Benoy wins the international design competition for Greenland Group’s high-profile mixed-use development, Greenland GIC, in Chengdu’s city centre.
Benoy has been appointed as masterplanner and architect for the ambitious scheme, which will comprise five residential towers, three commercial towers, serviced apartments, a hotel, a retail podium and an outdoor pedestrian shopping street.
The site consists of six separate plots of land, which form the 86,000m2 site in Chengdu on which the development will be built. Located at the intersection of Second Ring Road and Kehua Middle Road, the scheme will form a significant addition to Western China’s important economic centre.
Benoy’s winning design was selected for the way in which is tackled the brief’s challenge of utilising a restricted central park on the site.
Richard Tang, Divisional Director and Design Leader at Benoy, explains, “Our concept overturned the planning parameters and questioned the restrictive use of the parkland. The park is the critical fulcrum for the project which helps to balance all the different elements of the program.”
“Instead of allowing the brief to restrict our creativity, we sought to create a commercial value which would far exceed the nature of the park as a standalone entity.”
Elaborating, he says, “There were many complexities related to the green park and how it could be integrated into the overall masterplan. In this proposal, we created a self-supporting monocoque canopy, which floats above the parkland and allows for the space underneath to have a commercial value in the form of an open-ventilated outdoor F&B cluster that is sunken half a level below ground. This strategy increases the commercial footfall on several levels, where we connected the retail space underground to the residences and above ground to the upper levels of the retail podium and BRT. This design strategy also overcomes the rigid planning regulation that forbids fixed buildings on the parkland whilst increasing the commercial and retail utility for the 18,000sqm green park.”
“The masterplan and architectural design has also eventually evolved to become an epic narrative about crafting a modern city lifestyle for Chengdu’s new urban elite,” he continues.
“We looked towards emphasising the quality of human interaction and discovering what it means to live in an ecologically sustainable, technologically intelligent, programmatically diverse city of the future whilst maximising the planning requirements of the site.
“No longer do we see urban, mixed-use developments as just a collection of towers sitting above a podium. The idea for the future is creating a microcosm of the urban condition that reflects the machinations of a city. Our process involved taking a 360-degree perspective of what our communities want out of a city and crafting a development that we feel reflects a new typology for living in the future.
“In our architectural design, the rules of engagement no longer remain the exclusive domain of the corporate but rather, through technological mobility, staggered time parcels and interstitial space sharing, allows the individuals to initiate and control their lifestyle to suit their optimum resource.”