Benoy updates Sanya Eyot project designs

Designs have been updated by international architectural/design company Benoy for the retail-centred China International Travel Service (CITS) Sanya Eyot scheme on Hainan Island.

It is the second phase of the wider CITS scheme in the new resort area of Haitang Bay in Sanya. The development is on the reclaimed Hexin Island, surrounded by luxury international hotels and natural attractions. A pedestrian bridge connects the two phases of the scheme.

“Our vision is to bring a completely new experience and break the mould for retail-led tourism developments in Haitang Bay,” says Benoy director Ferdinand Cheung.  

As a point of difference, the 32,000 sqm mixed-use, retail-led destination introduces a porous and multi-layered environment. The design clusters together distinctive, small-scale buildings to create a series of indoor and outdoor spaces. These will host entertainment and retail activities.

Elevated walkways and bridges spanning the length of the pedestrian precinct will connect the buildings.

Canopy structures inspired by seashells firmly root the design into its seaside context. They have been designed in accordance with solar paths and prevailing winds to encourage natural ventilation and open up sightlines across the island.

“The canopy designs have not only allowed us to fulfil the brief for the project environmentally, helping to encourage air circulation and provide sun shading within this known humid and hot climate, but they also bring a real identity to the scheme. Their form and colour connect back to the coastal and resort quality of the site,” says Benoy senior associate director Janet Chan.


Anchoring the development at the north end is a covered market area which will sell produce from fish farms and provide stall areas for imported goods.

An aquarium with a reflective pool will bookend the market space, providing the backdrop for the al fresco and market-style dining area.

With the reclamation of Hexin Island complete, construction work on the CITS Sanya Eyot scheme will start this year. The development is targeting a China three-star sustainability rating.

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