The China Resources Land (CRL) Qianhai Center—a core new development in Shenzhen, China, designed by global firm Benoy—challenges the typologies of traditional financial districts and aims to bring art, culture and social interaction into the heart of the emerging financial zone. By proposing a fresh batch of layered spaces that aim to create a more active and dynamic city core, Benoy’s scheme seeks to support the transformation of the surrounding area into the so-called Manhattan of the Pearl River Delta and attract $45 billion in future investment.
The main concept driving the center's design consists of two main public spines that form an internal streetscape and bring an eclectic mix of spaces into the development. The spines meet at an intersection where the main nexus of the scheme—a permeable and connected outdoor event area—creates a space that is accessible to all and that supports various event programming for year-round entertainment.
“The formation of the central, open-air, basement-level street essentially creates a secondary ground plane, opening up more opportunities for different and interesting spaces as well as increasing the commercial value of the site,” says Chao Wu, director, Benoy.
To further connect the scheme to the wider district, CRL Qianhai Centre’s public spines channel people to the development from the four main thoroughfares surrounding the site. Dubbed the Financial Valley spine and Green Belt spine, the thoroughfares create a pedestrian-friendly environment within the development and also connect it to the metro lines for easy access to the rest of the city. The development aims to achieve LEED and China’s Green Building 3-Star certifications and is due to reach completion in 2018.