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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Chongqing Chaotianmen in China by Safdie Architects

December 9th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects announced today that it has been chosen to design a 10- million-square-foot mixed-use complex for a historically significant site at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, in the inland Chinese city of Chongqing. The project, which was also announced in Singapore and Hong Kong by development partners CapitaLand, CapitaMalls Asia, and Singbridge, will feature residential and office space as well as retail and cultural facilities, a service residence, a hotel, restaurants and clubs, a park, gardens, and hubs for land and water transportation, including ferry docking and landscaped boardwalks.

  • Architects: Safdie Architects
  • Project: Chongqing Chaotianmen
  • Location: Chongqing, China

The design for this gateway site, by international architect Moshe Safdie, is inspired by the image of sailing ships on the river, and is intended to serve as a symbol of both Chongqing’s noble past as a trading center and its fast-growing future as one of China’s largest and most important modern cities. The outer curving glass facades of the project’s six towers, placed in a prow-like arc, will face the water to the north, while decked hanging gardens and a generous public park will link the complex to the city immediately to the south. As a whole, the complex will consist of:

  • Two central, identical towers that will house a service residence, a hotel, private residences, and office space and that will be linked midway by a distinctive garden bridge, containing within it the hotel lobby and restaurants
  • Four residential towers


All four residential towers terrace to the south, forming a continuous green facade toward the city. Beneath the park, the project will also feature four levels of shopping gallerias, as well as a conference center, theaters, and other cultural spaces. The project, which is expected to have a total development cost of about $3.1 billion, will front upon what was once the foremost of Chongqing’s traditional city gates, where officials received imperial decrees from the Emperor. As the city’s initial dock area on the Yangtze, the location also represents the great tradition of the shipping highway, which has stoked this major inland city’s development from its beginning and now drives its contemporary evolution.

About Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author who embraces a comprehensive and humane design philosophy. He is committed to architecture that supports and enhances a project’s program; that is informed by the geographic, social, and cultural elements that define a place; and that responds to human needs and aspirations. In keeping with a philosophical approach that Safdie has applied around the world for more than four decades, the design of each of his projects is responsive to local historic, cultural, and environmental contexts and grows out of a vision of the way it can affect the lives of the individuals for whom the buildings and public spaces are created.

Safdie has designed and realized a wide range of projects around the world, including cultural, civic, and educational institutions; mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans for existing neighborhoods and entirely new cities. Many of his buildings have become beloved regional and national landmarks, including Habitat ’67, Montreal; Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore; and Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem.

Based in Boston with offices in Toronto, Jerusalem, and Singapore, Safdie has been the recipient of numerous awards, honorary degrees, and civil honors, including the Companion Order of Canada and the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

About CapitaLand Limited
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the multi-local company’s core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in growth cities in Asia Pacific and Europe. The company’s real estate and hospitality portfolio, which includes homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences and mixed developments, spans more than 110 cities in over 20 countries. CapitaLand also leverages on its significant asset base, real estate domain knowledge, financial skills and extensive market network to develop real estate financial products and services in Singapore and the region.

The listed entities of the CapitaLand Group include Australand, CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaRetail China Trust, CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust and Quill Capita Trust. For more information, visit (

About CapitaMalls Asia
CapitaMalls Asia Limited is one of the largest listed shopping mall developers, owners and managers in Asia by total property value of assets and geographic reach. CapitaMalls Asia has an integrated shopping mall business model encompassing retail real estate investment, development, mall operations, asset management and fund management capabilities. It has interests in and manages a pan-Asian portfolio of 97 shopping malls across 51 cities in the five countries of Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India, with a total property value of approximately S$26.9 billion (US$21.7 billion) and a total gross floor area of approximately 88 million sq ft.

Shopping malls in the portfolio include ION Orchard and Plaza Singapura—which are located in one of the world’s most famous shopping streets, Orchard Road—Raffles City Singapore and Clarke Quay in Singapore. Our landmark shopping malls in China are CapitaMall Xizhimen and CapitaMall Wangjing in Beijing; Raffles City Beijing and Raffles City Shanghai. The portfolio also includes Gurney Plaza in Penang, Malaysia; Vivit Square in Tokyo, Japan; as well as Forum Value Mall in Bangalore, India.

CapitaMalls Asia’s principal business strategy is to invest in, develop and manage a diversified portfolio of real estate used primarily for retail purposes in Asia, and to strengthen its market position as a leading developer, owner and manager of shopping malls in Asia. For more information, visit (

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Categories: Business Centre, Garden, Mixed use, Park, Restaurant

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