laguarda.low architects weaves green roofs on shenzhen waterfront

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laguarda.low architects weaves green roofs on shenzhen waterfront

laguarda.low architects envisions a fluid new retail park

International firm Laguarda.Low Architects gradually built the waterfront of Shenzhen with his sweeping Bao’an OCT OH BAY. The 128-hectare development spans a three-quarter-mile site and is divided into three parts – a cultural park, an urban business center and the eastern and western retail parks. The team, with locations in Beijing, Tokyo and New York, notes that the project is the history of the Chinese city ​​as market town.

Overall, the project is characterized by its many fluid layers, woven together to create a fluid new landscape. This ‘ecological blanket’ houses a collection of mixed-use spaces under its greenery roofs, all connected by a network of walkways. The architects say: ‘The streamlined, curvilinear nature of the project and public gathering space are unifying themes, combining the needs of a commercially viable program and burgeoning cultural district on an extraordinary scale.’


images © Tong Yanlong

a layered ‘green roof ribbon’ on Shenzhen’s waterfront

With its OCT OH BAY retail park, the team at Laguarda.Low Architects unveils 1.5 million square foot mixed-use expansion in Shenzhen’s Bao’an district. The West Waterfront Retail Park consists of a performing arts center and entertainment venues, all centered around a large, open-air plaza.

Water plays a key role in the masterplan as a network of pools weaves throughout, inviting visitors to explore the waterfront by boat as well as on foot. Meanwhile, the East Bank houses a four-storey ‘experimental retail park’ defined by its gently sloping ramps and tiered bridges under a ‘green roof ribbon’. The group continues: ‘The traditional shopping experience is transformed with an abundance of natural light and choreographed circulation.’

laguarda.low architects
image © Tong Yanlong

attracting visitors from the waterfront

Laguarda.Low Architects’ 35,000 square meter retail park along the eastern waterfront takes shape as a dispersed collection of three-story, pebble-shaped volumes. On the south side, these organic forms try to exist in harmony with nature. On the north side facing the city, various penetrations address the urban context. With its open and porous organization, the project naturally attracts visitors into the breezy retail environment from the waterfront.

Sheltering overhangs and sweeping terraces are created by the subtle shifts in the stack levels, funneling breezes over the landscaped green roofs and creating shaded outdoor space – a refuge from the heat of summer.

laguarda.low architects
image © Tong Yanlong

a diverse new landscape

The layered network of undulating green roofs binds the sprawling development together. These roofs create for visitors a variety of views to the sea beyond. A diverse landscape is introduced and includes a flower garden, a waterfall sculpture garden, an outdoor performance terrace and a running trail. This route hangs above the retail circulation and gives runners a panoramic view of the park, towards the city and over the vast sea.

laguarda.low architects
image © Tong Yanlong

the sustainable design

The architects describe the sustainable elements of the retail park development: ‘The ecological green belt that runs through the retail blocks on the eastern and western banks introduces water features and green plants into the commercial space, the landscape and the architecture are naturally integrated. Together with sunshades, green balconies and ecological roofs to form air channels and cold lanes, greatly reducing the urban heat island effect.

‘The retail streets maximize natural lighting through skylights and patios, and use solar power systems to continuously source energy. The orientation of the buildings meets the demand for natural ventilation. The streamlined shape and vertical patio are designed to improve wind pressure and thermal pressure ventilation. High ceilings, openable windows and high energy low speed fans are used to optimize indoor air circulation.’

laguarda.low architects
image © ZC Architectural Photography Studio

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