A new design for the city of Yiwu, China has been revealed. The new project will see a one-stop lifestyle complex sited in a city renowned for one of the world’s largest small commodity wholesale market. Aedas has been selected to design the ‘Heart of Yiwu’ complex that will be completed in 2016.
The project is set to become a destination of cultural and leisure activities. With a combination of large-scale retail, dining and entertainment facilities, the building will allow visitors to enjoy shopping, food and beverage. The development will be a 24-hour social and lifestyle centre with a gross floor area of 146,000 sq m that will include landscaped squares, outdoor plazas and pedestrian streets.
Yiwu is traditionally a trading city that has grown along the Yiwu River. The form of the project is inspired by a Chinese character that literally means ‘a river’. The historic city wall of Yiwu, on the other hand, inspired the façade design. Chinese bricks are used to give texture to the side facing Beiwen Road.
The design by Keith Griffiths and Leo Liu incorporates an outdoor pathway that resembles the ancient Chaoyang Gate and its 42 steps where traders used to pass through every day. Together with the internal route, they bring people to the upper retail floors and the outdoor rooftop platform.
The proposal of the whole structure gives a sense of connection between the past and the future, the tradition and the progress.
Aedas is a leading global architecture and design practice providing architecture, graphic, interior, landscape and urban design & masterplanning services within Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America.
Client: Yiwu Commerce and Tourism Group Co., Ltd.
Project Design Directors: Keith Griffiths and Leo Liu