Benoy shows us how their latest project in Chengdu, China responds to the city.
13 February, 2014
The opening of Chengdu International Finance Square (Chengdu IFS) in January was a grand affair complete with the unveiling of the world’s largest panda installation by artist Lawrence Argent entitled “I Am Here” – an apt piece of work that recognises Chengdu as the home of the giant panda.
The 210,000m2 premium retail podium is strategically located within the core business district of Chengdu, at the prime junction of Hong Xing Road and Dacisi Road, and is conceived as ‘a city within a city’; it is integrated with Grade A office buildings, a five-star hotel and luxury residential properties.
“The office towers are strategically linked and allow convenient access to the retail podium at crucial levels – Level 3 main lobby and the Level 7 roof garden and dining area,” says Ferdinand Cheung, Project Director at Benoy, the firm appointed as the master planner, architect, interior and graphic designer of the project. “Office workers can easily filter into the mall during lunch hours; passing through the mall when arriving from the street or MRT.
“Likewise, the hotel and high-end residential towers are fully integrated with the mall. The ballroom and the ceremonial hall of the hotel are intentionally designed at the top of the podium with a great view towards the roof sculpture garden and links back to the main hotel via a bridge connection. This crossing of hotel programs and functions with the Retail, Arts and Cultural elements of the roof garden allows easy and flexible sharing of facilities when hosting large-scale functions, events, exhibitions and cultural activities.”
Architecturally, the scheme amplifies the spirit of the street with a rich pedestrian experience and a focus on celebrating the cultural life of the city.
Says Cheung, “By seamlessly integrating the surrounding area with the architecture and the circulation network, the scheme offers an inviting and easily accessible environment. The mall is planned with an ‘urban edge’ along the bustling Hong Xing Road, and a ‘park edge’ created along the facade facing the quieter Bai Sha Mao Jie and its pedestrian friendly Dacisi Road. The planning has aimed to complement the strong pedestrian flows of the area with multi-level and multi-entry access into the mall. The wide arcades and variety of landscaped civic areas and alfresco dining also help to extend the urban fabric of the city.”
Along the main facade, feature boxes pop out of the terrace level to house concept stores and deliver a striking architectural statement to the streets below. Inside, across eight floors including two underground levels, the sweeping interiors are designed to complement and showcase the collection of international tenants such as Lane Crawford and the first Dior, Chanel, Burberry and Balenciaga stores for the city.
“Western China is undergoing an exciting transformation at the moment and Chengdu is recognised as the new gateway to this area. Benoy’s aim wasn’t just to make a successful mixed-use development, but to design a new lifestyle and a memorable destination for Chengdu, which we feel that we have now achieved,” says Cheung.
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