We all crave a connection to green space, especially in concrete-covered urban centers. NL architects respond to that desire with plans for a mixed use complex topped with a rolling green landscape in Xiamen, China. Built within the Xiamen North Railway Station Complex, the lush Vankely (Vanke alley) is a public street that provides a transitional hill-like zone between the surrounding high rises and the pedestrian level.
NL Architects’ mixed-use shopping center comprises three major layers: a network of SOHO (small office) spaces, a residential program, and approximately 100,000 square feet of retail space. Vankely’s zigzag shape helps maximize the surface area for retail and helps the center achieve an organic and dynamic appearance. Six open-air shopping plazas break up the undulating man-made hillside, and are separated by five landscaped SOHO bridges. The number of levels within each SOHO land bridge increases towards the middle of the site to create an undulating profile.
The rolling green roof also doubles as park space wedged between the tall residential towers. Winding pathways lead pedestrians to the high points of each landscaped hill and are lit with rows of lights at night. The mixed use center is slated for completion in 2015 and will open to the public in 2016.
Via Fast Company
Images via NL Architects