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Architecture Watch: Steven Holl's 'Sliced Porisity Block' Set to Menace Chengdu, China

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In Architecture Watch, Curbed SF expands its worldview to new structures across the globe. Projects of note should be directed accordingly.

Famed firm Steven Holl Architects (think: current NYC Hudson Yards redevelopment contender) has been commissioned to build Sliced Porosity Block, a 105,000 square foot mixed-use "giant chunk of metropolis" (as the firm describes it) situated in Chengdu, China. The black-and-white megalith will house apartments, a hotel, retail, cafes and restaurants. Hell of a plan here— five vertical entrances will lead into a Rockefeller Center-sized urban plaza (known as "Three Valley") whose three ponds are inspired by a poem by ancient poet Du Fu. The scheme grows more conceptual: suspended above six stories' worth of retail space, said ponds will function as skylights, "pierced by diagonal stray escalators that thrust upwards to three 'buildings within buildings.'"

Three pavilions designed by Holl (history pavilion), Lebbeus Woods (high tech pavilion), and Ai Wei Wei (Du Fu pavilion) will occupy voids in the facades of the blocks. On the green front, 'Sliced Porosity Block' will vie for a gold LEED rating with geo-thermal cooling aided by the ponds and other tricks of the trade. Holl and company are blowing up in China, with the Vanke Center (a floating horizontal skyscraper) on tap in Shenzhen and the Linked Hybrid (eight towers and 660 geothermal wells linked by public sky bridges) set to open in Beijing this year.
· Steven Holl Architects [website]