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MRDV Wins Competition to Design the Oasis Towers – A Nature-Inspired Mixed-Use Project in Nanjing


MVRDV has been selected to design a mixed-use residential and commercial complex on the outskirts of Nanjing’s Jiangbei New Area’s Financial District. The two 150-meter-tall towers, titled “Oasis Towers,” are surrounded by lush landscapes and will provide residents with a green haven in a dense and rapidly developing part of the city. 

According to MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas, “Nanjing’s modern architecture draws both its form and look from nature. With Oasis Towers, we intended to push this trend to its utmost limits by not only mimicking nature with curved, layered “cliffs,” but also literally incorporating nature into the architecture through the use of vegetation and by utilizing natural processes. 

Oasis Towers – A Sustainable Green Haven 

The project is located on the periphery of the Jiangbei Financial District masterplan and spans two adjacent blocks. The project’s two L-shaped towers, each 40 stories tall, are positioned so that they face one another from the north and south corners. The podium, which is just three to four stories high, serves as the site’s border and helps to establish the project’s protected environment. By crossing over pedestrian access points and even the street that divides the two plots, this perimeter structure establishes a distinct boundary between the neighborhood nearby and the oasis in the design’s center. 

The oasis, which is clustered with trees and other vegetation, creates a beautiful environment for shopping on the building’s commercial levels, which run from the ground floor to the third floor. The canopy provides privacy by separating the occupants of the higher floors from the shoppers below, and it creates a walking environment that connects the two plots across the central road. This park-like area also serves the purpose of providing cooling and biodiversity. A convenient crossing point and access to the metro station below the site are made possible by a landscape feature that descends below ground level in the middle of the public area. 

Video Source: MVRDV

Nature plays a significant role in the design’s sustainability initiatives, extending the design’s incorporation of nature beyond its gorgeous green setting. Inaccessible rooftops in the oasis are thickly covered with a variety of vegetation, which helps to maximize biodiversity. Two 500 square meter reed beds that naturally filter and clean water as part of the building’s greywater recycling system are also a component of these inaccessible roofs. 

The towers are positioned to maximize natural ventilation by utilizing the direction of the predominant western breezes. Along with the strategically positioned trees that offer additional shade during the warmer months, the deep balconies are staggered to provide an abundance of natural light while lowering solar gain in the summer. Utilizing the nearby river, a water-source heat pump lowers energy usage. 

The floor plans for large portions of the towers are strikingly similar, with the only differences being the shapes of the curving balconies. Despite the towers’ initial appearance being highly varied, with every floor differing in shape from its neighbors above and below, the design is actually highly efficient and regularised. In order to ensure that the green oasis continues all the way to the top of the design, planters are used to divide adjacent balconies. 

The design incorporates a classical, gridded façade on the outer surfaces of the perimeter block to react to the office skyscrapers that will rise nearby. This outer skin eventually gives place to small pavilions, balconies, terraces, rooftops, and other structures with facades made of recycled bamboo. 

Nanjing, China’s largest city, is rapidly expanding. To facilitate this expansion, the government established the Jiangbei New Area in 2015, extending Nanjing to the west across the Yangtze River. MVRDV has now won a competition to design a mixed-use residential and commercial complex on the outskirts of the Financial District of Jiangbei New Area.  

Oasis Towers will provide a haven for residents in a dense and rapidly developing area of the city, with a green landscape nestled between two 150-meter-tall towers. 


The name is an acronym for: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, and Nathalie de Vries who founded MVRDV in 1993. They are based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and provide solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues in all regions of the world. 

A multidisciplinary, collaborative design process involving rigorous technical and creative investigation is used by 250 architects, designers, and urbanists to develop projects. MVRDV uses BIM and has official BREEAM and LEED assessors on staff. 

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We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology. To deliver long-term engineering and business strategies, we align with your culture and processes to create an unbreakable partnership. With over 500 full-time employees and more than 600 customers in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, we are poised for the next level of success. 

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