Bund Finance Centre
The Bund, or Wai Tan as it is called in the Shanghainese dialect, is a band or embankment lining the Huangpu River, seamed with beautiful neo-classical buildings which sprung up around the turn of the 20th century. The Bund developed into a major financial centre in east Asia, boasting magnificent commercial buildings, in the Beaux Arts style. By the 1940s, the Bund housed the headquarters of many, if not most, of the major financial institutions operating in China. So it seemed fitting that the last remaining open space be filled with an extraordinary piece of architecture housing financial institutions. Occupying a prominent site on the Bund, the Bund Finance Centre (BFC) is a new mixed-use destination in Shanghai designed jointly by Heatherwick Studio and Foster + Partners. At the core of the complex is the arts and culture centre. This building’s dynamic facade consists of three layers of bronze tubes that resemble bamboo. Each of the bronze tubes flows around the structure’s perimeter, consequently altering the building’s appearance. After a coordinated flow cycle, the facade reveals the theater’s stage on the balcony and people from the inside are treated to views of the Pudong district.
Bund In Motion
The rest of the 420,000-square-metre complex includes two 180-metre landmark towers placed at the south side of the site, while the buildings facing the waterfront are staggered in height, relating in scale and ‘rhythm’ to those grand nineteenth-century landmarks along the Bund. These are arranged around a public plaza. The buildings define the ‘end point’ to Shanghai’s most famous street. The centre is to act as a point of connection between the old town, the Bund and the new financial district, and has been inspired by this urban context.
“The edges of each volume are made of richly textured, hand-crafted granite and become slimmer as they rise, giving the impression of solidity at the base and transparency at the top”, explained Foster + Partners.