studio505 challenges competition brief

15 Aug 2014

Phoenix Valley by studio505 integrates existing canal to form sheltered courtyard

When we published studio505’s expressive Lotus scheme in Wujin last month, it was met with praise and wonderment from our readers and social media followers. We are therefore delighted to publish details of an adjacent structure also by studio505: Phoenix Valley.

This 450mRMB (€55m) complex comprises public and educational facilities for the people of Wujin, and is funded and operated by the government. The 65,000 sq m complex includes: 4 cinemas; a 1,000-seat grand theatre capable of hosting both traditional Chinese opera and immersive digital performances; a 5-storey art gallery; and a learning centre for 4,000 students known as the ‘youth palace’.

There is also an occupation experience hall; a hall dedicated to sports and dance; a melange of retail, café and eating facilities; and a generous public courtyard with a large LED screen and children’s playground. In order to generate this courtyard, studio505 reworked the given competition brief which directed designers to divert an existing axial canal in a right hand turn in front of the rectangular building footprint.

studio505’s response was to integrate this infrastructure into the building development, enabling the team to create a courtyard at the heart of the structure rather than to the side as suggested in the brief. The resulting space is safe, secure, and benefits from additional elements such as an LED big screen.

In July 2010, the design studio completed a commercial facility for Pixel in Melbourne which integrated a number of cutting-edge sustainable technologies. Having proved to be successful at the Pixel building, studio505 has now incorporated many of these elements into the Phoenix Valley project.

Such sustainable measures include: green roof technology; built-in photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays; natural ventilation; LED lighting; and water management systems such as thermal heat exchangers. These elements have earned the project the maximum of 3 stars in the China Three Star rating system, the equivalent of a LEED Gold certification.  


Client: Wujin District People’s Government
Architect: studio505
Local Design Institute: Nanjing University Design Institute
Constructor: Shanghai Construction Group
Interior Contractor: Gold Mantis

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