22 June 2021

Benoy’s Wuhan Tiandi Site A wins 2021 ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence

The Wuhan Tiandi Site A project, for which Benoy has provided interior design and retail planning, stood out from other world-class development projects to win the 2021 ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence” presented by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The project developed by Shui On Land sets an example for the people-oriented urban renewal projects under the Chinese government’s 14th Five-Year Plan”.

Founded in 1936, ULI has a mission of shaping the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. The institution created the ULI Global Awards for Excellence programme in 1979 with the aim of recognising outstanding development projects in the private, public and non-profit sectors. The ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence were launched in 2019 as a regional version of the ULI Global Awards for Excellence programme. The awards represent the highest achievement in the development industry.

The number of participating projects this year hit a record high. Twelve projects from Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong S.A.R., Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Singapore were named winners after long deliberation by the review panel. Benoy are delighted that this project stood out and won the most prestigious award.

Benoy led the interior design and retail planning of the Horizon shopping mall, a component of the Wuhan Tiandi development. Horizon, located at a hub of elevated inner ring roads in the centre of the Hankou urban area, overlooks the Yangtze River to the east from a site bordering the picturesque Jiangtan Park. It is a key part of Wuhan Tiandi, a high-end urban commercial complex meticulously created by Shui On Land. The shopping mall has a gross floor area of more than 110,000 square metres. Lying across the river from the Wuchang urban area, it has direct connections to the No. 1 and No. 8 metro lines from the basement and second floors respectively. Since its opening, Horizon has provided the people of Wuhan with exquisite, imaginative interior spaces and novel business formats, making it a leading centre of international fashion in Wuhan.

Horizon occupies a site measuring over 400 metres long, with a width of about 100 metres. The site is divided into two lots by a road running down the middle. Rising over the complex are three super-high-rise towers. The whole site is subject to complicated restrictions. The floor design of the shopping mall has to work around the huge core cylinder structures of the towers. The circulation paths in the floor plan of the mall must also ensure efficiency, effectiveness and attractiveness and meet investment requirements, while taking into account the need to provide office and hotel drop-off points, access to the towers for deliveries, access to surrounding public transport facilities and drop-off points for the commercial areas and their entrances, exits and plazas.

In the architectural layout, the road dividing the lots at gound-floor level has been designed by Benoy as the pick-up and drop-off area for the shopping mall and towers, and all areas of the shopping mall above the first floor are connected to form a town square” with three different themes and spatial scales, which simultaneously creates a civic activity plaza befitting of a world-famous city, aligns the busy vertical traffic at different levels and links the 400-metre long stretch of shops. In addition, the roof of the mall has been designed to provide a kind of fifth façade looking out over the bustle of shopping crowds, allowing visitors and diners to take in Wuhan from a different level.

The interior environment specifically developed by Benoy combines high-end commercial positioning to create an elegant, economical space without sacrificing richness of texture and spatial detail, emphasising clarity of sight lines. The main materials used in the interior environment are natural stone and naturally warm woods, shot through with metal in champagne and bronze colours and frosted glass to provide contrast. This not only gives shoppers a sense of affinity and comfort, but also of exquisite detailing. The design of the lift lobby and waiting area aims at intricacy and a sense of environment. The design of other privacy areas such as the toilets, which are heavily used, includes family washrooms in addition to restrooms, wheelchair-accessible facilities and nursery rooms, and is attentive to the varied requirements of all guests. The multi-level design language conveys the luxury of international standards, while catering meticulously to individual human needs.

The entrance area of the mall draws on the doorway concept of the Chinese logo. It takes its cue from the structure of the traditional Chinese window lattice, transforming the English capital letters T” and H” and integrating them in an abstract way through artistic interpretation to suggest a modern commercial space. Visitors are also reminded that they are entering a special place, that they are on the threshold of a new shopping and leisure experience for Wuhan people.

In Horizon, they can see that the box-shaped components around the atrium highlight display areas. The emphasis here is on decorative features and richness of style, while accommodating exhibition use. The atrium has a naturally lit roof, with hanging metal artworks adding a crystalline quality and creating a pleasant and comfortable ambience.

Horizon is positioned at the top end of Shui On Group’s shopping mall brand portfolio. The focus is on attracting mid-level to high-end consumers, and the elite class and young families with distinctive tastes and money to spend on the latest fashion trends. Horizon represents an attitude to life. It provides a culmination of an ideal lifestyle, meeting the quality requirements of high-end consumers in search of a high-end quality and style. It has breathed new life into Wuhan’s commercial sector and raised the bar for mid-level and high-end businesses in the city.

Horizon brings together all kinds of formats and categories under one roof, including boutique retail, fashionable dining, entertainment and leisure, and cultural exhibits. The entire Wuhan Tiandi development area totals around two million square metres. In addition to the shopping mall, it includes Wuhan Tiandi Commercial Street, Grade‑A office towers and high-end residential buildings. The current success of Wuhan Horizon also underscores the instrumental importance of Benoy’s active communication and close cooperation with the developer, Shui On Group.

Horizon represents an attitude to life. It provides a storehouse for an ideal lifestyle, meeting all the quality requirements of high-end consumers in search of a better lifestyle. It has breathed new life into Wuhan’s commercial sector and raised the bar for mid-level and high-end businesses in the city. The combination of wide-ranging retail businesses and flexible facilities provides and embraces the spirit of luxury and local community. Just six months since it opened, Horizon has already been hailed by shoppers as the best mall in Wuhan. It is certainly poised to become a new landmark for the city.

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