'Stadium for retail' opens in China surrounded by multi-level green park

A large-scale urban park has opened in Guangzhou, China, with a design that tips its hat to sports stadiums.

Described by architects Benoy as both “a new building typology” and “a stadium for retail”, Parc Central is a 110,000sq m (1.2m sq ft) leisure zone of shops, food and beverage amenities and public realm located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District.

Benoy have transformed a nondescript city square in Tianhe district, building their design around the concept of an open parkland environment. Multiple levels of greenery – including gardens, planted walkways and living walls – fill the development and “create a place to socialise, relax and breathe within the city centre.”

To preserve as much open space and tiered parkland as possible, three retail levels have been created underground and the height of the above-ground buildings is limited to 24m (79ft).

“The vision for Parc Central was to contribute socially and spatially to the city, as well as economically,” said Benoy in a statement. “Being lower than the surrounding buildings, the design called for an eye-catching and powerful visual statement; one which would add to the rhythm of the city’s central axis.”

To achieve this, the architecture references the Chinese ‘double fish’ formation. Two fish-like forms curve around the central gardens and are joined by a pedestrian bridge at one end. The buildings are covered by steel monocoque roof canopies which are supported by tree-like columns sprouting from a series of gardens.

Inside, uninterrupted curves and large atriums create curving spaces for visitors to explore on a journey around the complex.

Benoy worked as masterplanners, architects and interiors on Parc Central, in collaboration with Hong Kong studio Ronald Lu and Partners. The project was commissioned and developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Benoy  Parc Central  Guangzhou  China  retail park  architecture  design 
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A large-scale urban park has opened in Guangzhou, China, with a design that tips its hat to sports stadiums. Described by architects Benoy as both “a new building typology” and “a stadium for retail”, Parc Central is a 110,000sq m (1.2m sq ft) leisure zone of shops, food and beverage amenities and public realm located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District. Benoy have transformed a nondescript city
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Parc Central is a 110,000sq m (1.2m sq ft) leisure zone of shops, food and beverage amenities and public realm / Benoy
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