A mixed-use development in Kunming, China, Spring City 66's design reconnects the city’s pedestrian pathways as it nods to the unique landscape of Yunnan Province.
One of the largest commercial complexes in the city, the 430,000 m2 Spring City 66 is comprised of a retail podium and office tower that are carefully integrating into the surrounding context. Located adjacent to two major pedestrian-friendly boulevards and metro lines, Spring City 66’s accessibility and public amenities weave this high-density, mixed-use destination directly into the urban fabric of Kunming.
The design for Spring City 66 is responds to Yunnan Province’s unique landscape and its location along historic trade routes. A landscaped promenade, reminiscent of the region’s verdant valleys, is central to the project, while the surrounding undulating retail podium and a crag-like tower nod to the nearby Shilin Stone Forest’s notable limestone formations. The project’s varied program weaves along multiple levels of terraces lined with shops and restaurants, creating a vibrant destination for the city.
“The KPF design for Spring City 66 illustrates our belief that the most compelling architecture strongly expresses the spirit of its place. Kunming is a city of outdoor life, of vibrant color, and exciting topography. This building reflects that character in the shape of its roofs, and in its facade materials. We worked closely with Hang Lung, as we have previously in Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong, to weave together varied activities of working, shopping, and dwelling into one urban hive of activity,” notes KPF President and Design Principal James von Klemperer.
“Stitching together the series of varied height programs, the roof unites the building into a singular peeling surface forming an upper sky park. Almost a type of urban origami, the roof and walls fold to orient users along the public boulevard, as well as to allow the building to echo the surrounding mountains identifying the space as a moment of landscape blurred with its urbanism,” adds Jeff Kenoff, KPF Design Principal.
Spring City 66 prioritizes the user experience by integrating circulation, program, and natural elements. Connecting terraces, lined with shops and restaurants, create a vibrant destination and urban lifestyle center. Opening from Dongfeng Plaza to the west and extending east, the promenade concludes at the 330-meter office tower, accentuating the monumentality of the structure.
“One of the biggest challenges for us was to create public spaces that would be so inviting, that they entice pedestrians from the main roads and draw them through the site. I think that we very effectively achieved that through a synthesis of animated indoor and outdoor public spaces that are multi-level, mixed-use, transparent, and activity infused. The project has become a major amenity and focal-point for the neighborhood,” explains Peter Gross, KPF Managing Principal.
Inspired by the fields and terraces of the area, the folding geometry on the retail podium sculpts a subtle yet elegant articulation along its main facades, and incorporates local stone. Convex chevrons create a dynamic interaction between light and shadow during the day, and at night offer a welcoming glow through carefully incorporated accent lighting. Strong horizontal elements carved out of the podium create shading and form a key design feature in the podium.
The office tower has clearly differentiated facades, responding to solar orientation and views. Each facade maximizes natural light to the building’s interior, while also reducing heat gain. The Y-shaped fins on the east and west façades provide shading, while the north and south façades offer unobstructed vistas to the city and natural landscapes. The tower’s crown incorporates feature lighting, giving the form a lantern-like effect that marks Spring City 66 on the Kunming skyline.
“The design development and construction of the project’s façade brings the elegance of the concept to realization, thanks to a talented and committed team. A seamless collaboration between KPF’s New York and Hong Kong offices, Spring City 66 is an excellent demonstration of the firm’s ability to deliver complex projects,” comments Yee Tak Lau, KPF Director.
Sustainable Design Strategies
Pre-certified LEED Gold, Spring City 66 maximizes energy conservation, environmental comfort, and material efficiency. The landscaping in the plaza removes pollutants from the air, while the hardscaping aids in rainwater management by diverting runoff into an on-site cistern for future use. The podium green roof improves insulation, mitigates stormwater runoff, and reduces the building’s heat island effect. It also includes photovoltaic panels which minimize the development’s reliance on Kunming’s power grid.
KPF and Hang Lung
Spring City 66 represents the latest of a number of significant mixed-use projects designed for Hang Lung Properties, including Westlake 66, currently under construction in Hangzhou, and Riverside 66, the centerpiece of a commercial district in Tianjin with a design renowned for its long-span convex surface. Additionally, KPF designed Plaza 66 in Shanghai, as well as Forum 66 and Palace 66, both in Shenyang. KPF is proud to collaborate with Hang Lung Properties again to deliver a high quality, well-designed commercial project that elevates the urban experience and sets a new benchmark for high-end retail complexes in major cities throughout China.
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