UNStudio’s design for the mixed-use Raffles City development is located near the Qiangtan River in Hangzhou which is one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China. Raffles City will be CapitaLand’s sixth Raffles City, following those in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Bahrain. It incorporates retail, offices, housing and hotel facilities and marks the site of a cultural landscape within the Quianjiang New Town Area.
According to Ben van Berkel, “The philosophy behind the Raffles City concept is to integrate mixed use in an urban context, but in such a way as to give this concept a twist; by focussing on where the urban context meets the landscape of the city. In the design of the towers the urban element of the project twists towards the landscape, whilst the landscape aspect, in turn, twists towards the urban context, thereby effecting the incorporation and consolidation of these separate elements in one formal gesture.”
The incorporation of natural ventilation principles and the ways in which materials are employed, all work in concordance with one another to lower the energy and material demands of the building. Urban sustainability is also an important consideration in the design. The programme mix creates a dynamic, continuous 24/7 cycle of activity, a hub for business conduct, a new destination for visitors and residents alike and will become an all-in-one destination for working, living, leisure and entertainment.
In the chain of events and attractions of Hangzhou, like the West Lake area and the commercial centre, the Raffles City project will be at the core of the Qianjiang New Town area and contribute to the recognition of this area as a new destination in the city. It is due for realisation in 2012.