Shanghai Bund Financial Centre

The Arts and Cultural Centre, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre, China. - Showing the moving veil of the Arts and Cultural Centre in Rose Gold PVD tubular drops. - Developer: Shanghai Zendai Bund International Finance Center Real Estate Co. Ltd. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold for façades and tubular drops: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The Arts and Cultural Centre, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre, China. Showing the moving veil of the Arts and Cultural Centre in Rose Gold PVD tubular drops.
Developer: Shanghai Zendai Bund International Finance Center Real Estate Co. Ltd.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold for façades and tubular drops: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

Case study; Shanghai Bund Financial Centre

Heatherwick Studio and Foster & Partners’ mixed use development

The Bund has been Shanghai’s most prestigious stretch of waterfront since the nineteenth century and the design of the Shanghai Bund Financial Center has been created as a symbolic connection between the old part of Shanghai and the new financial district.

Shanghai’s most famous street is the Zhongshan Road and the Financial Center creates a dramatic culmination to this road.

The master plan for the site was created by Heatherwick Studio and Foster & Partners and includes offices, a boutique hotel, luxury retail space and restaurants around a plaza. At the core of the scheme is Arts and Cultural center The development’s construction began in 2010 and was completed in 2016.

15,000 square meters of PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold were used across the development for façades, cladding, glazing bars, panelling and of course the extraordinary veil of bamboo tubes which drapes around the Arts and Cultural Centre.

The 420,000 square meter site had been unoccupied for some years but now has become a fitting landmark representing the long-standing prosperity of the Bund.


A distinctive architectural style

The style of architecture within the Financial Centre is a departure from the “show off” architecture so often deployed in China’s grand schemes – the often seen towers of glittering glass and with smooth, anodyne exteriors and a non-color palette. The Bund’s square buildings are stepped, tapered and layered to create not an intimidating urban backdrop but one that embraces – despite the admittedly very tall anchoring pair of towers at the south end. This style creates an exciting and unusual architecture that has its own way of being impressive. It certainly provides an opportunity to showcase the materials used on this development -Rose Gold PVD stainless steel and bronze granite.

Surprisingly the development consists of only eight buildings but the impact is that of a much greater number. The multiple heights and widths of the buildings give the impression of clusters of buildings and create a multi-layered, more friendly feel for pedestrians than that of walking between the flat façades of soaring towers.

The buildings’ entrances are emphasised which again creates a sense of invitation. They are stepped in an almost art deco style as are the window frames and bars – albeit the entrance porticoes often being more than half the height of the buildings themselves so certainly not lacking in stature.

Windows have irregular criss-crossings of bars of the PVD stainless steel creating a grille reminiscent of a Chinese screen. In concordance with the motif of the tapering towers the gaps between the horizontal bars decrease as they advance upwards. Picking up on the emblem of the irregular rectilinear shapes some windows are “blanked out” completely with , instead, panels of PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold with square indentations. These panels appear almost as external works of abstract art.

The buildings directed towards the embankment echo the proportions and spacing of the grand and prosperous nineteenth century buildings which are found along on the Bund.

The Plaza is meant to be enjoyed at night and the buildings take on a golden glow as light is reflected from the Rose Gold PVD used extensively on the buildings’ exteriors.


The Arts and Cultural Center

The glamorous style of the chunky, elongated boxy and stepped office buildings makes for an even more dramatic entrance, centre stage, of the Cultural and Arts Center which resembles no other building on the development or any other recent building. The “moving veil” which forms its façade is a piece of theater in itself – it has been humorously likened to a bamboo wind-chime.

This building departs from the style of its neighbours and also from any known precedent being squat, shapely and quite unique in its design. There is a connection with the surrounding buildings with the recurring stepping of the lower section which retreats into the building forming a roof for the ground floor.

The design of the tubes is based on the shape of bamboo poles – a textured surface and a “knuckled” effect which simulates the way bamboo grows. These tubes form a flexible, moving façade that can be adjusted to completely transform the appearance of the building.

As well as the master theater auditorium, the Center, consisting of 4,000 square meters, also houses exhibition and events halls one of which is located on its roof.

Watch the video telling the design story of the Shanghai Bund


How Double Stone Steel became involved in the project – the introduction of PVD stainless steel

Double Stone Steel first became involved in 2014 when their UK partner, John Desmond Ltd, was invited to meet the design team at Foster & Partners and Heatherwick. PVD stainless steel had only relatively recently been introduced into the UK and robust collateral was needed to demonstrate the suitability of PVD for exteriors. A list was put together of buildings in China that had exterior work in PVD and a research team from Foster & Partners travelled to each of these buildings in order to make observations and compile a report to submit back to the architectural design team.

The buildings in China, many of which had been standing for twenty years, provided strong proof that PVD was sufficiently durable to specify for exterior use. However, another stage of viability had to be successfully negotiated prior to the architects being able to commit to an exterior specification.

Only once Double Stone Steel could prove that the PVD stainless steel could withstand the most rigorous of environmental and impact testing would the architects proceed to specifying. PVD tests were set by Heatherwick Studio and carried out which successfully demonstrated that PVD withstands corrosion, chemicals, cleaning products and other potentially damaging entities

You can read the results here for the testing of PVD on:-

  • Colour uniformity
  • Dry Film Hardness
  • Dry Adhesion
  • Wet Adhesion
  • Boiling Water Adhesion
  • Impact Resistance
  • Abrasion Resistance
  • Mortar Resistance
  • Detergent Resistance
  • Window Cleaner Resistance

Contact April Dahlberg at Double Stone Steel on +44 20 8946 8295

See the PVD colour range

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for the spectacular moving veil created from tubes, Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for the spectacular moving veil created from tubes, Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration glows in an evening shot of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration glows in an evening shot of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration, by Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd, was used for the exterior cladding, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration, by Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd, was used for the exterior cladding, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used to create the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre and neighbouring building. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used to create the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre and neighbouring building.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A view from the walkway inside the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre showing a fringe of the façade made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A view from the walkway inside the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre showing a “fringe” of the façade made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The dramatic and imaginative architecture of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre with its façade made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The dramatic and imaginative architecture of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre with its façade made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd


A close-up view of the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A close-up view of the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre made from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre showing the moving veil and viewing gallery façade fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre showing the moving veil and viewing gallery façade fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A close-up view of the tubular downstands with brightly coloured interiors, part of the moving veil of Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A close-up view of the tubular downstands with brightly coloured interiors, part of the moving veil of Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration was specified for door entries to create a sumptuous effect. Shanghai Bund Financial Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration was specified for door entries to create a sumptuous effect. Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration reflects the light with this stepped door entry at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration reflects the light with this stepped door entry at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for door reveals and wide-format glazing bars, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for door reveals and wide-format glazing bars, Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The exuberant Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the surrounding buildings with the evening sun reflecting from the detailing in PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The exuberant Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the surrounding buildings with the evening sun reflecting from the detailing in PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A dramatic avenue between the buildings at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre showing PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration used for door reveals and window surrounds. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A dramatic avenue between the buildings at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre showing PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration used for door reveals and window surrounds.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for door reveals and window surrounds at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration is used for door reveals and window surrounds at the Shanghai Bund Financial Centre.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The detailed façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the more boxy style of surrounding buildings. Architectural detailing fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The detailed façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the more boxy style of surrounding buildings. Architectural detailing fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The elegant moving veil of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the surrounding buildings. Architectural detailing fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The elegant moving veil of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre in context with the surrounding buildings. Architectural detailing fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre with a view towards Pudong. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre with a view towards Pudong. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A detailed close-up view of the tubular downstands very much like bamboo in shape at the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A detailed close-up view of the tubular downstands very much like bamboo in shape at the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A view of the moving veil of tubes looking up at the undulating ceiling detail at the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

A view of the moving veil of tubes looking up at the undulating ceiling detail at the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The interior walkway looking from the inside at the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Façade fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration. - Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio - PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd

The interior walkway looking from the inside at the façade of the Shanghai Bund Arts and Cultural Centre. Façade fabricated from PVD stainless steel in Rose Gold Vibration.
Architects: Foster & Partners; Heatherwick Studio
PVD: Double Stone Steel in partnership with John Desmond Ltd