Chengdu is a major city in southwest China; it is the capital of the Sichuan province and the fifth largest city by population. Here was inaugurated in November 2012, a large complex of five office towers, apartments, shops, a hotel, restaurants and cafes, and a large public space carved by ramps, stone steps, trees and three ponds at different heights, that also serves as skylights to the six underground floors of the mall below.
The designer, Steven Holl, said he wanted to avoid the usual iconic skyscrapers and tried to weave the different uses with the existing urban context. There are 5 different inputs, which take the form of cuts on different sides of this block in white cement. According to this travel blog, all inputs lead to this large central square that plays a sort of artificial landscape.
Some ramps lead to the three halls of the cuts made inside the block, respectively, designed by Steven Holl (history pavilion), Lebbeus Woods (Hall of light) and Ai Wei Wei (Hall of folk art). The architectural complex is unfortunately surrounded by a big way and many very bad buildings but fortunately much lower.
But if the modern architecture tires you after a lot of staring you can always take a bus out of the city boundaries to reach the Chengdu Panda Base, a large reserve which is home to the giant pandas.
If you want to read more about China have a look at: The flying mountains of Avatar are located in China and Dare to visit the Forbidden City
Photo: Steven Holl