With the approaching Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, the new economic and cultural center Qianjiang Century City is undergoing rapid construction, expected to become the new icon for the area.
Aedas, led by Executive Director Wei Li, and the Zhejiang Province Institute of Architectural Design and Research (ZIAD) won the International Competition for the architectural and urban design of this featured rivers side retail center — Hangzhou Riverfront Digital Industrial Park.
Located in the core area of Hangzhou Qianjiang Century City, the project is endowed with convenient transportation network. The southeast side is adjacent to the Qianjiang Century City Metro Station, bordered on several main roads. It is immerse in a splendid natural landscape with rich ecological resources. Concentrated with commercial activities, the site will be a key component in establishing the district as the future center of civic activity and commercial consumption. With a total area of approximately 90,000 sq m, the long and narrow site is divided into several scattered plots of different shapes along the river. The primary objective is to integrate them through a consistent design language, creating a diverse and accessible development that blends in with the natural landscape. Water is an element that runs through Hangzhou's urban development. Taking into consideration the cultural and environmental factors, the design realises the metaphor of river ripples, and creates a new landmark in Hangzhou.
The overall layout extends south along the river with the idea of "one axis and three cores”, in which the rippling outline ties together the three plots. The textured façade echoes the architectural contour, and the roof, plated with the environmentally-friendly material titanium alloy, forms an elegant, undulating skyline.
A Waterfront Experience at a Pleasant Scale To take full advantage of the waterfront landscape, the design creates a multilevel ground floor sectional diagram. It allows natural light to permeate, creating an inviting and comfortable public space.
Through double-skin façade, hydrophilic platforms, steps and setbacks, the design blurs boundaries between the architecture and its surroundings, while elevating the space’s commercial value. The added public green area echoes the waterscape and riverside green belt, creating a porous and pleasant waterfront space.
Circulation Structure Enfolded with Scenery Since the site divided by the river is composed of 12 plots with a multitude of formats, a well-conceived pedestrian circulation system is needed. The design sets back the platform on the first floor to introduce multilevel vertical connection. In order to link the two banks and activate the waterfront, a continuous corridor is set up, forming a coherent and efficient strolling path on the second floor.
The design also includes elaborate landscape features. Located at the mouth of the river, The Nature Circle connects with and brings in the nature elements from the Qianjiang Century Park. The Lifestyle Circle includes layered hydrophilic platforms where visitors could safely appreciate the waterfront. At the center the animated Art & Literary Circle, along with the spraying fountain draw people from both banks; the Digital Circle echoes the premise of innovation, where drone shows light up the night sky, reflecting the thriving scene of Qianjiang.
"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 source of inspiration for the design, and it is our hope that the project becomes the new iconic landmark." — Aedas Executive Director Wei Li.