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Heatherwick Studio Designs New Shopping District In The Ancient City of Xi’an, China


Heatherwick Studio has unveiled its design for a new shopping mall in Xi’an, China, which they claim will echo the region’s tradition of ceramics and other artistic achievements, with a completion date 2024.
Offering customers a “sensory experience to challenge the emotional and aesthetic deprivation of online shopping,” the district’s plan asks for a network of communal spaces and an interlocking program of mixed-scale buildings sprinkled throughout.

Heatherwick Studio

Xian CCBD by Heatherwick Studio. Image © MIR

When viewed from a distance, the design is divided into three scales, beginning with a green space with tapering rooflines influenced by adjacent local temples. It will use several interconnected terraces and other street-level landscaped areas to improve pedestrianism and city views.

Heatherwick Studio Use Ceramic Paneling as ‘sensory experience’

The intended “sensory experience” is most evident at the ultimate human scale, with buildings finished in locally made patterned ceramic paneling in homage to the tradition that produced the country’s prized Terracotta Army.

Heatherwick Studio

Ceramics detail. Image © Luis Sacristan Murga

“This new district in Xi’an explores how we can create variety, a sense of discovery, and delight within a new large-scale urban development,” stated Mat Cash, a group leader and partner at Heatherwick Studio. We may build a city within a city by combining retail, residential, office, cultural, and leisure functions into one distinct site using natural materials, terraced terraces, and an enclosing landscape.”

Heatherwick Studio

Construction site. Image © CR Land

Construction is now underway. The introduction of the district comes barely five months after the opening of Shanghai’s new ‘Orbit’ exhibition hall. Thomas Heatherwick, the company’s founder, is presently on tour to promote his new book, which integrates theories on consumerism and user viewpoints. By the end of the year, the company hopes to have completed its larger Toranomon-Azabudai mixed-use shopping center in Tokyo.


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