The mixed use development in Zhuhai, China contains 360,000 sq m leasable retail space together with commercial, hotel serviced apartment and residential accommodation totalling 510,000 sq m of accommodation. Shoring of the site is already complete and it is anticipated that the piling of the development will commence in early 2012.
We have immensely enjoyed working with this incredibly innovative client who has moved his thinking from the standard ‘black box' retail model, and has instead challenged us to create a series of rich and diverse retail and entertainment environments, with significant external civic and public space being gifted back to the community. This philanthropic gesture from the Summer Group together with close interactive nature of the design process, has resulted in a remarkable development, which will undoubtedly become one of the major destinations in Southern China.
The site of the development is unique in this important growing city, as it is the meeting point between the grid of the city and the natural topography of the surrounding hill range. The design of the development takes inspiration from this with a dynamic 'urban super wall' defining the sites edge with the urban grid. The super wall is made up of series of giant, stacked stone, steel and LED blocks that are stacked to open and cantilever out across the street.
The LED blocks acts as media and light entry gateways and break out points. These breaks gates within the wall reveal the softer organic, planted terrace building and street forms within like a giant secret garden. The terraces within the heart of the site are sculpted to reflect the flow of pedestrian movement through the site along undulating terraced valleys that open to create external plazas and close to create intimate shaded courtyards.