The Zhuhai Shimao Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Port City Commercial and Cultural Centre by Benoy

Port City Commercial and Cultural Centre

The aim of the project is to build a future living complex for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao one-hour living circle, and to add a world-class super landmark to the Greater Bay Area. In June 2020, Shimao Group staged a high-profile international competition. After in-depth analysis and innovative design interpretation, the Benoy team finally won the bid for this landmark project located in an important node city within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area — Zhuhai Shimao Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Port City Commercial and Cultural Centre.

As a demonstration zone for cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and the Maritime Silk Road, the project area is of great importance to South China. Indeed, the Greater Bay Area encompasses nine cities in Guangdong province, including Zhuhai, and two special administrative regions, Macao and Hong Kong. The project is located on Zhuhai Artificial Island. As a central hub, the artificial island not only enriches the transportation and connection between Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macao, but also greatly improves the efficiency of entry and exit via two ports.

In this way, the project creates the ‘one-hour living circle’ between the three places. The artificial island also promotes integration, with three different regional cultures converging and diverse industries complementing one another, laying a solid foundation for the development of new industries in the Greater Bay Area. The Zhuhai Shimao Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Port City project consists of a shopping mall, hotel office cluster, international grade office cluster, luxury hotel cluster, cultural centre and exhibition centre.

The commercial complex is arranged as a link between the Zhuhai port in the south, the Coastal Plaza in the north, and other surrounding functions. The hotel-style office cluster in enhanced by the beauty and tranquillity of the landscape on the east side of the site. The hotel cluster boasts unique views of the waterfront, while the office and exhibition functions are adjacent to the bus hubs, providing convenient transport access. The super complex integrates physical space and user experience. In essence, our design is inspired by our understanding of the all-encompassing universe.

According to Taoist cosmology, “Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to everything”, which conveys the interaction between the spirit and the material world. However, modern science interprets the universe in terms of dimensions. We propose integrating these two cosmologies to create a super complex of commerce, entertainment and culture by dissolving the boundary between spirituality and materiality and increasing spatial dimensions. The design is based on three core dimensions: iconic image, topical content and commercial SCI-FI atmosphere.

Dimension 1: To create an iconic image
The project site is located below the take-off and landing pathway of Macau Airport and Kyushu Airlines. In the design scheme, the futuristic curved roof frame unifies functional blocks, including the commercial complex, cultural block, coastal block and hotel, creating an iconic and memorable external image. In addition, the site’s north side faces Zhuhai’s famous urban landscape belt, known as ‘Lovers Road’, just across the water. The beautiful rolling curves formed by the roof create a memorable new urban landscape.

Dimension 2: To create a topical theme
In the design, we reflect the needs of the island businesses through various topical themes, including: ‘I SEE MORE’, ‘EYE-SEE MALL’, ‘EYE of Zhuhai’, ‘Wings of Greater Bay’ and ‘Star Show’, among others. These themes are based on elements such as architectural appearance, interior space and entertainment, as well as interactive AR, sound and light, urban performance and other activities. Combined, these thematic elements create a unique urban life destination for Zhuhai.

Dimension 3: To create a commercial SCI-FI atmosphere
In the overall scheme, we blend the project’s unique coastal location with the theme of science fiction for the design of several scenes. With ‘Moon Reflection Square’, ‘Sea View Retreat Platform’, and ‘Indoor Sea View Square’, we try to make best use of landscape resources. And through the interior atrium and port corridor, shaped by the concept of a time tunnel, we have given eloquent expression to the theme of science fiction. Source by Benoy.

  • Location: China
  • Architect: Benoy
  • Principal Project Designer: Pang Qin
  • Project Director: Zhang Liang
  • Project Leader: Zhao Fei
  • Project Designers: Chen Chen, Zheng Huijin, Li Yaling, Wu Yixin, Li Yukun
  • Parametric Design Assistant: Cao Xuwei
  • Interior Concept Design Team (Competition Stage): Ma Liyuan, Shi Quan, Wang Jingyun, Zhou Mei
  • Client: Shimao Group
  • Total Floor Area: approximately 480,000 sqm (total planned area)
  • Year: 2021
  • Images: Courtesy of Benoy