UM was invited to design the “City Gate” for Gan Zhou, JiangXi as a landmark project locating at ZhangJiang New District.
Inspired by Ximeng Wang’s “Thousands Miles of Mountains and Rivers”, a timeless traditional Chinese art piece that expresses and celebrates the connections with nature, UM intends to reinventand integrate the existing site into a living environment that supports both residential and commercial uses, while facilitating the efficiency of regional occupancy. Capturing the great opportunity of the prominent location of the project, UM’s goal was to draw city into the nature and to enhance occupants’ experience of the nature through all senses.
To achieve this, the architects borrowed design language from the nature and transferred the forms of natural elements, such as mountains, rivers, rocks into architectural expressions in an abstract way. Through establishing a dialogue with natural surroundings, the design performs as a transitional space in-between intensive urban settlements and the nature.
Utilizing the grid system that was formed by the streets and people’s movements, UM’s proposal opens up the entire site and establishes the program into three individual massing groups. On the exterior, the main high-raise massing on the north side is expressed as a stiff mountain, covered with waterfalls, standing on the water feature. With one fluid building facade, the curvilinear and dynamic building outline captures the spatial volumes of both the high-raise and podiums, while wrapping public and gathering spaces, engaging with the interior circulations and spatial layouts, and celebrating the natural rhythm of the landscape. To optimize the pedestrian experiences from north to south on the site, the architects proposes a semi-open corridor to connect the north and south entrances, enhancing a continuous movement flow to be create. By maintaining the natural profile of the appearance, the architectural development blends into the landscape without drawing attention to itself, providing a harmonious, welcoming and warm environment for better serving the community.
The program serves for top grades office high-raises, high-end hotel buildings, SOHO apartment complex, individual commercial units, public plaza and other multifunctional spaces, aiming to develop a “core district” that serves as an international and modernized connection point to tie the entire city together as a whole.