Shanghai is a fragmented collage of different scales and styles. The identity of the city lies in the diversity of traditional, colonial, communist, and «post-modern» architecture united only through the city’s history. The Global Financial Centre on the Bund – yet another mixed-use project among all these opposing elements – has the natural task of addressing and emphasizing all the contradicting qualities of Shanghai without compromising their benefits.
The schizophrenic character of Shanghai calls for a cohesive agent: our project is a cluster of similar tilting towers but with different heights and footprints of different scales. The varying scales of each footprint allow different programs to inhabit the same complex and follow the logic of the site, with a smaller scale facing the old town, mitigating the difference between the various typologies surrounding the site. Global Financial Center on the Bund incorporates the richness of the small and the big, the local and the international, “hard” structures and “soft” elements, natural forms and man-made constructions. It can become a new landmark for Shanghai that is immediate, unique and identifiable while simultaneously remaining a fully-integrated and representative piece of the city’s rich culture.
Global Financial Centre on the Bund is grounded in the city’s history and leads the way to its future, creating a new cityscape that adapts both to the varied demands of the program and the complexity of Shanghai. A new identity is found by anticipating and utilizing the city’s diversity. The overall unity of OMA’s design has the ability to form a landmark in Shanghai’s congested skyline – where new developments compete for attention with the same methods: height and form.