Transforming Deji Plaza Xuzhou: LMCA Design’s Vision

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In the heart of Xuzhou’s bustling Central Business District in China, an architectural transformation is taking place, thanks to the creative ingenuity of LMCA Design, a prominent New York City-based architectural firm. Their recent project, Deji Plaza Xuzhou, has earned them the prestigious 2023 Architizer A+Awards Popular Choice in the Landscape & Planning, Unbuilt Masterplan category. This massive undertaking involves the resurrection of a previously dormant construction site, breathing new life and significance into this urban landmark.

Architectural Vision and Design Concept

Led by the visionary architect Li Min Ching, LMCA Design took on the challenge of completing the Deji Plaza Xuzhou project after its initial construction was halted by a previous developer. The site already boasted the foundations for twin 60-story luxury residential towers and an 11-story retail podium, but the design lacked coherence and alignment with the developer’s and the architect’s vision.

Ching recognized the structural limitations posed by the existing foundations and focused his design prowess on the elements above the 11th floor. The result is a transformation that draws inspiration from the natural world and weaves it seamlessly into urban fabric.

The design’s standout feature is its homage to the Banyan tree, a symbol of rebirth and organic growth. Ching’s design echoes the tree’s complex root system and its role as a catalyst for rejuvenation. This symbolism resonates deeply with the project’s journey, transitioning from stagnation to a flourishing development.

Organic Aesthetics and Functionality

LMCA Design‘s overhaul of the retail podium and the residential towers demonstrates a commitment to both aesthetics and functionality. The podium, now a hub of culture and art, houses designer boutiques, an art gallery, IMAX cinemas, and exhibition spaces. The incorporation of the owner’s art collection into these spaces establishes a unique blend of commerce and culture.

One of the remarkable challenges faced was optimizing the programming and floor heights while reusing existing structural elements. This approach minimized waste and embodied carbon, aligning with sustainable building practices. The result is a harmonious amalgamation of form and function, where the pedestrian experience takes center stage.

Nature and Urban Integration

A standout aspect of the design is its emphasis on green spaces and connectivity with the city’s green initiatives. LMCA Design seamlessly integrates landscaped areas into its design, promoting urban greenery and adding an element of tranquility to the bustling urban landscape. Rooftop terraces offer panoramic views while echoing the city’s commitment to nature.

A Glimpse into the Future

The Deji Plaza Xuzhou project is a testament to LMCA Design’s prowess in navigating architectural challenges and transforming them into opportunities for innovation. As the project approaches its completion in 2025, it stands as a symbol of rebirth, growth, and a harmonious blend of nature and urban living.

In a world where architectural significance is often measured by iconic skylines, LMCA Design’s Deji Plaza Xuzhou breaks the mold by not only reshaping the city’s skyline but also infusing it with a sense of purpose and organic aesthetics. As the Banyan tree serves as a guide for rebirth, this project emerges as a new cornerstone in Xuzhou’s urban landscape, inviting residents and visitors alike to embrace a harmonious coexistence of architecture and nature.

In conclusion, LMCA Design‘s transformation of Deji Plaza Xuzhou is a story of architectural innovation, sustainability, and organic design elements. Li Min Ching’s visionary approach, rooted in the essence of the Banyan tree, has breathed new life into this urban landmark. As the project nears its completion, it stands as a testament to the power of architecture to shape not just physical spaces, but also the narratives and emotions of those who inhabit them.

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Technical sheet

Project name: Deji Plaza Xuzhou
Height: 259 m / 850 ft
Size: 351,206 m2 / 3,780,350 ft2
Client: Deji Plaza (Xuzhou) Co., Ltd.

Architect (Lead Design Architect): LMCA Design – (Li Min Ching Architecture & Design)
Current – Local Architect of Record / MEP & Structural Engineer: Nanjing Changjiang Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd.
Prior – Local Architect of Record / MEP & Structural Engineer: Nanjing Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., LTD.
MEP Consultant: Technova
Façade Consultant: CCAT
Interior / Exterior Lighting Design: UNOLAI Design & Associates, Shanghai Branch
Landscape Design: Ohtori Consultants Environmental Design Institute
Transportation Consultant: AECOM Design and Consulting (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

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