More Design Office

More Design Office

Shanghai, CN


Xi'An GLP I-Park

MDO have completed the first two of four office towers in Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.  The towers are the 2nd phase of a larger office campus masterplan.  At the centre of the new design is a landscaped park which acts as a green community focus for the entire campus. 

A previous masterplan included all the office accommodation arranged in a single block, and MDO reorganized this area into 4 towers, creating more view corridors through the site and to the park, less overshadowing and better leasable office floor plates.


The 4 towers are designed as two pairs that are mirrored off an existing central axis.  The brief called for economic floor plates and a cost effective façade.  Recesses, obtrusions, all of these would add cost; instead we decided to treat the facades as a skin which could be enriched through careful composition, proportion, and detail.

The façade is vertically organized into bands, which increase in height as they rise, giving the towers a greater vertical emphasis.  The curtain walling is either full height glass or Apple silver aluminum panels. The proportion of glass increases the further you rise up the building.

Local codes require opening vents for smoke clearance, which usually result in awkward and unsightly windows. We wanted to maintain a clean unobstructed glass panel so decided to hide the vents behind louvered screens.  These allow the occupants to open the façade to receive fresh air without effecting the expression of the façade.


At night we imagined the towers to create an abstract play of light, referring to arrangements of binary codes.  Aluminum panels were folded outwards to create light slots which can be seen only from certain angles. This means as you walk past, the 4 towers subtly change in appearance.


At the base of the towers the façade is lifted up to create double-height entrance lobbies, connecting the towers directly to the landscape.  The module of the curtain wall increased so there are less visual obstructions to the view of the park.

The lobbies are treated as flexible spaces where people can work, meet and relax on specially designed furniture. To contrast against the metallic exterior, the interior spaces are lined at lower level with slatted bamboo walls, whilst above gentle folds of aluminum turn into the façade.

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Status: Built
Location: Xi'An, China
Firm Role: Architecture Concept / Fa├žade Consultant / Interior Design
Additional Credits: Local Design Institute: China Northwest Building Design Research Institute Co Ltd
Photography: Seth Powers (