MVRDV reveals proposal for mixed-use ‘oasis towers’ in nanjing

‘oasis towers’ by mvrdv set to enliven nanjing’s financial district 


MVRDV reveals its winning competition design for ‘Oasis Towers’, a mixed-use residential and commercial complex on the edge of the Jiangbei New Area Financial District in Nanjing, China. The 166,000 sqm project reveals two L-shaped, 150m-tall towers with cascading terraces facing each other from the north and south corners. Nestled at the center between both buildings is a lush green landscape that gradually expands outwards, overtaking the building terraces.


Meanwhile, a 3–4 story podium encloses most of the site, creating a protective environment at its heart. This perimeter building bridges over pedestrian access routes and even the street between both plots, highlighting a clear separation between the surrounding neighborhood and the green oasis at the center of the design. MVRDV’s proposal is ultimately envisioned as ‘a haven for residents in a dense and rapidly developing part of the city.’ 


Oasis Towers will occupy plots 18-34 and 18-35 in the Jiangbei Financial District Masterplan.

MVRDV envisions green oasis nestled between two L-shaped towers in nanjing, china

all images © ATCHAIN



Peppered with trees and other greenery, the oasis holds a lush environment for shopping from ground level up to the third floor. This park-like space provides cooling and biodiversity, privacy for residents of the upper floors from shoppers below, and a walkable environment connecting both plots across the central road. At the very center of the public space, the landscape trickles down below ground level to link up beneath the road, providing a convenient crossing point and allowing access to the underground metro station.


‘The contemporary architecture of Nanjing takes its inspiration from nature in form and appearance,’ says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. ‘With ‘Oasis Towers,’ we wanted to push this trend to the max – not only emulating nature with curving, stratified ‘cliffs,’ but also to literally incorporate nature into the design with the greenery and by tapping into natural processes.’

MVRDV envisions green oasis nestled between two L-shaped towers in nanjing, china

a closer look at the cascading terraces of the MVRDV ‘Oasis Towers’ proposal



a sustainable mixed-use complex inviting nature in 


Responding to the office skyscrapers that will emerge in its surroundings, the MVRDV ‘Oasis Towers’ proposal presents a formal, gridded facade on the outer faces of the perimeter block. Elsewhere, this exterior skin gives way to the flowing curves of balconies, terraces, rooftops, and small pavilions clad in recycled bamboo.


The integration of nature into the design goes even further than its idyllic green environment, with nature playing an important role in sustainability strategies. Non-accessible rooftops are densely planted with various species that help maximize biodiversity. Also included are two 500 sqm reed beds that naturally filter and purify water as part of the project’s greywater recycling system.

MVRDV oasis towers
deep balconies along with carefully placed trees create a nice balance between natural light and shading



The positioning of both buildings also takes advantage of the prevailing western winds to optimize natural ventilation. The deep balconies are staggered to provide plenty of natural light while reducing solar gain in the summer and carefully placed trees that provide extra shade in the warmer months. Furthermore, a water-source heat pump uses the adjacent river to reduce energy consumption.


‘The towers appear highly varied at a glance, with every floor differing in shape from its neighbors above and below, yet the design in fact, is highly efficient and regularized; floor plans for large sections of the towers are almost identical, with only variations in the shapes of the curving balconies. Planters separate neighboring balconies, ensuring that the green oasis extends to the very top of the design,’ continues MVRDV. 


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