has spent the last 30 years making Optics Valley it’s version of Silicon Valley for the optical information industry. You’re probably most familiar with the optical information industry through fiber optics that carry internet data. But there’s also other uses for optical information, including potentially storing huge amounts of data in very small spaces.
More information is in the press release following the photos.
GOETTSCH PARTNERS WINS DESIGN COMPETITION FOR 400-METER GREENLAND OPTICS VALLEY CENTER
CHICAGO – Chicago-based architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) recently won the design competition for the new Optics Valley Center complex, located in Wuhan, China. Developed by Greenland Group and totaling 315,000 square meters across three buildings, the project features a 400-meter-tall office tower, designed to symbolize the future vision of Wuhan as the perfect balance between modern development and the environment. The new landmark tower is a fluid form combining rounded corners with a graceful taper that, together, aid in reducing wind pressures on the structure. A rhythmic pattern of exterior shades wraps the building while stretching and compressing to further articulate the tower base and crown. The use of color in the façade further reinforces the “digital” rhythm and provides a subtle reference to the local technology culture.
“We are honored to be selected to design this new icon for the expanding city of Wuhan,” said Paul De Santis, LEED AP, principal and senior project designer at GP. “It will distinguish the Optics Valley along the skyline and proudly expand the rich history of education and innovation for which Wuhan is famous.”
The master plan for the new Optics Valley is ambitious in both scale and vision, establishing a new world-class downtown to the southeast of Wuhan. At the center of the new district are two main parcels, which are intentionally allocated to host a mix of commercial functions. More importantly, these parcels will house the signature 400-meter landmark tower. At this height, unobstructed views will be unparalleled to the neighboring mountain ranges, historic city center and vast network of lakes and rivers that make Wuhan a prominent destination.
At the heart of the new district is a vast and meandering green belt that will function as the “spine” for the entire development. This large public amenity will connect the vast network of programmatic functions lining its edges, while ensuring that abundant natural light and generous parkland will be available for all structures.
“This project represents a continuation of our long relationship with Greenland,” said Travis Soberg, AIA, LEED AP, principal and director of sustainable design at GP. “Upholding Greenland’s philosophy to ‘create better life,’ the project addresses a number of sustainable initiatives in targeting LEED Gold certification.”
Integral to the environmental vision for the area, two new subway lines will have direct access to the parcels. Extending from the existing network, the Optics Valley will be a closely tied development. The new commuter node will become the epicenter of activity and ensure immediate integration into the broader city.
The project is currently in schematic design and is scheduled to open in 2022.