Site Centre 66 is a 376,800 m2 mixed use development in the centre of Wuxi, China. It will become the commercial focus of the City Centre with the largest mall in Wuxi, three high rise office towers, a hotel and serviced apartment. The development is in two phases on two sites divided by Houxi Xi road. The phases are united with a large public landscape plaza, connected across the two sites that contain a cluster of buildings of significant historical and architectural importance. Masterplanning concept The concept is all about circulation to enhance people flow. Emulating its host’s track record of using its network of canals to guide fortune through the city, Centre 66 will weave its own network of paths to the large central plaza. The masterplan uses the movement to derive architectural form creating dialogue between existing historical building in the site and the new urban space. The expression of movement takes the essence of Chinese Calligraphy. The energetic and fluid strokes of the curved lines form the volumes and spaces like positive and negative spaces in Chinese painting. The masterplan composition focuses on the historical buildings and builds, in layers, responding to the site context to provide a plaza. The disposition and forms of the built elements of the scheme are influenced by pedestrian routes from key intersections to the cluster of historical buildings. The Ming Dynasty Opera House with its soaring traditional Chinese roof and the rare Republic of China vernacular houses with western architectural influence provide a delightful focus and attraction at the heart of the development. The masterplan results in fluid routes that enable connections between activities, places and destinations. Two office towers are located to create a gateway leading to the plaza which is embraced by the third office tower, hotel, serviced apartment and shopping mall. When the development is completed the juxtaposition of the contemporary and the historical will be testament to how far the city has come without losing its connection with the past Architectural The ‘strokes’ of people flow through the two sites is the key element in deriving architectural planning, uniting all the buildings with the common language of movement thus enabling the creation of coherent form. The development is a composition of tapering towers that frame the plaza and sinuously curved elements that reflect people movement while enhancing the dynamism of the created space. The ‘movement’ in the mall establishes a momentum that culminates in three spinning glass atria that rise up to forms that visually reinforce its circulation direction. Centre 66 is designed to make the best of the location with entrances that will draw people in from the busiest junctions, creating a vortex of activity in the heart of the scheme. The mall concept is focused on enhancing people flow. Three glass atriums extend beyond to form a triangular loop around an arcade, and shoppers will be able to guide themselves around the loop using the distinctive landmarks at each junction of the atriums. Inside the mall the direction of the escalators is designed to guide shoppers up the six levels – all of them go up clockwise and down counter-clockwise. Two office towers reach out from the mall to flank the plaza. The two towers have multi level connection to the mall with lobbies at level 5, ground and basement levels. The third office tower is placed on the south side of Houxi Xi road to form a gateway entrance to the development, reinforcing unity between the two sites. The long sweeping bar of hotel and serviced apartment completes the enclosure of the plaza space. The bar is lifted from the ground to allow a connection between the two residences of Qian Zhong Shu and Zhang Xiao Cheng. An opening is carved from the bar between the hotel and serviced apartments forming a sky garden overlooking the plaza. Cultural Connection - Tower Façade The tower form takes flowing lines of the traditional qi pao dress and the office typical plan references its shape to ancient Chinese people’s money. Linking modern office commerce to historical Chinese trading, bringing good Feng Shui and prosperity. A line sweeps down the tower façade reaching out to the edge of the Plaza. Below the sweeping line the façade twists in towards the plaza culminating in a translucent skirt that forms a canopy over the office entrances. The subtle horizontal emphasis of the curtain wall reinforces the tapering tower form accentuating their height. Cultural Connection - Podium Façade The mall’s façade on Renmin Zhong Lu is dressed in decorative feature and signage walls. Broad strips of reflective material along the feature walls create diamond-shaped facets that reflect light and cast shadows in varied patterns, making the mall sparkle in the sunlight and shimmer in the reflected lights of the city at night. A different pattern distinguishes the signage walls, created to display tenants’ brand logos prominently. They span out in a zigzag pattern, like an unfolding Chinese fan of the pleats of a flowing skirt. Landscape Design The landscape design of the plaza provides the transition in geometry from the embracing forms of Centre 66 to the linear, north – south axis, arrangement of the historical buildings. It creates spaces for amenity, relaxing, dining and contrives routes to connect and draw people into the surrounding facilities. Environmental Centre 66 achieves LEED gold certification through a balanced systems approach to environmental design; all MEP components are paired down to deliver minimum energy use with maximum efficiency. Integrated systems of solar shading and photovoltaic panels on the external skin mange and collect solar gain to optimize the requirements for views and thermal comfort The office tower culminates in a lantern lighting feature which appears to float above a viewing gallery located above the highest typical office floor. The floating lanterns provide a distinct identity to Centre 66. They also have a functional environmental purpose housing components of the energy efficient building services and a solar energy collecting panel array.