Grand Landscape Gestures Evoke Both Monumental and Intimate Context
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationGuanzhou, China
ClientSkidmore Owings & Merrill
Size8.6 acres

The iconic architecture and riverside context that characterize Poly Pazhou were inspirations in this SWA/SOM collaboration, which also took adjoining development in the burgeoning region into account. Broad, sweeping landscape, featuring diverse local plant species, embraces both the soaring buildings and the Pearl River corridor, extending its spatial characteristics well beyond the site.  Along its perimeter, the landscape framework integrates with the adjoining parcels 5 and 10, forming a distinct and unified streetscape within the neighborhood.

Each of the principal architectural components are individually addressed. The office megatower is echoed by a great crescent fountain basin at its arrival court, its fluid horizontal surface and infinity edges reflecting the tower and gesturing toward the river. The tower’s south side features an intimately scaled garden setting with direct access from the south road and short-term parking. At the second tower, sculptural, forested landforms greet and define the residential arrival court, offering residents a level of visual and acoustical privacy from adjacent hotel arrivals and vehicular ramps. Additionally, these landforms screen the project’s cooling towers and integrate them with the overall landscape design.

Central open spaces at the hotel’s arrival and south garden create an inviting visual linkage along the property’s north-south axis. To the north, cascading river gardens orient the hotel and conference arrival terrace to the riverfront beyond, while to the south, broad, programmable special events gardens with lounge and dining terraces serve the hotel and conference center. A central water plane links the hotel lobby lounge to the gardens and the central fountains between parcels 4 and 5. Although separated by a road, these fountain basins are raised and configured to visually merge together as a larger feature. Pedestrian linkage below the fountains and road connect to a sunken water court linked to the hotel’s B1 health club facility and building concourse. In addition to introducing light and air to these facilities, the sunken court serves to provide part of the project’s overall fresh air intake requirements. Lastly, the circulation network on site links pedestrians from road crossings, subway connections, and bus station stops to principal building entry points and landscape destinations.

Related Projects

Kingold Century Centre

This new mixed-use development features a complex program that includes a hotel, rental space for other companies, eateries, service apartments, and retail facilities. SWA’s design challenge was to create a common space that can be enjoyed by the disparate users on-site at any given time. A common plaza includes multiple restaurants on a terraced platform that...

Hunter's Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point

Perched on the edge of San Francisco Bay, the Hunters Point Shipyard was an important naval manufacturing center for the WWI and WWII war efforts. The abandoned shipyard and Candlestick Point were combined into a new, mixed-use residential, retail and light industry development—the largest in San Francisco since WWII. Thomas Balsley Associates collaborated wit...

Kasumigaseki Plaza Renewal

Tokyo’s first high-rise and architectural landmark is located in the heart of downtown, where government and major private business offices are concentrated. Urban growth changed the dynamics of the building’s surroundings and left its public spaces ineffective and barren. The addition of new mixed-use buildings provided the owners with an opportunity to bring...

Uptown Commons

SWA was tasked with creating a neighborhood gathering space and exterior dining hall that is an exercise in contradictions — open and welcoming, while able to be walled off. By blending urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design, and architecture with an understanding of retail real estate, the team was able to quickly establish development yields...

Pearl River Tower

Pearl River’s 70-story tower reaches a maximum height of 309.4 meters and is an exemplar of self-sustaining, high-performance, environmentally intelligent architecture. The project’s landscape design reinforces the principles of sustainability and zero-energy usage accomplished by the building’s siting, architecture, and engineering. It creates a v...

Guangzhou Vanke Center

Guangzhou Vanke Center incorporates commercial, and office uses in an urban setting. To echo the “cascading” concept of the architectural design, the landscape architecture was inspired by the fluidity of water, as well as the unique local cultural heritage of dragon boats. The design provides for different types of social activity with variously scaled spaces...

MKT Mixed-Use Development

The MKT mixed-use development is a truly Houstonian take on adaptive reuse, with a tilt wall industrial office park. Located in the chic and rapidly upscaling neighborhood of Houston  Heights, this industrial, 1970s-era industrial remnant is being transformed: the buildings’ concrete shells remain, but are bisected by pathways that seem to surgically remove th...

Riyadh East Sub-Center

SWA provided comprehensive planning for a new 300-hectare commercial, mixed-use center in northeast Riyadh abutting the KKI Airport. This area is part of an urban management framework being developed to guide the future growth of the city. SWA developed a plan and implementation strategy to establish an urban center comprising residential neighborhoods, corpor...