UK architect Heatherwick Studio has announced that the first phase of its 1,000 Trees shopping mall has opened on a former factory site in Shanghai.
The 300,000 sq m building will contain museums, galleries, restaurants and shops on a 15-acre site. From the outside, it appeared to be formed of striped cubes, which the architect describes as “pixels”. The aim here is to humanise the scale of the development.
Among Heatherwick’s stylistic flourished are structural columns that have been turned into towering plant pots, and which contain a mix of local trees, including deciduous, evergreen, fruit and flowering varieties. Other incorporated greenery includes shrubs and hanging plants.
Thomas Heatherwick, the founder of the practice, said: “1000 Trees is inspired by the idea of making cities into social spaces. It breaks down the monolithic scale of a typical retail development into a multitude of human-scale spaces. I think it will be transformational for people who live and work in this dense residential neighbourhood.”
Lisa Finlay, a partner in Heatherwick Studio, said: “We wanted to create a place that brings together nature, commerce and wellbeing. It’s turned an ex-industrial site into a new destination exploring the powerful relationships between art, landscape and architecture.”