Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on July 23, 2008
Add China to the list of countries that are ahead of the U.S. in green building design. Steven Holl has been commissioned to redesign an entire city block in Chengdu, using innovative design that has earned a LEED gold rating. The goal, according to Holl’s firm, is to “maximize public open space and to stimulate micro-urbanism.”
The project is named the Sliced Porosity Block and it lives up to its name. Five buildings surround a multi-level central plaza that contains water pools, carved stone terraces and open space. The buildings look a bit like Swiss cheese, with numerous “voids” for public gathering or just sitting and staring out at the city.
The LEED rating comes from the project’s use of geothermal heating and cooling, recapture of rainwater in the plaza pools, and extensive use of regional materials and high tech glazing. From the pictures it also appears that ample natural lighting will flow through the many windows. One of the more interesting features of the project is the six-story retail area that is lit from above by the open pools in the plaza. Construction is due to be completed by late 2010.
Aside from the clumsy name, Sliced Porosity is helping to rethink urban design. The problem is that there aren’t many entire blocks for sale in big cities. Another issue that comes to mind is “Why aren’t we doing something like this in the U.S.?”
Photo Credit: Steven Holl