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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
   AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2007 awards -> Jade Entertainment Complex



Entry number: UB07068
Project Name: Jade Entertainment Complex
Location: Macao, China
Building Type: Mixed-use
Completion Date: 2010
Architect:  Steelman Partners

Sustainability Description

Design Team:
Architect: Steelman Partners


Narrative/Project Description:
This tower represents a paradigmatic shift from the hermetically sealed Tower Archetype of the 20th century. This evolution on the tower typology displaces the iconographic approach of skinning an efficiently engineered and extruded structure, with a more holistic conception involving economy, structure, form, program, and environment, entangled into a single sustainable and breathing building.

Located in the heart of Downtown Macau, this project sits in a densely developed urban fabric where the recent pace of development has pushed up land values exponentially. The small site is a 50mx50m square above ground, with extended borders below grade. The developer's mufti-use program calls for entertainment venues, casino gaming, parking, restaurants, hotel, condominium and adjoining amenities. With the size and relative mix of each component imminently tied to the economic viability of the project, the first challenge was to aggregate the multiple program elements effectively on the site.

The solution to program aggregation follows closely with the relative value and size of floor space to height within the building section. The spatial requirements of the gaming floor necessitated its location underground, where the borders of the site extend beyond the build-to line above. The rest of the program is stacked based on its relative value in height. As relative value decreases as one moves up from the ground and down from the top, the public revenue generating spaces take precedence at the top and bottom, while the parking is located in the middle at the least valuable point. Condominiums are located high in the building to take advantage of a higher investment grade, with hotel and amenities stacked below.

The plan is derived from the structural requirements of the tower. In a typically organized gridded tower with a central core, as the building height increases and the floor area remains constant, the slenderness ratio approaches an unacceptable limit. By pushing the cores to the perimeter, a more stable '4-corner' configuration is created, effectively reducing the bending moment along the height of the tower. The introduction of a central atrium shaft works to cheat the slenderness ratio further to a mere 1:5. By increasing the perimeter and footprint without increasing the floor-area ratio, the hollow tube structural scheme gains a significant advantage with a minimal cost premium.

The atrium is the heart of the building. It works on multiple levels beyond the pragmatics of structure. First, it is an architecturally significant spatial experience soaring into the sky. Second, it works to tie the public promenade together in a complex spatial matrix. Lastly, it acts as the building's lungs circulating hot and cold air through the public space.

Sustainability Description:

The central atrium and perimeter core configuration allows for a naturally convecting heat and cold cycle by taking advantage of the most abundant resources available to this building; height and pressure differentiation. During the summer months, the cooling cycle involves drawing cool, high altitude air into and down the core shafts where it is circulated and humidified in the public space by the rain fountain / feature located at the bottom of the atrium. This air is then drawn up and out the top of the atrium through the self-actuating skylight using Bernoulli's principle of fluid dynamics. The cycle is reversed for the heating cycle. Air is warmed under the self-actuating skylight, the only location with constant solar exposure in the building. This warmed air is drawn down the atrium into the public space before being pulled back up and exhausted from the core shafts, again through the stack effect. These strategies substantially reduce the mechanical load and power consumption of the project.

By exploiting the unique problems of economy, program, site, structure and environmental control, this project radicalizes normative, parceled building systems and intertwines them into a singular breathing organism. This strategy signifies a shift from the 20th century iconographic tower, into a more significant architecture specific to its unique position and circumstance.


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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:03 PST