Construction begins on Atkins’ mixed-use Pacific Dream Plaza in Qingdao, China
Construction of the Atkins-designed Pacific Dream Plaza in Qingdao in northern China has begun. The riverside 300,000 sq m mixed use development is centred around a series of landscaped squares and paths and includes a 30-storey five star hotel tower, 1,500 residential units and office and retail space.
Peter Ridley, Atkins’ senior design director, said: “This project presented a fascinating challenge because the area was partially enclosed by a river but it also gave us a great opportunity to create a remarkable quarter in a new urban location. Through rigorous testing of the client’s needs we have created a development that is distinctive, functional and one with value as a new outdoor space amenity to the wider community.”
The development is enclosed on two sides by water and integrated into the surrounding neighbourhoods on its other faces. These boundary conditions presented a unique challenge for the architects as there were four ‘fronts’ to the development, meaning that façade design and building form had to be carefully modelled to integrate well in all directions. There was no opportunity for the ‘back door’ that heavily serviced mixed use projects might normally have. This also created complex traffic and servicing problems which the architects solved in collaboration with the Atkins’ traffic engineering team from its Hong Kong office.
The curvaceous building forms evolved from a comprehensive set of strategic concept studies and as they developed the architects worked with Atkins’ sustainability team at Faithful+Gould in Shanghai to boost the project’s low carbon credentials. This meant testing the sunlight, shading and wind conditions within the quarter to ensure the circulation within the retail buildings created a primary circulation loop. The idea was to connect indoor and outdoor spaces in the three distinct elements of the retail offering: the outdoor ‘lifestyle’ village, the department store and the enclosed mall.
Atkins’ Beijing studio undertook the architectural design from masterplanning through to detail design and was assisted by Atkins’ structural, traffic and sustainability teams in UK, Hong Kong and Shanghai.