Best Tall Building under 100 meters Award of Excellence: Gala Avenue Westside, Shanghai

Qin Pang
Director - Head of Shanghai Studio
Benoy, Shanghai

He Liu
Deputy Director of Product Research & Development Dept.
CSSC Complex Property Co.,Ltd, Shanghai

Reimagining the Riverfront

Quickly emerging as a key fixture on Shanghai’s riverfront, the Gala Avenue Westside is situated in the larger Lujiazui Harbour City development—previously a shipyard that operated throughout the 1800s. The development, which will add some 250,000 square meters of riverside land upon completion, overlooks the historic Puxi area. Offering something different from its neighbors, the relatively low-rise complex is designed to be reflective of Shanghai’s famously walkable streets, which criss-cross through the business district.

Consisting of an office tower and 12 interconnected retail hubs which span two to three stories in height, the development combines office, entertainment, and public space alongside its commercial and retail offerings. The tower presents a minimal palette, and the crystalline form of its lattice façade reflects natural light well after sunset. The tower floor plan is equally divided into two halves, with a 14-story-high leisure hall in between. The programming breaks away from traditional big-box retail models and delivers a concept that feels relevant to present-day market needs and expectations. With diverse offerings that expand beyond products and services, a more experience-based retail environment is achieved. The porosity of the development allows visitors to move freely through the human-scaled scheme and activate its thoroughfares. The connection to the riverfront and the greenbelt between the site and the water’s edge is enhanced by green walls, lush landscaping, and roof gardens, which also provide a soft, organic edge to the development.

As a nod to Shanghai’s tradition of pedestrian-friendly city-planning, the project links visitors to adjacent Harbour City buildings, and the site’s antecedents as a shipping yard have inspired a design that combines historical elements, traditional details, and modern materials, creating an experiential riverside destination.

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