Suzhou Centre unveiled with world’s largest monocoque roof
Benoy recently celebrated the launch of the Suzhou Centre in China as CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) and Suzhou Industrial Park Jinji Lake Urban Development (Jinji Lake Urban Development) unveiled its brand in February.
Benoy is the architect and interior designer behind the development’s major retail component which will feature the world’s largest monocoque roof structure.
“Benoy is extremely excited to be working on a scheme of such significance as Suzhou Centre. The design has pushed many boundaries and will no doubt be a leading international example of architectural innovation,” said Benoy Director Winnie Tsang.
Suzhou Centre is a large-scale, high-end integrated development in the heart of the western CBD of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). Planned on a 16 hectare site along the bank of Jinji Lake, the scheme comprises retail, commercial offices, residential and a hotel as well as entertainment and cultural spaces. Considered the world’s largest, a free-form monocoque roof structure spanning over 36,000 sqm will cover the retail component.
“Benoy’s design for the roof was inspired by the mythical Chinese phoenix,” explained Winnie. “We envisaged the structure as a bird resting above an oasis with the striking curved architecture mimicking its wings. To turn this concept into a viable and deliverable structure has taken an unwavering commitment by our Team and it is incredibly rewarding to see us making history as we go.”
The retail and entertainment podium will have a GFA (Gross Floor Area) of 340,000m and spread across three interconnected buildings. Alongside luxury and high-street retailers, children’s attractions, designer studios and a gourmet supermarket, there will also be an IMAX Cineplex and an Olympic-size ice rink.
Another prominent feature in Benoy’s design is ‘Water’, taking inspiration from the neighbouring Jinji Lake scenery. Landscaped bridges extend from the retail development to the lakefront to capitalise on the proximity to the natural site.