Rebecca Yanrong Gao Chen

Rebecca Yanrong Gao Chen

New York, NY, US


Datong Huayu Commerce & Culture Center

Role: Senior Architect;

Site Area: 89,000 sq. m.;

Ground Area: 405,000 sq. m.;

Design Time: Sep. ~ Dec. 2012;

Award: 2012  1st Place in International Design Competition.  


Datong Huayu Commerce & Culture Center thoughtfully incorporates architecture with diverse uses, artfully woven into the urban fabric of the ancient capital city of Datong in northwestern P. R. China.

The dynamic, avant-garde design combines the functional spaces - commercial and cultural - into a unified architectural composition that transforms four city blocks.

Situated prominently along Weidu Grand Boulevard, the 3,000 square meter fine art gallery intertwines with the lobby of the 5,000 square meter performance hall, designed to float boldly above the street-front plaza. The performances and classical art will enliven the commercial activities, while the business activities will sustain the cultural arts towards mutual success.

The new construction comprises 580,000 square meters, making this the largest multi-functional culture and arts center in Shanxi province. The estimated capital investment is USD $500 million.

We will infuse a humanistic facet to the master plan and, along with the performance hall and fine art gallery; the Datong Huayu Centre will feature 5 world-class office towers built over a 3- to 8-storey retail podium. The buildings will include a luxury shopping center with twin hotels (one an upscale international hotel and the other a business inn); multiplex cinemas and live entertainment venues; a community recreation center, and public services such as conference facilities, restaurants and banquet halls. The focus is to create an attractive destination permeated with pleasant pedestrian amenities, intimate streetscapes, sidewalk cafes, wind-sheltered gardens and courtyards, to generate a critical mass of popular year-round activities.

Our design for the Culture and Commerce Centre includes a winter garden and a curvilinear glass rooftop conservatory, both of which will actively circulate high-quality refreshed air for the buildings’ occupants.  Expressed as a graceful green arc suspended eight stories above ground level, the rooftop link will unify the site from north to south, symbolically bridging the relationship between art and commerce.

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Status: Under Construction
Location: Datong, CN
My Role: Senior Architect
Additional Credits: Principal: Joseph Loh.