Shanghai Studio wins coveted awards

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ASPECT’s Shanghai Studio was recently honoured at the 7th ‘Yuan Ye’ Award Professional Competition in the Real Estate Landscape category, winning Top Prize for COHL Foshan La Cite, and Gold Prize for the Vanke Hefei Light of the City, Phase 1. Adding to the awards shine for Shanghai, COHL Foshan Uni-Mall also won a 2016-2017 Merit Award at the Real Estate China Awards, from a field of 389 international entries.

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City of The Light

Phase 1 of Light of the City for the Vanke Group, is now open to the public, with Phase 2 expected to complete in late 2017. Located in Hefei City, in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, this is a landmark mixed-use development that shows how well-considered urban landscapes can not only respect a site’s surrounding green assets, but enhance how people interact with both nature and retail environments.


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The project consists of a retail podium mall and commercial high-rise tower inspired by, and interacting with nature. A small river flows across the south of the site, separating the retail development from the adjacent residential developments. In Hefei’s dry climate attracts, locals are drawn to this riverfront area for recreation, so the landscape architecture needed to respond to this social tradition. ASPECT worked closely with the client to develop a framework of people-orientated experiences and amenities to meet both the social and commercial goals of the project.


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Inspired by the flowing nature of the river, the design was developed to stimulate visitor experience and encourage movement and connectivity. Spatial rhythm is aided by the flowing lines of paving that direct people to move into different spaces of the site. We used 3D technology to maximise the ‘curve line’ effect, which is done with a combination of standard square paving modules, and close on-site collaboration between our team and the contractors on site.


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Inside, the landscape provides ample opportunities for people to connect in a vibrant retail environment where a sense of nature pervades the entire design. The inner retail street also has flowing planting islands and an abundance of seating for relaxing and socializing.


COHL Foshan Uni-Mall

In the Financial High-tech Zone of Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China, COHL Foshan Uni-Mall  occupies 11.2 hectares, with two key areas – the retail Uni-Mall, and the residential component, La Cite. The public domain of Uni-Mall is uses local granite and indigenous planting of shrubs, trees and palms to shade the play and rest areas.


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It’s a people-orientated environment offering engagement with the landscape in numerous ways, with its main attraction being a children’s water park, free for the city to use — an important part of finding relief from the heat of South China. The project represents a shift in urban landscape design for China, towards a family-oriented destination model, that boosts the retail economy while making memorable places and experiences.

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