The Shanghai Studio has been involved in a range of landmark projects across China in the past 12 months and the latest one is sure to become a shining light for Qingdao and the surrounding port cities that border the Bohai Sea.
Nan Xin Qingdao World Financial Centre will feature a customised corporation headquarters, high-end office space, a 5-star hotel, premium shopping mall and apartments sitting in the CBD We are creating the landscape for the project and a show flat of Phase 1 has just opened. It provides an inspiring glimpse of what’s to come and shows just what can be achieved through a collaborative approach to design.
A new icon for Qingdao
We were engaged by Nan Xin Holdings Group to design the landscape of this landmark project. In response to the site’s significance within Qingdao city, and to create a modern, futuristic and high-end financial centre, light became the design inspiration for the project. Light is the symbol of hope and the beacon of appeal. It’s also essential to humankind, with different forms and types of lights affecting our daily life. We used various forms of light to create specific functions and character within the site.
Planting with active edges creates a clean and contemporary green environment within the financial zone. A dry fountain with changing colours not only brings the activity to this space but also attracts passers-by, including children and adults to come and play. The design aims to enhance the retail environment and to provide a vibrant and comfortable place for people to gather, relax, interact and enjoy, with various multi-functional spaces.
The arrival plaza has an iconic character that draws people into the space. Contemporary retail streets with planting will be vibrant and comfortable space for people to interact. While the office arrival space has a welcoming and formal atmosphere, the inner garden provides a green and cozy space for people to relax. There are also various zones that form an active, multi-functional space for office workers, visitors and guests to gather.
An eye for detail
No detail was left to chance throughout the entire design and construction process. We assisted the construction team with technical requirements. Our Studio Director, Stephen Buckle, and DD Team Leader, Sean Xiao, also worked with Ms. Du, the Landscape Director of Nan Xin Holdings Group, and visited the site several times to review each detail. This included ensuring the paving joints were straight and clean and the position of stones with outstanding colours were exactly as we had placed them in our drawings.
To achieve the clean stone surface, we worked with our client to ensure that the construction team applied a protective agent in a series of technical steps, such as resisting stain and water-proofing.
Collaboration is key
Much of the success of the project has come down to the close collaborative relationship with our client. We worked closely throughout the entire process and discussed every detail – from level variations to the selection of material colours. To ensure a natural gradation of paving colours from light grey to black, we discussed various options with our client and eventually selected eight different stone colours.
The project has not been without challenges. Level variations at the site presented some difficulties that required design flexibility and creativity. There was a 1.5m level difference between indoors and outdoors, as well as different levels within the interior space. A third challenge was the existence of EVA pads, which made it difficult to utilise steps to resolve the level differences on EVA pads.
Our solution was to utilise the slope and clean steps, as well as designing planting beds with seating edges to create an intimate and social space for people. As a result, we not only overcame the level issue but also expanded the area for activity as much as possible.
We would like to thank our client for their support during the process. They provided detailed information on material samples and asked suppliers to send samples and to do colour comparisons, which saved us time in selecting materials.
The show flat is only a small part of Nan Xin Qingdao World Financial Centre but it clearly demonstrates the high quality of the project. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with our client and the consultants and construction team to achieve the design together.