Inspired by the Houtang River, RMJM RED are Reaching for Success

RMJM RED have won a competition for a mixed-use development that will become the Ningbo Yongjiang Innovation Centre. The studio’s design is a response to the unique setting that is at a threshold between the urban and the natural. The site is framed by Zhongshan East road to the south and Houtang River to the north. The team envisaged the development as an archipelago of islands rising out of and energised by the river. The arrangement of these building ‘islands’ encourages unrestricted movement around the development at the ground level and offers a unique street-level experience.

The masterplan is organised as an urban oasis with sheltered communal spaces nestled between the North and South buildings. Through the East-West orientation of the development are public spaces and parks to ground the buildings in their natural environment. All the elements are tied together by a feature platform on the second level which provides a vehicle-free connection between the towers and offers access to elevated views out towards the Houtang River, Ming Lake and surrounding parks.

The challenge was to find the balance between privacy and permeability, between creating a development that sat harmoniously in its context and the desire to make the development a landmark. We wanted to create a design that projected urbanity but that was humanised and natural in scale and form. Informed by these ambitions, the scheme that we proposed won over the developer and the planning authorities.

Brenda YeExecutive Director | RMJM RED

The project is sited at a convergence between Ningbo’s urban southern edge and the natural setting of Houtang River. We pictured a harmonious place where people can seamlessly live, work and play. The design’s sculptural elevated platform facilitates this seamlessness and connectivity and gives the development distinction. In addition to this platform, feature bridges connect the office towers, forming a gateway between the plots and further unify the plots into a cohesive development.

Tean Chee KoDesign Director | RMJM RED

The team’s proposal for the development integrates 3 office towers with heights ranging from 33 to 69 metres tall, 9 residential towers from 44 to 70 metres and 2 retail pavilions that face the Houtang River. There are 2 storeys of underground parking. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024.

The Team: Andrew Kim, Charmaine Yau, Fish Yap, Henry Wu, Jason Leung, Mike Morgan, Peggy Tang, Pietro Peciccia, Ryan Zhao, Thomas Cheng & Weronika Marciniak