The Moving Facade of Bund Finance Center in Shanghai

The Bund Finance Center is a development of eight buildings on over 420,000sqm in waterfront of Shanghai, China. The center includes office buildings, a boutique hotel, luxury retail space and a cultural center. At the heart of the scheme is the arts and cultural center with a flexible façade that can be changed to dramatically alter the look of the building.

“Sitting at the gateway to Shanghai’s old town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years,” said Thomas Heatherwick when the project was first announced. “In filling this last empty site on shanghai’s famous bund, the concept is inspired by china’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage.”

At the heart of the of it all is a flexible arts and cultural center, which combines exhibition and event halls with a performance venue. The center is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange, as well as a place for brand events, product launches and corporate functions.

Inspired by traditional Chinese theatres, the three-story building features a curtain-like facade of bronze tubes that resemble bamboos. These tubes hang in three layers, creating semi-transparent screens in front of windows and balconies.

All photographs courtesy Laurian Ghinitoiu.