Emporium Towers

Emporium Towers

Howeler + Yoon Architecture
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Emporium Towers

Howeler + Yoon Architecture as Architects

Emporium Towers is a residential development in Shanghai consisting of two towers of residential units and retail podium. The “unit mix,” consisting of a range of different residential unit types (studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms, loft units) is essential to the commercial success of the development. A series of studies experimented with the manipulation of simple rules specific to the demands of large scale housing (balcony depth, unit width). Each floor consists of a different size and number of units, producing the distinct gradient pattern of the façade. The saw-tooth configuration of the plan emerges from the aggregation of directional balconies, simultaneously protecting individual privacy and, collectively, producing a highly articulate vertical surface. As the project evolved, computing was deployed with different means; ranging from the digital extension of manual technique to complete automation with the aid of a script. The resultant forms represent the refinement of “automatic” rules in conjunction with the “manual” editing of the corner conditions, giving the overall form a slightly tapered profile and expressing the diversity of the residential unit mix as a smooth transformation from bottom to top. The “bottom up” strategy for packing the various unit types creates an overall figure of the tower as an aggregated form, whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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