Benoy has been commissioned to work on the design of the Xuhui Vanke Center in Shanghai.
This is developer Vanke’s first large-scale commercial real estate project with a mixed-use program in Shanghai. Benoy, a global studio of architects, masterplanners, interior and graphic designers, has won a multi-disciplinary scope which includes tower and retail architecture, retail and office interior design and graphic design.
The landmark development sits at a prime location adjacent to the Shanghai South Railway Station; the city’s second most prominent station after the Shanghai Railway Station. The overall scheme is being developed over three phases with Benoy as the chief architect delivering the final phase alongside Skidmore, Owings & Merill LLP (SOM).
Benoy director Ferdinand Cheung said the scheme provides a rare opportunity to give the landscape back to the community on a significant scale.
“As designers, we were drawn to the approach which intertwines nature and buildings and we look forward to seeing this development come to life over the next few years.”
Connecting six commercial blocks, the scheme aims to create a new urban complex set within a 70,000 sqm landscaped realm. The three phases are connected by a mile-long green valley which runs diagonally across the site. The wider development’s 12 buildings overlook and interact with the urban parkland which essentially brings a green streetscape experience into the heart of the development. The green belt begins at the Shanghai South Railway Station edge and continues through to a museum and arts complex which anchors the journey.
“The green spine gave us the opportunity to bring a streetscape and smaller-scale environment to the commercial complex, and physically and visually unite Phase III with the earlier phases. We transformed the commercial components by blending the parkland into the architecture and interior design,” said Cheung.
Mimicking the forms of the rolling landscape, the 100,000 sqm multi-level retail podium is a network of interconnected buildings. The podium has been fragmented into a collection of curved individual blocks, each carved out to create unique spaces for retail, F&B, leisure and arts tenants.
“The result is an undulating internal streetscape which blends public and commercial spaces, landscape and building, culture and business.”
The final phase of the development has commenced construction and is due to complete by 2019.
Benoy established its Shanghai Studio in 2008 and has since grown an acclaimed portfolio in the city which includes built schemes such as the Shanghai ifc mall, Shanghai ICC and iAPM and Jing An Kerry Center.