Located on a strip of land in the mountains, the Pearl Peninsula is a new town built with great efforts on the Qiandao Lake. The design is inspired by environmental conditions of the site. On the highland on the west side of the site is a WASU base station, and the east side of the site looks out onto the low water surface of the Qiandao Lake. Considering that the day-to-day operations of the base station will produce a large amount of cooling water, the designer decided to make the best use of the circumstances, and diverts it into a scenic creek named Axial Creek that flows through the new city from east to west. Located on the eastern edge of the creek where the water ultimately pools, the Pearl Plaza has become an important scenic viewing node.
The Pearl Plaza integrates restaurants, tea houses, coffee houses, a service center, the Pearl Shell Viewing Terrace, a commercial pedestrian street and many other functions. The architect’s vision was for the architecture to be maximally convenient while organically merging the architecture into the surrounding landscape. Through researching and sorting out local terrain and landscape elements, the architect created a targeted design plan for each single structure.
In the design of the pedestrian street, it was necessary to find a way to suitably “hide” the architectural massing of nearly 10,000m2 in the landscape. The stream is three meters lower than the ground, so it was impossible to “borrow scenery.” The architect thus came up with a conceit of “a stream eroding a track in the earth”, gradually lowering the main body of the pedestrian street to the stream level, thus creating a waterside business experience. The heights of commercial buildings shift in accordance with the topographical changes as the creek flows downstream, perfectly integrating these buildings into natural landscape. The entrances and exits at each end of the pedestrian street connect seamlessly with ground surface, while roofs are layered with soil and turf, as if they have sprouted up naturally in the picturesque landscape.A mix of steel, glass, wood and other materials were chosen for the façade of the pedestrian street to dispel the sense of volume and weight inherent to concrete structure, which imbued the entire commercial space with a pleasant scale, a friendly interface and an intimate materiality.
Construction Management Committee of Qingxi New City, Chun’an County, Greentown
2011 - 2013