Chengdu TIME REALM
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Location: Chengdu, China

Design Principal: Ping Jiang, AIA

Client: Times Property

Gross Floor Area: 64,000 sq m

Type: commercial, residential, office

Design Team:

Michael Morgan, Yuhai Cheng, Ji Huang, Ben Xie, Kailin Sun. Shuang Zhang, Si Si, Feng Zhao, Baiyan Tao, Kai Ding, Yunpeng Ma, Lingjia Pan, Fangzi He, Buwei Jin, Wei Xu, Yang Wang, Xiaohui Tang

 

TIME REALM is located on Jinniu Avenue, Chengdu, occupying an important position in the Tianfu cultural landscape axis as a new urban complex integrating commercial, residential and office. The project is adjacent to the large green space New Jinniu Park to the south and Jinxi Park to the north, with many urban green spaces within walking distance. The site is surrounded by superior natural landscape and convenient traffic conditions. The surrounding facilities are well-developed, and the nearby plots are equipped with multiple business types including residential, commercial, science and education, green spaces and parks and other minor businesses, guaranteeing the site promising development prospects.


Tianfu Avenue Cultural Landscape Axis aims to showcase Sihuan culture and urban landscape, featuring cultural elements and park clusters. It aims to create an urban humanistic corridor that displays regional cultural characteristics, carries historical memories, and generates the synergistic development of the west-controlled area; while the TIME REALM project, as the first TOP project built by the Times China Group in Chengdu, seamlessly connects highly sophisticated business space with leisurely pedestrian streets and alleys, becoming a new model of composite business in the west of Chengdu and leading a new fashion and social style of affordable luxury.  


Innovative city complex block
A good city center can condense the personality of the city, capture its silhouette and reflect its core values. Chengdu is a very attractive city, whose profound cultural heritage, and geographical and climate characteristics have created a unique urban culture. From the traditional street space to the modern urban context, the continuous growth and precipitation  of this city’s characteristics never stops. Therefore, how to create a scene that can not only carry the humanistic spirit and memory of the city, but also provide people with a future lifestyle is the key topic that the TIME REALM project intends to explore.


The TIME REALM project starts from the complexity and openness of the function to create an urban block that embraces publicity, welcomes exhibitions and encourages openness . The buildings strive to interact with the surrounding parks and businesses to form a clustering effect and create a cultural and social destination.


The project successfully transformed from a shopping-only real estate model to a multi-format, multi-functional compound project; from a large-scale, enclosed, and specific functional building to an open building group composed of multi-scaled volumes with various functions, providing a new template for future innovative urban complex blocks.


Interpretation of regional architectural form
EID is mainly responsible for the design work of the public construction part of the Chengdu TIME REALM project, including high-rise landmark commercial spaces and low-level open commercial streets. The architectural form is inspired by the traditional sloped houses in Chengdu and the hilly landscapes of the Chengdu Plain. The office complex emphasizes the horizontal changes between the blocks through multiple folds of the shape, which creates an iconic contrast with simply vertical towers. The dislocation of the shape forms a three-dimensional, continuous landscape space, which creates a multi-dimensional sky corridor facing each landscape surface, responds and interacts with the surrounding parks, and also provides a place for internal office staff to rest and communicate, creating a small-scale micro environment and a more human-centered office atmosphere. 


The commercial block section draws inspiration from the traditional western Sichuan sloped residential houses in Chengdu, and also responds to the undulating hilly landforms surrounding the Chengdu Plain. The open block layout reproduces the texture of the traditional streets and lanes of Chengdu and realizes the transformation from modern towers to low-rise and high-density pedestrian blocks. The roof of the building block echoes the traditional residential roof form, as well as the surrounding hilly landforms, and further evolves into different forms of slope roofs, creating rich variations in the unity and successfully delivering a contemporary interpretation of traditional forms.


The "mountain"-like office buildings and rooftop gardens, combined with the commercial pedestrian block, are contemporary responses to the historical memory of Chengdu, and are also an urban ideal that deeply integrates people, city, environment and businesses.

 

Reshaping the everyday life through open blocks
Charles Landry wrote in The Creative City, that the relationship, interaction and communication between people are important elements of urban development, and the street is the platform to promote these interactions. When we want to design a humane city, we need more people-oriented streets."


Chengdu is an inclusive city, with a soothing rhythm of life and a friendly and harmonious neighborhood atmosphere. The scene of people walking through the lanes and streets has long been deeply imprinted in the memory of Chengdu people. How to break the large-scale and isolated development model of the traditional urban complex and reintroduce the inner lane space into the shopping experience is the core of the design consideration. As an innovative urban complex block, the TIME REALM project adopts the spatial layout of the traditional street and lane texture to become an urban open space that integrates publicity, exhibitions, and businesses. The combination of high and low areas creates a rich and vibrant urban interface.


By developing low rises with dense street networks and combining open block design, the commercial block reproduces the traditional street and lane texture of Chengdu, creating a walkable space with an ideal scale; a single store returns from a giant department complex into the streets.It combines shopping, walking, and entertainment into the block, reshaping the traditional lifestyle, extending the using time of the block, and bringing continuous vitality to the block.

 

Leading the spiritual life through high-end arts
The TIME REALM was initiated from the landscape itself and was generated for the future high-end lifestyle.It aims to create an high-end art center for the city. The works of internationally well known artists will be moved from the interior to the exterior, and merge into the streets to create an immersive artistic experience. The art theater, inspired and  dominated by the artwork "Stars" by Australian artist Lindy Lee and combined with the exquisite paving and the setting of a hidden road lighting system, gives the corner square a dreamlike experience.The art exhibition space designed with gate tower realizes the penetration of high-end artistic characteristics into the pleasant pedestrian space.


The sky terrace integrates the natural landscape to create a small-scale micro-environment and becomes a place for people to rest and communicate. The cultural and creative art space of walking streets and lanes brings people an immersive scene experience. Humanities, ecology, art and life scenes complement each other here, and together give the neighborhood a rich life experience.

Jiang Ping, chief architect of EID Arch, believes that architectural design should be innovative and conceptual, and it should balance globalized trends and regional authenticity, so that the building can continue to serve the public effectively and create vibrant urban blocks. In the TIME REALM project, the architect focuses on the openness of urban public spaces, actively participates in the multi-dimensional urban environment, responds to the context, climate, geographic characteristics and lifestyle of the site, and builds a diversified environment for the future, which is also the unique charm of Chengdu TIME REALM project.

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