Sequoia East, LLC
Sequoia East, LLC
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"MOMA" in City of Kunming

1. Existing Site Analysis:

The project is located in the center of the City of Kunming. Specifically, the site is between Beijing Avenue to the east and Pan Long River to the west, and Yuan Tong Street to the north and Yao Yuan Street to the south. There are several existing high rise apartment buildings at the site that are remaining for this development. These buildings are a l0-story apartments near river front, a 16-story Apartment along Yao Yuan Street, a 26-story Apartment, (completed in Phase-I), and a 35-story Apartment that is under construction in Phase 2. The other small buildings at the project site will be demolished.

2. Project program:

The project consists of Apartment, Hotel, Office, Shopping Center, Museum, School and Police Station buildings. The School and Police Station will be designed by others.

Tabulation of the program is as follows.

  1. Total project site: 77,346 m2
    (Including site of School and Police Station)

  2. FRA (Floor Area Ratio): 4.5

  3. Total buildable floor area: 377,223 m2

  4. Breakdown of the floor area:
    • Existing buildings: 150,662 m2 (Not included for this project)
      1. Phase-I Apartment: 36,149 m
      2. Phase-II Apartment: 88,000 m2
      3. Apartment at river side: 14,513 m2
      4. Long Yu Apartment: 12,000 m2

    • Proposed buildings: (384,821 m2) (Phase 3)
      1. Apartment: 290,561m2
      2. Office: 17,573 m2
      3. Shopping Center: 73,962 m2
      4. Museum:  2,725m2

    • New buildings by others 8,670 m2
      1. School: 5,880m2
      2. Police Station: 2,790m2

  5. Maximum height of the buildings at the site is 100 m and setback line was established by 45 degree line from edge of the Pan Long River to Beijing Street.

  6. Building density: 22.6% (17,635 m2)

  7. Open space, green area: 41.7% (32,253.2 m2)

3. Image of the project:

The City of Kunming, known as "Spring City", has a very comfortable climate year around. Beautiful blue skies and flowers can be seen throughout the seasons. The city is located approximately 1,900m above sea level, which interestingly enough, is half the height to the highest mountain city of Tibet. There is an existing old culture, a traditional local culture, and a natural environment in the area. Based on these environments, the image of the project was made in very high density development.

Several groups of towers are designed to be above a multi-level shopping center. These towers will be built out of a beautifully natural clear stone: crystal, and the lower buildings and shopping center are a natural earth colored stone. The metaphor of the project is of white crystal stones colliding with a rocky mountain that results in a fusion between the two. The top of the crystal reflects the sun light during the day and will be illuminated at night. The white towers also go beautifully with a blue sky. As an accent color, the Bridge Museum is a reddish purple which will be similar to the sky bridge at the towers. Partial exterior walls are also purplish in color, which is color of natural crystal stone.

In relation to the tower's metaphor of fusion, the plazas, pedestrian promenade and park are conceptualized as a landscape that is "fractured", like broken stones in space. The fractures can be thought of as individual landscape elements that form a variety of spatial experiences. The water feature is a fracture in the landscape that divides the promenade into a variety of spaces for circulation, gathering, seating, and entertainment. The water is conceptualized as a mountain spring where water emerges from the earth, and is also a reflecting pool. The water is playful, contemplative, entertaining, and will attract all kinds of visitors; from children and families to business people and local residents. The idea of the water is kept simple and contemporary.

The concept of the park is to create a transition between the river and the towers. Various angular forms reflect the metaphor of the fracture. The park has five formal spaces. The first space is a plaza that terminates the promenade. The second is the space on both sides of the plaza adjacent to the street. This is a community gathering area where the floor is of a natural decking material like wood, and is shaded with canopy trees. The third space is angled earth forms that are tilted towards the river and perennial gardens. The fourth space is the perennial garden which is intended for growing specialty plant material that is native to Kunming.

4. Design and Planning:

1. Automobile access to the site:

Parking spaces and loading areas were designed at the basement level only. Access points to parking entrances were provided at two locations; one is at the comer of Beijing Ave. and Yuan Tong Street. This access point is not easy to access, so it is only for the convenience for visitors of office and apartment and customers of shopping center.

Another access to the parking is from Yao Yuan Street. This street is good for parking access because it is not particularly busy. This entrance will be used for all service deliveries in the loading area in the building's basement. Automobile access at the ground level is very limited. Fire access roads are available throughout the perimeter of the site.

B1 level is for loading areas of all buildings and parking spaces for the shopping center.

B2 level is for mechanical rooms and limited parking spaces of shopping center and most of parking spaces for the Apartment and Office.

2. Pedestrian access to the site

The majority of people will come to the site using public transportation or a taxi, and will enter from Beijing Street. There is a bus stop in front of the plaza. There is only minor access from the river side of the site. The pedestrian mall was designed to be a connector between the two access points from the busy street and the calm park at the river front. This connection is not only functional but also serves as a psychological connection to a natural environment of park and river from the busy and crowded main street. In order to connect the park with the pedestrian mall, natural materials like trees and flowers are included in the design. Specifically, a large water element has been included as an extension of the adjacent river.

3. Internal Circulation (Horizontal):

The project program requires a very high-density development type, while also keeping the maximum height of building to a certain level. The lower levels of the buildings are shopping centers while the towers are Apartment and Office Buildings. The retail stores of the existing buildings are connected and accessible from the pedestrian mall and plaza. The new retail stores will consist of 2 buildings at 4-level floors each. The old and new stores will eventually be connected by indoor walkways, bridges, escalators, and elevators. Access to shopping center, Apartment and Office will be divided for the sake of function, privacy, and security. There will also be security zones at each elevator lobby.

The museum is designed at the center of the site and will be located just above the pedestrian mall on a bridge between the two shopping centers. The concept of this museum is similar to that of the Guggenheim Museum in New York; it has a sloped floor for exhibition space. The museum will have two separate sloped floors juxtaposed against each other. The two floors will be connected intermittently at landings in the middle and at both ends. The museum's patrons will be guided directly by an express escalator from the plaza level to the entrance of the museum at the fourth floor. This escalator can also be used for shopping center customers.

4. Internal circulation (Vertical Transportation):

The elevators for this type of high-density development play a crucial role in the building's vertical circulation. Because this project is complex in its various uses, it is important to create a functional, controlled and secure system of elevators. The main lobby for the apartments was designed to be at ground floor. The elevators from the parking garage are also separate from those of the shopping center. Escalators were also included at each comer of the shopping centers. There is express exterior escalators that take people from the plaza into 4th floor of the bridge museum area.

5. Special apartment units at top of towers:

Series of terrace apartments at river side were designed as taking advantage of 45 degree of setback line. The highest of the terrace apartment has private small swimming pool or spa and landscaped garden. Top of each tower has tilted exterior wall toward east and west directions and create special large units for penthouse type apartment. All office floors were tilted out toward east which is Beijing Street. Two story high space was created at the highest floor as executive office.

6. Club house and Business center

Private club and business center were designed with private roof garden at 5th floor which is roof of shopping center, including swimming pool, health club, child care, senior center, conference center, restaurant, etc..

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