To create the distinctive “onCube” building in Shanghai, the German GMP studio
(consisting of Meinhard von Gerkan, Nikolaus Goetze and Magdalene Weiss) has combined original light effects with a simple square format. The office tower has a total height of 90 metres and its 20 floors rise into the air in the shape of two identical cubes. These are covered by a white aluminium grid of 4.2 metre sided squares that envelopes the building like a net curtain. This high precision graphic format is repeated inside the building where the double-glazed windows that form the building's thermal "skin" are dominated by the same squared grid. Framed by black aluminium profiles, these areas are also reflective, which further reinforces the illusion of the building being veiled by a curtain. Halfway up the building, a break in the grid creates a kind of “waistband” that at night is emphasized by a coloured blue light. The artificial lighting system designed by the Illumine studio accentuates the three-dimensional nature of the building by positioning about 800 Trick luminaires all the way around it. These blades of light are aimed at the frames of the squares that form the grid to underline their depth. The DALI protocol and control system allow the individual devices to be switched on separately so that light and shadow can be moved across the building's surfaces. So now OnCube has become a landmark on the Shanghai skyline, by day thanks to its solidity and by night on account of its differentiated light play.
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