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Woods Bagot’s Nanjing Yicheng West Wuhuali Retail Street has achieved SILVER in the Best Futura Project category at the 2022 MIPIM Asia Awards, recognizing excellence and innovation among the very best of the Asian real estate industry.
All winners were revealed at the Gala Dinner on 7 Dec at the Grant Hyatt in Hong Kong. Woods Bagot representatives Principal Christopher Lye and Associate Principal Ben Ke attended and took home the trophy.
It is the second win for a Woods Bagot retail street project at the MIPIM Asia awards after Suzhou Yanlord Cangjie took out Silver in 2019. Like Nanjing, Suzhou leverages heritage to create a vibrant, modern retail and cultural precinct.
(Left to right) Woods Bagot Principal Christopher Lye, Woods Bagot Associate Yvonne Huang, Jing Zhou from Nuveen Real Estate, Woods Bagot Associate Principals Ben Ke and Katsuhiro Ozawa, and Design Leader Dennis Chan.
Principal-in-Charge, Christopher Lye, said traditional retail – when done properly in the right areas and connected with other typologies – has enormous pulling power and the capacity to reinvigorate entire neighbourhoods.
“Through projects such as Suzhou, Woods Bagot has seen retail streets become the new power of urban regeneration when woven into a city’s historic, cultural, and new built elements,” said Lye.
The city’s deep heritage is integral to the project’s success and gives it a character impossible to replicate with a new build, he said.
“Nanjing boasts a rich history of 2,500 years and served as the ancient capital city for 10 regimes. What the city wants for its future is ‘most Nanjing, most Modern’, meaning to link its time-honored history with the modern innovation,” said Lye.
“To achieve this, we adopted a holistic approach of integrating, reassembling, and reinterpreting the local traditions and site characteristics into an urban masterplan framework underpinned by retail values and placemaking typology.”
Destined to be a new culturally sensitive lifestyle destination in Jiangsu province, Nanjing Yicheng West Wuhuali Retail Street spans 6 plots with a total GFA of 94,654 sqm spread along the Inner Qinhuai River, known as the “life blood” of the city.
Currently, the east end of Inner Qinhuai flourishes while the west end, where the project is located, has fallen behind.
“One of Woods primary project objectives is to increase site connectivity by tying into the transportation and landscape networks.” Said Ben Ke, Woods Bagot Associate Principal.
This extends the project’s reach far into the city, becoming a catalyst of rejuvenation for Nanjing.
The concept ‘Cloud Lane & Water Alley’ was the project team’s design response to connect the entire length of the site and to create multiple levels of connections to engage and activate the site.
The ‘Cloud Lane’ concept is applied on Level 2, blurring the physical boundary between plots and becoming a continuous 5th façade. The intersecting roofs form a gathering space and a landmark while acting as a vivid sightseeing path. The ‘Water Alley’ activates the riverside through a split-level arrangement to increase the retail exposure and number of shops along the river.
Traditional ‘Kajian’ and ‘Ceng’ guidelines that dictate proportion, divisions, and massing are applied to the design to ensure the overall appearance of buildings along the river is aligned and controlled. Instead of demolishing, the numerous heritage-listed buildings in the site are incorporated into the new-build.
There is ample of public space and node buildings to echo multiple interfaces and target consumers, all of which are permeable and fluid entrances that encourage people to flow through the entire site, increasing footfall and eventually forming a three-dimensional composite retail street that provides an orderly and diverse journey for Nanjing residents and tourists throughout the day and night.
Content and Communications Leader – China
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