Horizontal Skyscraper | The Plan
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Horizontal Skyscraper

Steven Holl Architects

Asia | Shenzhen

The Vanke Center, otherwise known as the Horizontal Skyscraper, is in Shenzhen, a city growing at break-neck speed on China’s subtropical coast not far from Hong Kong. The complex stands as a quality landmark in a landscape bristling with skyscrapers where urban dynamism is expressed in terms of quantity. Winner of a competition limited to invited submissions from internationally acclaimed architect firms, it  combines architectural prowess with sustainable construction and energy-efficiency. 

That the building sets out to put theory into practice is clear from its name, “horizontal skyscraper”. Its dynamic articulation is in deliberate contrast to the sequence of skyscrapers ranged on the city’s edge, doggedly concealing the view of the mountains further inland. In contrast, the Vanke Center runs parallel to the mountain range, following...

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