An enormous pair of twisting towers announce the new Raffles City complex in Hangzhou, China. This giant development features two glazed skyscrapers that skew away from each other and that house a number of different functions, including a hotel, retail units, commercial offices and apartments. At the lower levels the two towers are connected by a raised plinth and a landscaped plaza below which can be used by the public. The project was designed by architectural firm UNStudio for CapitaLand developers and marks the eighth Raffles City complex in China. UNStudio says that the project is “a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure.” Located in Hangzhou’s central business district, the complex will become a major landmark on the city’s new green axis which runs through the CBD.
Spread over a total area of 400,000m2, Raffles City is the largest project to be completed by UNStudio to date, and the firm even opened an office in Shanghai in 2009 to manage the construction on the ground. The studio drew on certain characteristics of Hangzhou to inform the design, namely that the city has a tradition of looking towards the future, so they wanted to capture this in the spirit of the building. The orientation of the building in particular reflects this attitude, with the city focusing its heritage on the UNESCO-listed West Lake, but newer constructions focusing on the river. By creating two towers that twist and turn, views towards both important city landscapes, acknowledging both past, present and future.
The concept on which the design of the development is based is what UNStudio calls “Superliving”. The idea involves the interplay of a variety of disparate functions that are united through the architecture of the building, and by doing this, the urban experience of the user and city dweller is enhanced. The hotel that is to form part of the complex will be operated by Conrad Hotels and will offer both business and leisure travelers the chance to be part of the growing urban experience of Hangzhou. , the founder of the Dutch studio, says, “Raffles City Hangzhou will be a point of confluence, a hub for business conduct and a new destination for visitors and residents alike; an “all-in-one” destination for working, living and leisure in a highly sustainable environment.”
Let´s have a look at some projects currently underway in Hangzhou:
Citadines Xixi Wetland Hangzhou will be part of an integrated development in the heart of the city’s Future Science City park, home to universities and offices including Alibaba’s global headquarters [MORE INFO…]
Conveniently situated downtown in a new high-tech development zone, Le Méridien Hangzhou, Binjiang boasts stimulating city and Qiantang River views [MORE INFO…]
More information on Raffles City can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.