Futuristic new Shanghai mall home to 1000 trees

(Source: Heatherwick Studio)

Tian An China Investment company is set to launch Shanghai’s latest eco-green lifestyle mall in the heart of the city’s art district, dubbed ‘1000 Trees’.

The project is designed by Heatherwick Studio, which is behind the design of the UK Pavillion in Shanghai and the Google King’s Cross offices. Located alongside the 1100 metre bank of Suzhou River, 1000 Trees is home to 1000 trees and 250,000 plants positioned on the tops of the columns arranged in an orthogonal grid across the site to create a rising up effect, resembling a mountain.

“This huge project was extraordinary to be asked to work on because of the way it sits in Shanghai, right next to the Suzhou Creek, a park and M50, the city’s main art district,” said Thomas Heatherwick, founder and principal of Heatherwick Studio.

Source: Heatherwick Studio

To blend with the M50 art district, the building facade will showcase street art exhibits by 12 international and local artists, including VHILS, Daleast and Mode 2. There will also be an art theatre restaurant with an attached bookstore to support local music and performing arts.

Meanwhile, the project also preserves Shanghai’s heritage, such as the historical Fufeng Flour Mill and the old Packaging Warehouse, to pay homage to local culture.

“We took our clues from the scale of the old buildings next door and became interested in how to break down the visual feeling of our singular huge development into an accumulation of smaller elements.”

The project includes a 62,706sqm retail space, home to 12 flagships stores, 91 shops and 63 restaurants and F&B outlets. While the basement will house a food court and supermarket, the five upper floors will be dedicated to retail shops. The next four upper floors will be for restaurants.

“We hope that 1000 Trees will be a transformative piece of topography and when you zoom in, it will reveal a multitude of human-scale places, framing the lives of the people that live and work there.”

As the first phase of the development was completed last month, the second phase is currently underway and scheduled to open in two years.

“1000 Trees was conceived not only as an urban neighbourhood revitalization project but a well-scaled “Green Lung” space that engages its surrounding neighbourhoods,” said Patrick Lee, CEO of Tian An China Investments Company.

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