Situated at the edge of Xinglong Lake, Chengdu Tianfu Yuncheng is the civic and commercial hub of a new satellite city in the Tianfu New District of Chengdu. The development’s signature is the transformation of a broad central greenway, mandated by the Planning Authority, into the Arroyo—a lively, pedestrian mall that is framed by retail and commercial uses at three levels and open to the sky. This mixed-use development also features a generous Civic Plaza, a Skyway public circulation network, and convenient access to a below-grade metro station.
The Arroyo, situated near Xinglong Lake in Chengdu, China, responds to how evolving cities should address large urban spaces and their potential to improve the quality of living and working in the urban environment. The project’s innovation lies in the Arroyo, a natural canyon-like feature, designed as an architectural gesture that overcomes the expansive width of the government-mandated Greenway. By carving into the ground, the Arroyo upholds local codes that disallow retail development on the Greenway, while also producing a vibrant, sun-filled retail and pedestrian ambiance below street level.
As a catalytic participant in the city, the Arroyo features civic and cultural venues as attractions along its length. The architecture responds to the market demand for a diversified commercial district—from start-ups and shared office spaces to larger corporate campuses. The project uses architecture to shape a variety of public environments into destination “places.” From the larger city markers such as the central town green and the market hall beneath to small courtyards shared by co-workers, this development strikes a balance between unifying the entire development as a cohesive whole and providing multiple intimate moments—unique places—throughout, which is the hallmark of a vibrant commercial district.