The Village at Sanlitun, by Swire Properties
Located in what used to be the heart of the embassy quarter in the 1950s, The Village at Sanlitun is a spectacular constellation of contemporary architecture, featuring a selection of well-known Chinese and international names from the architecture world.
The Village, a commercial development owned mainly by Swire Properties (with Gaw Capital Partners on the retail side) comprising 19 buildings across two sites (the North and South Village, only a short walk away from each other), combines modern retail spaces and the 99-room stunning luxury hotel Opposite House.
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The design draws upon traditional Chinese elements, like the hutongs’ low buildings and tiny alleys, and the integration of interior and exterior spaces. However, the complex also shows off the country’s cosmopolitan aspect, housing international flagship boutiques and contemporary designed concept stores. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is the signature architect behind the complex, while more practices, local and international, like Sako Architects and BMA, are also involved, collaborating in the design of specific parts of the development.
Seeing the design as a “translation of that Chinese traditional atmosphere into a modern vocabulary”, as Kuma explained, The Village is destined to be an open plan leisure, culture and shopping community of vibrant colours and dynamic geometries.
With the South Village and the hotel complete only a few months ago, the North part is also swiftly nearing completion, and the opening is aimed for later in 2009.