Retail Connector

An urban form that references the ancient city’s classical gardens, ornate bridges and world-renowned waterways to create a culturally enriched retail-entertainment destination.

SUONE Gemdale Plaza Suzhou

RetailIn Progress


Linking the history and historic garden environments of Suzhou, this new lifestyle destination includes shopping  experiences for the locals and tourists alike.

The design blends both architecture and landscape together to offer visitors changing scenery as they move through the retail development. The structure is contained by a double skin façade which represents the garden wall, with 40% of the inner site opened up to provide a spectacular atrium bathed in natural sunlight.

Project details

Bordering this courtyard space are dramatic setbacks and multiple height terraces and rooftop gardens, which mirror the scales, ratios and traditional rhythms of Suzhou’s historic architecture. Stairs, platforms and escalators were carefully positioned along the vertical circulation route to create an interesting journey with areas for visitors to rest. The use of natural materials and foliage interacts with water features to create a calming sanctuary while, striking features such as a lantern tower and rooftop amphitheater create points of interest.

The building mass emulates the scale and proportion of traditional Suzhou dwellings as well as their setbacks and varying heights. The facade design reinterprets the local architecture language, with a facade pattern based on the classical Suzhou garden window.

Suzhou, China
Gemdale Property Investment
Site Area
22,900 sqm
246,000 sf
  • 2020 Global RLI Future Project Winner
  • 2019 Asia Pacific Property Awards Retail Architecture, China
  • 2023 Architizer A+Awards, Unbuilt Commercial category – People Choice Award shortlist