Kunming Old Town Complex by Benoy

new urban complex

This project is located in the centre of Kunming’s Old Town, surrounded by sophisticated architecture and a wealth of amenities. The area is mainly home to locals, with popular tourist attractions to the north and south. There is also a university campus and an established commercial district, which attract large numbers of students and tourists. The project is surrounded by an abundance of public transport links, with the potential to connect to the subway system in the future.

This project aims to create a new urban complex in Kunming Old Town that satisfies the future needs of a wide variety of users, while making up for the current lack of shops and improving consumer activity in the area. The design is based on the concept of an ‘urban space station’. On one hand, it provides a variety of functions that meet the requirements for future urban living from a commercial perspective. On the other hand, it creates a sophisticated system that’s independent, efficient and integrated by building a physical space using multi-dimensional and intersectional methods.

The Kunming complex consists of commercial units, office space, apartments, a hotel, a performing arts centre and a cultural centre. The commercial units are located in the lower podium. The offices, apartments and hotel are spread across the upper tower, while the performing arts and cultural centres are housed in the middle. Each component has its own merits and individual characteristics, which in turn support the overall value of the project. Working from bottom to top, the project contains seven aspects with different functions and characteristics, as follows:

• The first four floors are mainly for retail.
• The central commercial island is suitable for commercial activities, such as business meetings and leisure.
• The corridors that run through the floors enable a smooth flow of traffic, but also act as spaces for various activities.
• The gallery, show space and stage at the top of the block enhance the cultural feel of the project while driving up consumption.
• The ramp that leads directly from the ground floor to the top of the podium offers an efficient traffic solution, as well as a space for public activities.
• The garden-style office tower provides opportunities for future business development.
• And the clubhouse and terrace space make the project more attractive, adding to the overall value of the property.
• Our plan brings these seven aspects together to propose a comprehensive solution that can meet the needs of multiple users.

Local culture is fully incorporated into the design, including symbols and colours associated with Yunnan courtyard homes, imbuing the project with a uniquely local look and feel. The many colours of Yunnan are also reflected in the landscaping and façades, creating a vibrant, youthful and fashionable retail atmosphere. By deconstructing and reorganising the traditional design of a Yunnan courtyard home, the central enclosed space is applied to the commercial island, creating a focal core at the heart of the entire project.

Yunnan has a spring-like climate all year round, so we have carefully curated the project’s outdoor spaces. At the top of the podium, we have introduced an outdoor gallery, clubhouse and bookshop, as well as plenty of outdoor leisure space, which highlights the rich cultural feel and flavour of the design. In addition, an extreme sports park is located on the south side of the project, housing various sports activities including rock climbing, diving, a half-pipe and a gym.

These features are designed to attract the target demographics to the top of the project, while also providing the city with a sports-themed activity area. Bringing together our experience from previous successful projects, we have introduced a three-dimensional ramp that leads to the upper levels, leaving the lower areas for retail.

This helps to prevent interference between ground commercial traffic and tower traffic, in addition to providing a separate, more spacious lobby area for the tower. This published plan is an active exploration of Benoy’s design approach to a complex project with a high plot ratio in the Old Town area. We hope it will make people think more about new projects in the Old Town, and contribute towards more forward-thinking complex designs. Source by Benoy.

  • Location: Kunming, China
  • Architect: Benoy
  • Principal project designer: Pang Qin
  • Project leader: Zhang Liang
  • Project designers: Shi Bo, Zhao Fei, Li Yaling, Zheng Huijin, Li Yukun
  • Total floor area: Approx. 180,000
  • Images: Courtesy of Benoy

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