GroupGSA propose dramatic mixed-use towers for Shenzhen inspired by a double helix

added: “Our core aim was to connect experience, data, and people through this design. iCarbonX is taking steps into an uncharted new future in medical science a
– Alina Valcare, GroupGSA principal

International architecture studio GroupGSA's have designed a mixed-use commercial, residential and leisure building in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, with a dramatic twisting form inspired by a double helix.

iCarbonX, a Chinese company researching the mapping and digitising of human health, organised an architecture competition to seek designs for its planned new headquarters – a building that must articulate its aim “to build an ecosystem of digital life based on a combination of an individual's biological, behavioural and psychological data, the internet and artificial intelligence.”

Described as “the functional centre for Shenzhen to develop into a global super city”, the complex is likely to include offices for the company in addition to a residential tower and a host of leisure facilities.

Inspired by the repeating hexagons in a carbon atom, GroupGSA submitted a striking design for two interlinked towers, with their entry named by the competition jury as “one of the outstanding submissions” that may be adopted by iCarbonX.

Explaining the approach in a design statement, the firm said: “Dissecting these basic hexagonal forms has produced a stunning architectural language and philosophy that flowed through the design, tying iCarbonX’s diverse functional areas together into one cohesive working organism.

“Twisting coils at the heart of the design mirror DNA’s double helix structure, infusing the building’s ethos with the essence of life and creation. As well as emulating DNA, dual winding balconies add peace and serenity to the design, while tranquil terrace gardens allow workers to step back and centre themselves before entering office spaces.”

Principal Alina Valcare added: “Our core aim was to connect experience, data, and people through this design. iCarbonX is taking steps into an uncharted new future in medical science and we wanted to create a space that reflected the scale and ambition of their truly innovative mission.”

As part of GroupGSA’s plans, the smaller tower will house residential properties, and will include indoor and outdoor swimming pools and rooftop bars and restaurants on the two uppermost floors. The larger office tower will also feature a sky club and eatery.

The architects – who have offices in Australia, Vietnam and China – have worked on several large-scale projects in the latter, and are currently developing a swooping, grass-roofed information hub for the ski resort hosting events during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Group GSA  China  Shenzhen  iCarbonX  Alina Valcare  
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