Retail Generator

Recasts historic riverfront factory as modern lifestyle destination.

Tianjin Jinmao Plaza

RetailIn Progress


The transformation of the Tianjin Thermal Factory into a mixed-use center acts as a model of sustainable urban renewal for this major port city. As part of a larger redevelopment with Jinmao Group that includes new office and residential towers, the five-story mall will sensitively connect the original 1937 structure with a new building and expanded civic functions.

Project details

The multifaceted project takes advantage of its central location along the Haihe River and at the confluence of major subway lines to anchor a new pedestrian experience for the area. The scope of the project includes architecture, interior design and branding to develop a unified proposal around the concept of “transformation.” This approach refers both to the factory’s historic standing — as the first plant in the city to generate electricity—and to remaking it as a modern commercial complex that integrates retail, lifestyle, ecology, culture and education.

After completing several field surveys,
interviews with local residents, and research, the team conceived a plan to preserve and refine the original building within the expansion. In addition to the architecture and interiors, the design activates a large outdoor plaza along the river to create a public gathering space. The chimney of the old power plant stands as a sculpture in the plaza’s landmark corner.

Tianjin, China
China Jinmao Tianjin Company
45,750 sqm