GP announces the completion of the China Resources Qianhai Center, a massive mixed-use complex in Neighborhood 2 of Shenzhen’s Qianhai district. Developed by CR Land, the project covers 6.18 hectares and includes five towers totaling nearly 472,000 square meters—GP’s largest completed project to-date in China. The overall development totals more than 500,000 square meters and includes three office towers, a five-star hotel tower, an apartment tower, and a terraced retail complex. GP designed all of the towers and co-developed the master plan with UK-based design firm Benoy, who also designed the retail complex.
The Qianhai district is a special economic zone designated to transform the previously undeveloped 15-square-kilometer bay area into the “Manhattan of the Pearl River Delta.” Its proximity to Hong Kong creates a connection between mainland China and international financial institutions looking for cross-border opportunities within China.
In an effort to prioritize a vibrant pedestrian community at the heart of the complex, the original eight-parcel site was combined into two larger blocks, which unified the development and minimized vehicular traffic within the site. The five towers are arranged around the perimeter of the site in order to create an urban street wall while opening the middle of the site for greater pedestrian movement. In this way, the “financial canyon” was conceived as a multilevel terracing pedestrian zone, meandering through the heart of the development.
“This development provides an active mixed-use complex within the Qianhai district—one with a clearly contemporary image,” said James Zheng, AIA, LEED AP, CEO and president of GP. “It sets a tone to attract leading financial and other international businesses.”
The Qianhai district was conceived as an experimental development to help foster growth of the financial industry. Using land reclaimed from the sea, there was no immediate context or community from which to seed the new district. As the complex was one of the first developments within the district, it was important that the project include a diverse mix of functions and scale to promote a dense, active, 24-hour live-work-play environment that would attract a critical mass of people to the neighborhood. Equally important was the need to project a character of reserved elegance, quality and permanence that would attract international Fortune 500 finance companies.
Responding to these goals, the office towers are designed as extruded volumes that project an image of stability and confidence. With a classic assemblage of base, middle and top, the towers are articulated with a curtain wall that reinforces the stoic character of the buildings through the multistory grid of exterior double-fin sunshades. The grid provides a scale with classic proportions while providing protection from the tropical weather. Additionally, the double fins allow the buildings’ parallel-projection windows to open and close within the shadows of the fins, reducing visual disruption and allowing the towers to maintain a cohesive character.
The complex was conceived as the node that anchors Qianhai to the broader city of Shenzhen. Served by several subway lines, Qianhai Center is fully accessible within Shenzhen by rapid transit. As an integrated, mixed-use complex, the 24-hour nature allows residents to live, work and play within a walkable community.
The ”financial canyon” podium, which connects all towers, was designed to promote a livable and healthy environment. Terraced levels reduce the scale of the urban streetscape and provide multiple options for social interaction. Lush landscape enhances the character of the tropical public realm while also supporting the “sponge city” requirements of Shenzhen—an effort to absorb rain and prevent flooding.
Each tower was designed to exceed energy codes. Double-fin exterior sunshades are extended from the façade to provide shading protection to reduce solar heat gain upon the façade. Triple low-e coatings and insulation at all non-vision areas further increase the energy performance of the façade. Parallel-projection windows extend from the façade at every module, providing ample and flexible natural ventilation to all interior spaces.
“Qianhai Center reinforces Shenzhen’s master plan of polycentric growth,” said Travis Soberg, AIA, LEED AP, principal and director of sustainable design at GP. “With its vibrant urban space, multiple programs, and rapid transit connections, it’s truly an anchor for sustainable development in the Qianhai district.”
The opening of the complex marks GP’s latest completed project for CR Land. Other recent developments include the 403-meter-tall Guangxi China Resources Tower in Nanning, featuring a 320-key Shangri-La hotel, as well as the 28-story, 48,480-square-meter CR Financial Headquarters and the 220-key Andaz Shenzhen Bay hotel, both also located in Shenzhen.