“Part of the challenge is to show the vertical transportation in a very visible way at the front to bring people up naturally,” says von Klemperer, “so that they feel not compelled but interested in achieving these higher levels where they could do things not necessarily programmed by their rental agreements but by some sort of public street.”
At Hysan Place in Hong Kong, another mixed-use scheme of 716,000 ft2, the building is conceived as a series of shifting forms to create a series of vertical gardens over the height of the project. Here too, the escalators are clearly expressed on the outside of the building, zigzagging up the façade and “beckoning to the crowds to find retail space at the upper levels”, says von Klemperer.
“It’s finding opportunities to make spaces. The melange of tunnels and walkways that go through this project becomes a sort of jungle gym for a series of truly public spaces through this mixing chamber of retail, and ends up in pockets of space above that are semi-public. So there’s a pallet of interior spaces that animate this sectionally articulated piece of the city.”
Multitude of Uses
It’s not easy to create genuinely public spaces in mega-projects – but it can be done. KPF’s design for the 555m Lotte World Tower in Seoul includes a cultural centre, kids’ park, jazz bar and aquarium as well as a 2,000-seat concert hall, which will be the home of the National Orchestra of Korea.
“It’s not a piece of commercial formula, it’s mandated by the city,” explains von Klemperer. “But the point is that it is possible to provide truly public space of a civic sort within the complex section of a high-rise building.”