Draftarch focuses on China

Nick Myall
Friday 04 Mar 2016

Draftarch are creating a new retail park in China that targets the country’s growing middle-class

This retail park in the rapidly expanding city of Tianjin, China has been commissioned by HNA Group and designed by Draftarch. It includes a wide range of functions and these are combined in order to obtain an innovative mix that targets the growing middle class lifestyle of the Chinese metropolis. The overall masterplan is divided into blocks with various different functions. Four central blocks are dedicated to food and beverage tenants. Six components are designed for exhibition-retail in order to develop this recently explored formula that conjugates shopping and entertainment. Another six blocks are taken up by a traditional form of retailers and cinema, and two blocks on the east are designed as a waterpark dome and a hotel.

One side of the project is located in a fast-growing suburban area that will continue to expand well into the future. On the other side the building has to fulfil its landmark retail function, while maintaining its relationship with the surroundings. 

Formally, the design concept takes shape in an extremely essential approach on the exterior façades and in a careful study of proportions of the inner streets and of the spaces overlooking them. A refined floor plan layout results in a shaded and roofed public street which is not only a means of connection but also a series of spaces and stages of a non-linear path. This also can be read as a sequence of sensitive spaces giving value to the sales function through the architecture.

From the outside the retail complex appears like a series of large blocks settled and shaped with different angles. The buildings are cladded with a uniform material, without any variation of texture or colour.

For this reason the design implements the use of concrete panels of large size and a diverse range of dimensions. This solution meets a reasonable budget and emphasizes the large built masses with a proportioned sizing and the consistency of the material.

The variety of the volumes is furthermore increased by the idea of a semi-underground basement that links the parking function with the surroundings. This part of the building creates a void area at the bottom of all the buildings.

On the ground floor the large promenade is dotted with a series of gardens popping out from the basement level, creating a visual interaction between the underground parking and the interior spaces.

For more information please visit www.draftarch.com

Nick Myall

News Editor

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