Case study; Shanghai Bund Financial Centre
A mixed-use development
Bund Finance Centre is a prominent new mixed-use development close to the Shanghai waterfront and has been designed jointly by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio. Construction began in 2010 and was completed in 2016.
15,000 sq metres PVD coated stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration finish exterior cladding were supplied for this project.
The history of the Bund
Bund is a Chinese word describing an embankment. The Shanghai Bund has grown in fame since the first British company opened an office there in 1846. The Bund is stretched for one mile along the western bank of the Huangpu River, traditionally beginning at Yan’an Road, finishing at Waibaidu Bridge and being centred on a section of Zhongshan Road. Around the beginning of the 20th century the area became increasingly populated by banks and by 1940 was well-known for its financial institutions. Over the years much building work has taken place and in 2008 an unoccupied site was designated for an upmarket development.
The Bund Finance Centre is a mixed-use development designed jointly by Foster & Partners and Heatherwick Studio. It is positioned in a significant and prominent position within the Bund being at the culmination of the Zhongshan Road and links the old town with the new financial district. The Finance Centre covers 420,000 square metres, consists of eight buildings and has two towers each of 180 metres in height with shops, restaurants a boutique hotel and an Arts and Cultural centre.
The Arts and Cultural Centre
The Arts and Cultural Centre, at the centre of the Financial centre, covers 4,000 square metres with its design based on that of traditional Chinese theatres which have open stages. The venue is of a multilevel design and is encircled by a moving veil, three layers deep. The moving veil of Rose Gold PVD stainless steel is moved according to the activities taking place and reveals the balcony stage and views across to Pudong.
The Centre is home to art exhibitions, fashion shows, performances and corporate meetings.
Introducing PVD for the exterior specifications
April Dahlberg is the Technical Director at John Desmond Ltd.
April says “For the door architraves, window reveals and of course, for the moving veil of the Arts and Cultural Centre, for the Fosun Foundation, a dramatic gold finish was required. PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration was specified having passed rigorous testing to prove it would withstand exterior weathering.”
The background to this began in June 2014 when April and JDL team were called into the Foster & Partner’s materials Lab with Heatherwick. The meeting was to discuss the benefits of PVD stainless steel for external use on the Shanghai Bund project. The architects requested larger pieces of material and five of these were supplied in size 1500 x 1500mm by 1.5mm thickness and then another set of samples in a 2mm thickness.
As PVD has a twenty-year background in China a list of buildings was compiled that had exterior work in PVD. The Shanghai office of Foster & Partners then sent a team of architects to visually assess the PVD on these buildings and issue a report on their findings.
How PVD measured up to the testing
The report was very satisfactory which led to the architects requesting Double Stone Steel, the Chinese PVD partner, extensively and stringently testing the PVD material for corrosion, reactivity to chemicals, cleaning products and other potentially damaging entities. These test results were published in March 2017 .
- Colour uniformity
- Dry Film Hardness
- Dry Adhesion
- Wet Adhesion
- Boiling Water Adhesion
- Impact Resistance
- Abrasion Resistance
- Mortar Resistance
- Detergent Resistance
- Window Cleaner Resistance
Working closely to achieve a high-quality result
The visual proof plus testing results gave the architects the necessary reassurance to specify PVD for the moving veil tubes in Rose Gold in a 316 Grade stainless steel.
Throughout the project there remained a very close working relationship between Double Stone Steel in China and the architects in the UK. Double Stone Steel performed a valuable role in being the “eyes and ears” on the ground in China for the architects and enabling the specification to be protected from “Value Engineering” by contractors. Chinese fabricators were attempting to down-spec the 316 stainless steel to the inferior, cheaper 304 material. However, once this was known, the UK architects were then able to intervene and restore the specification to its correct status.