Matthias Olt

, Seattle

Sea Stack is a tall building designed not as a container for people, but specifically to address inhabitants’ health and well-being. Recent research has found the positive impact sinuous, soft-organic physical forms have on human well-being, health, and performance. For example, visual exposure to curvilinear form has been shown to change human physiology, slowing heart rates and breathing, lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress levels. The underlying impact on workplace comfort and productivity in this context is significant. This presentation introduces a new dimension into the urban real estate proposition: tall buildings can promote health and well-being, environmental consciousness, and next-generation workplace flexibility.

The design positions the project as an avant-garde, workplace-oriented development for sophisticated and demanding tech tenants in Shenzhen. Throughout this 190-meter-tall commercial office development, it’s apparent that the design philosophy is driven by a people-first approach. A sunken plaza at metro level greets arrivals with daylight and provides a transitional and calm, Zen-like space. The design composition is reminiscent of sea stack formations in the ocean, and taps into the sublime longings for individualism, adventure, and self-discovery associated with marine environments, particularly with natural phenomena such as surf and rock formations. Similar to the way rocks host individual corals, serving as important reef builders for tropical oceans that support various forms of life, this tower and retail podium are designed as incubators that support workplace innovation, productivity, and health for the tech-oriented business community of Shenzhen, China. The tower aims to become a legacy landmark building.