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Architecture | Mixed-use Buildings

Joy City Chongqing


Short description

Joy City Chongqing is a large-scale commercial mixed-use project that includes a shopping center, three office and residential towers, an iMax cinema and a few themed open spaces. It sits adjacent to the city’s Central Park in the east, and overlooks the Sports Park in the south. The design turns a challenging site to its advantage, creating a commercial center with great character and appeal.

To the north, the commercial podium and towers are cladded in glass and silver-gray aluminum panels, giving them a light-hearted urban simplicity. Square masses of varying surface finishes then thrust into the podium from various angles, creating an exciting juxtaposition of solids and voids at the lower levels.

The podium stretches across both blocks, maximizing the buildable area to 180 meters north to south, and 150 meters east to west. It rises seven stories to reach a height of 42 meters.
To the south, a complex series of terraces provide zones for art, performance, and commercial activities. Unlike the view in the other three directions, the south looks out onto a landscaped valley, used by locals for recreation—a green zone that sits in strong contrast to the densely packed high-rises and major transportation hub to the north.

Joy City Chongqing covers 46,000 square meters, with a total floor area of 355,000 square meters, of which 145,000 are the commercial podium, while the three office and residential towers combined account for another 94,000. The two podium masses, sited at the intersection of two subway lines and ruthlessly sliced in half by a four-lane arterial road, are crucially linked by an elliptical circulation ring and an oversized rectangular tube.

The landscaped terraces to the south lead down in stepped fashion toward the natural parkland beyond, bordered by a scenic dam that was increased to a width of 50 meters. Flowerbed-lined paths, elevated bridges, and stairways weave through this area, constituting a city park of its own.

The interior design then continues the same theme, bringing elements of nature indoors, including fabricated mountain paths, hills, waterfalls, and gorges. Five unique zones further distinguish this from more conventional retail complexes. The first is the Canyon Walkway, extending the concept of a mountain city, while the Floating Stone recreates the famous mountain ranges and rivers of Chongqing. The Special Cave simulates a science-fiction environment, the Gourmet Market provides a mouth-watering array of local cuisines, and the Tube Corridor provides a fusion of art and technology.

The two circulation routes linking the two commercial podiums are positioned one on top of the other, with the elliptical ring at the lower level, and the tube corridor above it, oriented north to south. The corridor is finished in a vivid red, sliced diagonally at various points and at varying angles, in a manner that mirrors the forms of the terraces to the south, softening the boundary between interior and exterior. It spans 200 meters along its length, and is three stories tall, providing a suitable space for special events and exhibitions. At either end, the corridor cantilevers out by 20 meters, overlooking the city to the north and the valley to the south, thereby visually connecting the urbanscape with the natural environment.

Entry details
LocationChongqing - China
Lead designerKris Yao
Photography creditsMLee Studio; GRANDJOY; KRIS YAO|ARTECH
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