17 August 2021

Three Benoy projects shortlisted at the 2021 WAN Awards

In the latest announcement from the 2021 WAN Awards, Benoy is delighted to announce that three projects from China and the UK have been shortlisted to compete in the final round as the winner for their respective categories. 

These projects are:

Alibaba Central China Headquarters and Industrial Complex has been shortlisted for Future Projects?¡ª?Mixed Use

King¡¯s Road, London been shortlisted for Future Projects?¡ª?Mixed Use

Ningbo Deji Historic Street Regeneration has been shortlisted for Future Projects?¡ª?Urban Design

The World Architecture News Awards (WAN Awards) is one of the largest, most diverse architectural awards programmes in the world. Now in its thirteenth year, the awards are an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase projects from around the world to their peers and offers a worldwide stage to celebrate excellent international design with other leading professionals.

This year WAN is planning to host the Awards digitally on the 17th and 18th November, where the winner of each category will be revealed.

Alibaba Central China Headquarters and Industrial Complex

Alibaba¡¯s Central China Headquarters and Industrial Complex is located in the Xudong business district at the core of Wuhan¡¯s inner ring. It covers a total area of 44,654 m2, with above-ground GFA at approximately 300,000 m2, with two eco office towers, 280m and 190m in height respectively, with a total GFA of 210,000 m2, and a new retail commercial hub totalling 90,000 m2. 

The development implements Alibaba¡¯s hybrid digital ecosystem and enhances Alibaba¡¯s presence in central China by driving the transformation of its brick-and-mortar businesses. This project will create an intelligent industrial cluster to support talent, entrepreneurship, work and life in Wuhan.

Following in-depth research of Alibaba¡¯s corporate culture and interaction between its offices and businesses, Benoy formulated the AliCampus concept and proposed creative spaces such as Challenge Avenue, Ideation Space, Resilience Space and Healing Corner, to appeal to younger employees and inject new energy into the city. The team also reconstructed these space units via the concept of a Kongming lock?¨C?a traditional Chinese wooden puzzle?¨C?into the structure. Responding to the new business requirements of technology companies, the team combined the spatial needs of B2B and B2C enterprises to form varied and dynamic spaces of which the components interweave and interact with each other.

King¡¯s Road, London

Drawing inspiration from the site¡¯s former use as a botanical nursery, the King¡¯s Road project is marked by a seemingly suspended garden box that punctuates a refined fluted brick fa?ade. This glass menagerie, inspired by the 19th century Wardian plant cases and showcasing botanical curiosities, becomes a sustainable beacon for the King¡¯s Road.

Benoy¡¯s vision for 81?¨C?103 King¡¯s Road is for a unique sustainable mixed-use development; an open, green, light-filled space for people to come to work, shop, eat and relax, based around a verdant central courtyard.

The 18,000 sqm site is steeped in history. Surrounded by conservation areas and significant buildings, the architectural response needed to be refined, authentic and unique but also to bring back some of the renegade nature of the King¡¯s Road from the 60¡¯s and 70¡¯s.

The King¡¯s Road project offers the chance to create much needed public realm and re-introduce green spaces back to this part of the city. Inspired by its botanical past, this project incorporates elements and references to apothecary shelves, botanical influences and a transparent garden box element to act as a landmark for the scheme. Green elements are also interwoven through a sedum-tiered roofscape that responds to significant rights of light considerations for residents at the rear and sides. This introduces biodiversity into the scheme and green views for surrounding residents. The project is targeting BREEAM Outstanding for workplace.

Ningbo Deji Historic Street Regeneration

Ningbo Deji Historic Street Regeneration Project is a comprehensive, modernized rebuild for the traditional Chinese Shikumen building type, located in Deji Lane in Ningbo, China. Deji Lane is home to dozens of traditional Shikumen style buildings in various heritage conditions and as well as several historic lanes, which date back to the Republic of China era. The regeneration aims to emphasize the historic texture of Deji Lane and the essence of Ningbo Shikumen culture. Through integrated protection, renovation and construction, the traditional and new buildings complement each other and co-exist in harmony. This historical and cultural treasure of the city is reactivated as a new commercial landmark of Ningbo.

The design challenges are varied and complex. The traditional Shikumen buildings must be repaired thoughtfully to transform them for new needs, while the new buildings also play a part in protecting and revitalizing the entire historic district. Balancing the commercial needs of the new era and the preservation of heritage buildings has become the key answer to the challenge.

The new building planning revitalizes the texture and characteristics of the historic Shikumen buildings of Ningbo, and applies a modern sustainable design language via the use of various materials such as bricks, wood and bamboo. Under the precondition of maintaining the original layout of the historic streets, the design strikes a balance between commercial needs and historic preservation by upgrading existing alleys, creating new streets, integrating squares and enhancing commercial circulation, ultimately creating a harmonious coexistence between the past and the future.



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Ningbo Deji
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