Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill architects have certainly made their mark in the U.S. with their breathtaking World Trade Center Tower, and their next project will take their innovative designs all the way across the world to China. The firm has just been selected by Beijing-based MCC Real Estate to redevelop the Nanjing Waterfront into a bustling riverside metropolis. The project will transform a mile and a half long stretch of land along the Yangtze River, updating a historical city into one of the most multi-functional and sustainable urban centers in the country.
The massive redevelopment plan will create modern residential neighborhoods, shopping districts, and corporate skyscrapers to inject new commerce and tourism to the area. Old power plants and railway buildings will be renovated into fashion houses and restaurants, while the South Slip area warehouses will become mixed-use lofts and boutique hotels.
The intense overhaul is split into a number of phases. Phase one will focus on the Dama Road area, carving out bike trails, walkways, streets, and public plazas next to the water. This area is planned to become a bustling urban center complete with nightlife, galleries, and shopping. The enormous skyscrapers will not only bring new business to the waterfront, but will also contribute to local tourism with unique ‘cloud walk’ sky bridge that connect the towers together far above the streets.
SOM’s unique design combines the historic culture of Nanjing with the modern advances of China’s booming economy. The firm has also paid special attention to the crucial centerpiece of this redevelopment — water. The newly designed neighborhoods will revolve around water and will feature filtration systems, renewable energy sources, rich new habitats, and of course, public fountains and ponds for visitors to enjoy. We will certainly keep an eye on this project as it develops into a new and exciting venture.