February 2022, China: Award-winning architecture practice Ronald Lu & Partners, known for its sustainable, human-centric and future-ready designs, has announced that construction of the Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre has begun on the Hankou Yangtze Riverfront in Wuhan, China, in collaboration with New World Development. This 475m tall skyscraper will be part of a transit-oriented development (TOD) project – a new standard for urban development in mainland China. TOD projects typically include a mix of commercial, residential, office, and entertainment spaces located near a transit station, creating convenient connections for communities and neighbourhoods.
Project Name: A Lighthouse for the 21st Century
Studio Name: Ronald Lu & Partners Breaks Ground in China
Designed by Ronald Lu & Partners, the building’s design concept, “Lighthouse of the 21st Century”, stems from the building’s staggered illuminated glass canopy, emblematic of a hopeful future, that sits atop the building like a beacon visible across the city.
“Ronald Lu & Partners and New World Development are both committed to human-centric design, and the Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre is one of the most people-focused projects we have ever worked on. This project is visionary in so many ways – its low-carbon, highly-efficient design is the future of ultra-high density cities and metropolitan living. Its comprehensive functions encourage health and wellbeing, and a sustainable lifestyle that balances nature with the city – for us and for the climate generation of the future. This will be a new landmark, both on the Wuhan skyline and for sustainable architecture in China.” Bryant Lu, Vice Chairman, Ronald Lu & Partners
The Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre is the latest example of Ronald Lu & Partners’ visionary design and green architecture work in high-density cities. The firm has deep expertise in biophilic design – a type of design that connects buildings to the natural environment through active and passive strategies and techniques. Bringing the natural world into the built environment has been proven to promote happiness and wellness in building users. For this project, plants and foliage stretch over 14,000 sq.m., including the underground and ground levels, its sunken plaza and gardens. The design includes 18 sky terrace gardens that encourage biodiversity, green canopies at the rooftop level that offer high-quality leisure spaces, and links to a nearly 60,000 sq.m. central park.
The Centre also uses “sponge-city” design elements to help mitigate extreme weather conditions. Designed to mimic the natural processes of soils, this sustainable urban water management strategy is transforming cities. Like a sponge, rainwater and surface runoff is absorbed and then naturally filtered by the ground. This process replenishes aquifers and allows other bodies of water to regenerate, while also eliminating standing, malodorous water and restoring natural habitats.
“This building will draw people in from across the city. Residents of the area will enjoy the positive impacts of its open green urban spaces and world-class infrastructure on their everyday lives – whether they are working, exercising, socialising, or just taking a break. As a TOD project, the building will bring the community together by creating walkable neighbourhoods, reducing traffic congestion and encouraging the use of public transportation – all of which minimise carbon consumption and create a cleaner and more convenient environment for residents.” Guymo Wong, Head of China, Ronald Lu & Partners
The Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre is located in the heart of the city, with a site area of 66,200 sq.m. and a gross floor area of 680,000 sq.m. The project is comprised of a Grade-A office tower, a K11 shopping mall, an sky lobby, and two 200m-tall residential towers. The design brings together living and working with nature and the arts, and is held together by a fully integrated traffic system, efficiently connecting the development with the city via public and private transportation links.