John Portman & Associates Designs Iconic Landmark for Shenzhen, China

04.24.2018

John Portman & Associates is happy to announce a first-place finish in the international design competition held by Shenzhen Prince Bay Shang Long Real Estate Co., LTD for the architectural and engineering design of Prince Bay lot DY02-06A in Shenzhen, China.

The Prince Bay area of Shenzhen is a significant activity node featuring nearly 10 miles (15 km) of coastline with a majestic mountainous backdrop. Part of a larger masterplan, the project site faces the vast ocean, greeting the multitude of travelers as they navigate the waterfront’s cruise ship terminal. John Portman & Associates won the international design competition by creating a unique and memorable coastal portal to the ever-energetic city of Shenzhen.

The complex will feature a 5-star hotel with 350 guestrooms encompassing a total area of 430,560 sf with approximately 40,000 sm of hotel space. Approximately 107,640 sf (10,000 sm) of retail will be organized around an atrium and connected via tunnels, bridges, and grade-level pedestrian circulation. The site is adjacent to a planned subway station that connects to an underground transportation system linking the cruise ship terminal and the lots to the north, creating an efficient connectivity network.

Lell E. Barnes AIA, firm principal and design director explains the architects’ approach, "Harmonizing with the overall Prince Bay masterplan while promoting the natural humanity, sea, and nature synergy was a paramount theme. The array of visitors and associated activities offered numerous unique design challenges. A simple yet logical massing based on site conditions and user needs formed the welcoming iconic image."

To mitigate any neighboring view blockage, the hotel tower was placed to the west of the site. This north-south slab tower orientation allows 270-degree ocean views for the hotel guests. The vertical tower massing was pushed upward while the main core was situated to the north end, further increasing the guestroom panorama. From the resultant void grew the expansive linear atrium volume. Completely visible and open, this glass-clad form generates a functional unity expressing grandeur and prosperity. A large dual see-through LED display attracts patrons near and far.

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Retail brings life and abundance energizing the entire area, therefore maximizing the retail amenities became an obvious economic goal. The surrounding circulatory arteries and the need to connect the project to the future nodes of neighboring activities bolstered the logical utilization of the all-inclusive linking axis. The linear atrium structure is a natural response to these parameters that divides the podium halves. This division helps organize programmatic functions into appropriate volumes. The hotel lobby, retail, ballrooms, health club, offices, etc. all coexist in harmony, linked yet separate, continuously visible and intertwined.

The design is abundant with subtle yet meaningful attributes that help to harmoniously marry the complex to its surroundings – the triangle as a ship’s sail; the canted façade as a sea’s wave; the upper open tower deck as a ship’s ‘crow’s nest’; the interior wood of the triangulated building mimicking a ship’s or boat’s structure; the pool becoming one with the sea – these characteristics all help to mold the architecture to the surrounding typology. The chosen seafaring color palette compliments the neighboring architecture as playfully elegant colors and textures blend with the natural sea environment.

This winning design is another example of John Portman & Associates ability to produce culturally modern, iconic design full of beautiful intrigue – very buildable and cost-effective architecture that will endear generations to come.