With the rapid expansion of Shanghai, the outer suburb of Qibao is fast becoming as developed as the rest of the city – and often to the same urban intensity. The site itself is located at a major intersection, above a future metro station, and will form an important link to Qibao’s ancient canal village, a popular tourist destination.
Incorporating a large shopping mall, residential blocks and offices, including SoHo (Studio office/Home office) units, the masterplanning strategy seeks to promote the connecting links through the site, while also creating a civic plaza that will act as a central focus for the development as a whole. In its final form, this new plaza connects directly to the central atrium of the mall, to form an indoor/outdoor event space that will both enhance the retail business and promotional activities of the mall and provide an entertainment space for the surrounding community. The offices and SoHo units will be positioned near the mall to help build the critical mass required for successful commercial activities, with the residential blocks beyond.
The architectural ‘language’ of the development is the antithesis of Qibao’s usual buildings, with the shopping mall in particular conceptualised as a collection of massive rock-like forms, dominating the intersection and creating an iconic new landmark for this part of the city.