Hongqi Zhen Sugar Factory Town Master Plan, Zhuhai, China

Wednesday 30 May 2018
Credit: Woods Bagot

Architects: Woods Bagot

Sweetening urban design

Due to complete in three phases over the next 10 years, a cultural, tourism and leisure park is to take shape on the site of a former sugar factory in China

A disused sugar factory in Zhuhai’s Jinwan District in China is set to be revitalized into an integrated cultural, tourism and leisure park. Woods Bagot’s master plan both celebrates the proud heritage of Zhuhai’s once prosperous sugar industry, while creating a future for the Hongqi Zhen Sugar Factory site.

The former factory began production in 1960 and was once a key pillar of Southern China’s sugar plantation and processing industry. As the local economy evolved over the following decades, the industry declined, leading the Hongqi Zhen Sugar Factory to close its doors in 2003.

Due to complete in three phases over the next 10 years, the 78,877-square metre development will feature a boutique hotel, a chocolate factory, a wedding venue and start-up offices, a sugar industry museum as well as a diverse F&B and retail offering.

Charlie Chen, Studio Leader – Urban Design, Woods Bagot, said: “It is a privilege to create a place where a whole community can capture and celebrate their proud industrial history. At the heart of our strategy is a desire to inspire and engage the diverse people that will enjoy the site - from locals and former factory workers to tourists, families and children alike. The result will be a showcase of old and new, and provide Zhuhai with a rich cultural landmark for generations to come.”

Different thematic zones will provide contrasting sensory experiences for visitors, from the energetic retail street and creative workshop spaces to the tranquil wedding lake and wetland boardwalk. Murals, façade installations and sculptures will engage, educate and commemorate the past along the way. 

A central park will form the core of the site, with other landscape features including a floral garden walk, a sculpture garden, a farming experience as well as scenic waterscapes and wetlands adapted from existing ponds and former industrial waterbodies.

Woods Bagot’s strategy will retain and repurpose as many existing structures as possible, and then introduce new buildings and landscapes that complement their industrial aesthetic. As part of this process, over 40 existing structures were carefully assessed for their heritage value, scale and spatial quality.

The former-factory’s red brick chimney towers will provide a visual landmark at the highest point of the site, with newer buildings rising only 2-3 storeys to create a harmonious synergy and differentiate them from the taller historic buildings.

Harmony with the local environment will be encouraged through a sustainability strategy which will include solar roofs, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and cooling and the promotion of low carbon transport options, including bikes and scenic water taxis.

The WAN Future Projects Civic Award 2018 is open for entries 

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com

Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts



Woods Bagot

More projects by this architect

Queensland Government HQ

San Francisco International Airport - New Terminal 1

Mixed use tower

Aljada Development Masterplan

Longteng mixed-use project

Shenzhen Metro Changzhen Depot TOD Master Plan

IRENA headquarters

Victoria University Health Clinic

Burwood Highway Frontage Building

Refugee Garden

Mesa City Center

Ham Yard

Zhejiang University School of Management

Catholic Leadership Centre

Stadio della Roma

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)

The Cairns Institute, James Cook University

10 Trinity Square

Nouméa Waterfront

Qatar Science and Technology Park

Woods Bagot Sport

Zig Zag Cultural Centre

St. Vincents O'Brien Centre

China Southern Airport City Masterplan

Zig Zag Cultural Centre

China Southern Airport City

Burwood Highway Frontage Building, Deakin University

The Cairns Institute - James Cook University

Ross Donaldson talks at BIM conference

The GPT Group

Shijiazhuang International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Brooklyn on Brookes

Golden Dragon Museum

Deakin University Building I

Woods Bagot HOTBED event

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)


The Cairns Institute - James Cook University


Langfang Eco-Smart City Master Plan

The Strategic Masterplan for Noumea 2025

The Deloitte Centre, 80 Queen Street

Business School at the University of Western Australia


Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication

Shijiazhuang International Exhibition and Convention Centre

Xixi Wetland International Tourism Region Masterplan

Mackay Base Hospital Redevelopment

Qatar Science and Technology Park, Doha

Curtin Resources and Chemistry Precinct

University of Western Australia Business School

Qatar Science & Technology Park

European Corporate HQ

Saudi Arabia Bank Headquarters

Tianjin waterfront development

Qatar Science and Technology Park

Australian Science and Maths School

Central Village Hotels

Nakheel Tower

Apex House

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)


Piccadilly Central Tower

Tsada Golf Estate and Resort

100 West Cromwell Road

Liverpool Central