Shimao Riverside Block D2b, a largescale waterfront mixed-use development recently broke ground in Wuhan, China after the city reopened following its battle over COVID-19 outbreak. As one of the major urban developments in the city, Shimao Riverside Block D2b (SRBD ) aims to become a catalyst for rebooting the economy and urban developments in the city. Located at a prominent riverfront site in Haiyang district, SRBD is visible from the city’s landmark bridge of Yingwuzhou Bridge and city center across the Yangtze River.
Designed by Atelier Ping Jiang / EID Arch, SRBD is intended as a vibrant urban hub and lifestyle destination. Consisting of high-rise office building, hotel, residential and retail uses, the master planning of SRBD is centered around creation of multidimensional public open spaces and enhancing urban experiences. The 500,000 sq. meter program includes a tall office/hotel building of 300 meter in height, with its upper portion serving as Conrad Hotel. A pedestrian friendly retail center is organized around two atriums internally, it also features a cascade of green terraces addressing the adjacent riverside park, creating a park like setting for shopping, entertaining, dining, casual exchange and encounters. The north-south axis of the site is near 400 meter in length, which poses a challenge to create a pedestrian friendly urban environment. The podium has been scaled down to foster a porous street interface, stimulating street activities and creating a permeable streetscape. Previously known for its industrial site of railway and shipyard, the architectural diversity of the place emulates the varied program elements, while the use of stone, glass, and metal finishes provides a dynamic presence and rich materiality. In addition to multilayered glass and stone fenestration, the retail center features copper mesh cladding, providing a welcoming presence on the façade. The sculptural formation of the tower is a conjunction of slender hotel massing and larger footprint of office massing. It evokes an imagery of converging rivers, echoing the forces and dynamics of natural hydro-metrological phenomena embedded on site. The landmark tower’s tapering, sculptural massing expresses its programmatic divisions while maintaining a cohesive exterior language. From other neighborhoods in Wuhan, the tower’s silhouette shifts depending on one’s view location, contributing to a dynamic skyline experience.The top portion of the tower features an observatory, it provides panoramic city and river views. The aerodynamic tower will become a signature landmark to the city skyline, while offering immersive urban experiences to reactivate the district.
An amphitheater is configured on roof terrace facing the Yangtze River and Yingwuzhou Park, it will serve as an outdoor venue for social and cultural events, creating a place for communal experience. Two residential apartment towers are placed on west side of the site, providing approximate 100,000 sq. meter residential components for the district. The west side of the podium also includes a community center to serve the local neighborhoods.
SRBD is a unique and elegant addition to the Wuhan riverside. The multi-use complex knits hotel, office, retail and community components with outdoor public space and terraced gardens, reactivating the waterfront public realm. With a series of landscaped open spaces integrated with retail and leisure activities, the complex blurs boundaries between life, work and leisure, contributing to fostering a vibrant urban district.