Pre-certified LEED Gold Riverside 66 celebrates its grand opening today in Tianjin, China! Designed by architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the nearly 1,200-foot-long megastructure is considered one of the longest buildings in all of China. The opening of this landmark commercial building marks the completion of the final phase for the He Ping Lu pedestrian boulevard, one of China’s most famous shopping streets.
More than just a retail centerpiece for Tianjin’s new commercial district, Riverside 66 also serves as a crucial connection node between the Hai He River and the pedestrian realm. The whale-like building reactivates the riverfront and provides the city with a grand new public plaza. “The building itself is conceived as public space where the building intentionally engages the urban traffic and fosters user interaction,” says Jeffrey Kenoff, Director and Senior Designer at KPF. “Clearly the project needed to operate for a retail and multi program environment, but it also wanted to be a social network to embrace, represent and activate a local community.”
The award-winning project, which commenced construction in 2008, has already achieved LEED Gold pre-certification. The curved megastructure comprises 22 seven-story-high concrete ribs and over 10,000 panels of glass. According to project team leader Audrey Choi, these building materials “promote transparency and legibility, [by] allowing the interior program to engage the surrounding streets.” Designed like a modernized urban market, the light-filled 1.4 million-square-foot Riverside 66 offers porous and efficient pedestrian circulation.
Images via Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects