As the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games approach, the new Qianjiang Century City economic and cultural center is under rapid construction and is expected to become the region’s new icon.
Aedas, led by Executive Director Wei Li, and the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Architectural Design and Research (ZIAD) won the international competition for the architectural and urban design of this riverside shopping mall – Hangzhou Riverfront Digital Industrial Park.
Located in the central area of Hangzhou Qianjiang Century City, the project has a convenient transportation network. The southeast side is adjacent to Qianjiang Century City subway station, bordered by several main roads. It is immersed in a beautiful natural landscape with rich ecological resources. A hub of commercial activity, the site will be a key element in establishing the neighborhood as the future center of civic activity and commercial consumption.
With a total area of approximately 90,000 m², the long and narrow site is divided into several scattered plots of different shapes along the river. The main objective is to integrate them through a cohesive design language, creating a diverse and accessible development that blends into the natural landscape.
Water is an element that runs through the urban development of Hangzhou. Taking cultural and environmental factors into consideration, the design achieves the metaphor of river ripples and creates a new landmark in Hangzhou.
The overall plan extends south along the river with the idea of ”one axis and three cores”, in which the undulating layout connects the three plots. The textured facade echoes the architectural outline, and the roof, clad with the eco-friendly material titanium alloy, forms an elegant, wavy skyline.
A waterfront experience on an enjoyable scale
To take full advantage of the waterfront landscape, the design creates a cross-sectional layout of the ground floor with multiple levels. It lets in natural light, creating an inviting and comfortable public space.
Through a double-skin facade, hydrophilic platforms, steps and setbacks, the design blurs the boundaries between architecture and its surroundings, while increasing the commercial value of the space. The added public green space echoes the waterscape and riverside greenbelt, creating a porous and enjoyable waterfront space.
Traffic structure surrounded by scenery
The site divided by the river being made up of 12 plots of multiple formats, a well-thought-out pedestrian circulation is essential. The design moves the platform back to the first floor to introduce a multi-level vertical connection. In order to connect the two banks and activate the waterfront, a continuous corridor is set up, forming a coherent and efficient walking path on the second floor.
The design also includes elaborate landscape features. Located at the mouth of the river, The Nature Circle connects and brings the natural elements of Qianjiang Century Park. The Lifestyle Circle includes layered hydrophilic platforms where visitors can safely enjoy the waterfront. In the center, the lively circle of art and literature, as well as the water fountain, attract people from both banks; the digital circle echoes the premise of innovation, where drone shows light up the night sky, reflecting Qianjiang’s thriving scene.
“We have always believed that a truly great design should reflect the natural and cultural characteristics of the site, from concept to form. Hangzhou’s famous water culture was a key inspiration for the design, and we hopefully the project will become the new iconic landmark.” — Wei Li, Executive Director of Aedas.