Aedas designs a one-stop lifestyle complex that reflects the historic quality of Yiwu in China

Sited in a city renowned for one of the world’s largest small commodity wholesale market, this Aedas-designed project is set to become a one-stop lifestyle urban complex with a combination of large-scale retail, dining and entertainment facilities, allowing visitors to enjoy shopping, food and beverage, cultural and leisure activities in a single destination.

Project: The Heart of Yiwu
Location: Yiwu, China
Architect: Aedas
Project Design Directors: Leo Liu and Keith Griffiths
Client: Yiwu Commerce and Tourism Group Co., Ltd.
Gross floor area: 146,000 square metres
Completion year: 2017

Yiwu is traditionally a trading city growing along the Yiwu River. The form of the project is inspired by the Chinese character ‘川’, literally meaning ‘a river’. The historic city wall of Yiwu, on the other hand, inspired the façade design. Chinese bricks are used to give texture to the side facing Beiwen Road.

The design by Leo Liu and Keith Griffiths incorporates an outdoor circulation route, which resembles the ancient Chaoyang Gate and its 42 steps where traders in the past passed through every day. Together with the internal circulation route, they bring people to the upper retail floors and the outdoor rooftop platform.

The development is a 24-hour social, cultural and lifestyle centre, with landscaped squares, outdoor plazas, cultural spaces and pedestrian streets.


Leo Liu
Executive Director, Aedas

Leo is an Executive Director at Aedas. With over 14 years of design experience, he has extraordinary design abilities and is particularly experienced in creating vibrant and versatile large-scale mixed-use development schemes.

Over the past 10 years, Leo has been primarily working on China projects and was involved in numerous large-scale complex projects with great success. He possesses in-depth knowledge in mixed-use planning and his significant projects include both private and public residential developments, research institutions, infrastructure and commercial schemes from conception to construction.

Aedas is the world’s only local and global architecture and design practice driven by global sharing of research, local knowledge and international practice. Our 1,400 creative minds with design studios across the globe create world-class design solutions with deep social and cultural understanding of the communities we design for.

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