Signaling the growing influence of China’s inland cities, global architecture, engineering and urban design practice RTKL, announced the groundbreaking of the first phase of Pearl River New Town, an 80-acre district in Chengdu that will form the heart of the city’s westward growth and modernization. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Located in the Wenjiang District along the banks of the Jiang’an River, the entire site is conceived as a fabric woven together by public streets, pedestrian paths, and bridge connections. The inspiration for the design came from Chengdu’s history as a leading center for the production of brocade cloth. The fabric design, with its flowing lines and rich colors, is a metaphor for the architecture: a place that weaves together a variety of uses and experiences, and a mix of old and new. The centerpiece of the plan is a 110,000 SM, four-level shopping mall, which will be anchored by an It department store. The mall will be open and airy, with generous natural light, a central court, and green roof that will connect to a 35-story Class A office tower.
Outside, a number of plazas and landscaped areas will offer gathering places and retail activity on the street. Of particular note is the pedestrian-friendly “Silk Walk,” a lifestyle environment lined with restaurants and shops. This experience will have the character of a traditional Chinese city, full of activity and life. “With the groundbreaking of this district comes the beginning of a new city center, and a new standard for international quality urban development in Chengdu,” said Thomas Brink AIA, LEED AP, vice president of RTKL.
In order to give the area a distinctive and memorable character, a comprehensive brand identity will be integrated into all aspects of the environment. The built environment is interwoven into the site in a way that celebrates the city’s vibrant cultural heritage and its diverse mix of modern day lifestyles. This experience creates an interconnected community grounded in tradition but poised for a dynamic and exciting future. RTKL is overseeing the master planning, architecture, branding and landscape architecture for the project.