Behind the Concrete is a monthly snippet where we introduce a piece of architecture that has a unique design and/or interesting story.
If it weren’t for the ‘miniskirt,’ this gray tower housing the fourth largest stock exchange in Asia would look like any other skyscraper.
The winning design for the new Stock Exchange building, completed in 2013, came from the firm of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and includes a three-story-tall platform that juts out from the sleek façade.
With a liberal dose of imagination, it looks like the 46-story tower is wearing a very short skirt – or so snarky Chinese netizens claim.
At least it’s better than the nickname for Koolhaas’ most prominent project in China, Beijing’s CCTV headquarters: from a certain angle its geometrically interlocking towers resemble a pair of giant underpants.
The design firm’s official website says the Shenzhen building’s elevated platform represents the weightless, ‘speculative euphoria that drives the market.’ It’s also designed to open up room for a public space on the ground floor, while its upper layer boasts an open-air garden.
The fact that tenants and traders can take a leisurely outdoor stroll without leaving the building is, we admit, pretty cool. But the space around the ground floor feels less than welcoming due to the massive overhang looming above; a reminder that what goes up could also come down.
Still, compared to Shenzhen’s other, sleeker skyscrapers, this one does stick out.
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