ODA was invited to participate in a new master plan for the city of Chengdu in China. The diverse program includes four 13 story residential towers that are integrated into a 700,000 SF mixed-use commercial park of retail and green spaces. The new master plan, a total of 1 million SF, is an urban experiment in rearranging priorities for the public realm. It challenges the typical typology of a street being defined by a transportation grid that prioritizes vehicles over people. Our design includes for free-flowing entry points by car, ferry and foot, engaging the entire design center as the heart of the masterplan. Increased retail spaces are laid out in a continuous loop to engage the entire community. While the traditional street experience allows for two extreme conditions of social engagement, either indoor or outdoor, our architecture allows us to rearrange these interactive experiences in a modern and integrated way.
ODA’s design opens up the apartment towers to elevated terraced gardens overlooking retail below, while the roofs of the shops remain open to the sky, a sprawling elevated walkway with room for food and beverage, landscape, intimate seating areas and views. The ground level intertwines the architecture with urban agriculture, green roofs, courtyards and water features, while the lower level connects to the water canals and provides perfect placement for bars, clubs, and nightlife. Offices and residences throughout are designed with direct outdoor access, including outdoor stairs, shaded seating areas and community gardens, further merging the intersection of indoor and outdoor space.
This project is not only a great example of new urban density, but of social resiliency as well. The tiered typology and sunlight towers address issues such as light and air quality, while the program also allows people the ability to step outside and invite in a new perspective and a connection to nature. The design combines personal security with common territories that allows neighbors to see and connect with one another. The idea is that the program is staggered, creating pockets of privacy and connectivity, nooks for relaxation as well as recreation. ODA believes this is what smart design means in the future. Design that meets all our needs, that speaks to the collective whole, and therefore the collective good.