Safdie Architects has been chosen to design a 10 million sq.-ft. mixed-use complex for a historically significant site at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, in the inland Chinese city of Chongqing. The project, which was also announced in Singapore and Hong Kong by development partners CapitaLand, CapitaMalls Asia, and Singbridge, will feature residential and office space as well as retail and cultural facilities, a service residence, a hotel, restaurants and clubs, a park, gardens, and hubs for land and water transportation, including ferry docking and landscaped boardwalks.
The design for this gateway site, by international architect Moshe Safdie, is inspired by the image of sailing ships on the river, and is intended to serve as a symbol of both Chongqing’s noble past as a trading center and its fast-growing future as one of China’s largest and most important modern cities. The outer curving glass façades of the project’s six towers, placed in a prow-like arc, will face the water to the north, while decked hanging gardens and a generous public park will link the complex to the city immediately to the south.
As a whole, the complex will consist of four residential towers and two central, identical towers that will house a service residence, a hotel, private residences, and office space and that will be linked midway by a distinctive garden bridge, containing within it the hotel lobby and restaurants.
All four residential towers terrace to the south, forming a continuous green façade toward the city. Beneath the park, the project will also feature four levels of shopping gallerias, as well as a conference center, theaters, and other cultural spaces.
The project, which is expected to have a total development cost of about $3.1 billion, will front upon what was once the foremost of Chongqing’s traditional city gates, where officials received imperial decrees from the Emperor. As the city’s initial dock area on the Yangtze, the location also represents the great tradition of the shipping highway, which has stoked this major inland city’s development from its beginning and now drives its contemporary evolution.