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Atkins’ Qingdao ‘dream plaza’ starts on site

Atkins has said it is chasing luxury mixed-use work in China as construction of the company’s 300,000m² Pacific Dream Plaza scheme commenced in the north of the country

The Qingdao project includes a 30-storey five star hotel and 1,500 residential units as well as offices and retail space.

Atkins teams in the UK, Shanghai and Hong Kong supported the Beijing studio in its work on the scheme from masterplanning through to detail design.

Gareth Kirkwood, Atkins managing director for mainland China, told AJ: ‘We are continuing to target the high-end mixed use sector, with a particular focus on very tall developments and also those that involve linkage to complex transport nodes such as metro, rail or large bus stations.’

He added: ‘The tourism and leisure sector is also particularly appealing to us in China and continues to show excellent growth. We are both planning and designing resorts, hotels, marinas and a variety of other destinations including some very large scale ones.’

The riverside Qingdao development is enclosed on two sides by water and integrated into the surrounding neighbourhoods on its other faces.

This meant that façade design and building form had to be carefully modelled to integrate well in all directions.

The building’s ‘curvaceous’ forms resulted from strategic concept studies with Faithful+Gould in Shanghai.

This included testing the sunlight, shading and wind conditions within the scheme.  

Atkins associate and project architect Steven Hill said: ‘We tested in excess of 30 options at different scales and levels of detail – beginning with very rough models and then refining the designs in workshops.

‘The key to the process was that it was not scattergun: strategic solutions were allowed to evolve and cross pollinate each other until we reached a design that everyone was happy with.’

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