Described by Marco Polo as the noblest and the most beautiful city in the world, Hangzhou is famous for its elegant culture and beautiful scenery. With most of the city developed, the proposal for a new commercial and arts district required the developer to look outside of the citys center for a site that could house the high quality facilities and infrastructure necessary to attract local and international companies to do business in Hangzhou. This search led to the creation of Prime Xintiandi.
Prime Xintiandi is located on a former brownfield site only 15 minutes north of West Lake, an area which many consider to be the symbol of Hangzhou. This new mixed-use development includes the adaptive re-use of four existing industrial buildings as a new art district that fosters links to the local culture through contemporary design and architecture. The sites industrial origins have evolved to meet the needs of this contemporary urban project while also serving as the catalyst for the development of a much larger area.
A unique blend of office, hotel, residential, creative workspace and retail create a dynamic synergy from early morning to late into the evening. Prime Xintiandi is organized around a series of public amenities providing an inviting environment with outdoor landscaped plazas linked by waterways which create opportunities for people to connect back to nature. A series of serviced apartments cater to the long-term artists in residence and loft studios are available for those who choose to work and live in one place. Additional hotel options provide accommodations for shorter staying patrons.
The hotel is the tallest and most dynamic building on the site. It was positioned in the middle of the project to help tie the new construction in with the old. The bridges and hotel use similar elements to give the impression that the canopy is an extension of the hotel itself. The same perforated screen panels used on the bridges are seen again as vertical screens around the hotel. The filtration of light and playful forms enhances the artistic nature of the site and should lead to a calm sense of inspirational thinking.
The combination of the existing buildings with the new hotel and retail center create a visual separation even though their programs were directly tied. In order to mesh the historic elements of the site with modern design, a series of undulating canopies were incorporated. Starting at the bridges to the site, these canopies welcome people to Prime Xintiandi. After entering the project, these floating forms follow the pedestrian walkways, providing varying levels of shade and protection from the elements. They weave in and out of all the buildings before finally culminating at the main hotels entrance. Their form and repetition create a distinct identity for Prime Xintiandi by becoming the uniting element in a diverse project. Prime Xintiandi will become a landmark in the region and will be a visually recognizable center of activity for Hangzhous new generation of entrepreneurs.