Neighborhood centers are an essential facility for the growth and development of a neighborhood and its community. This is true everywhere but it is especially important in China, where the sense of belonging to a community and social interactions in high-rise residential complex might be limited. When designing public facilities we always aim to bring back the focus on the people who will experience the space, living, working, visiting or playing. In these projects, public space quality is imperative for it determines the way people interact with each other and, in the end, it is the ultimate decisive factor by which visitors decide to return to any place. In this project we propose a well-rounded approach which combines practical design solutions for educational, cultural and social facilities at the heart of a new residential development.



Jinwan Aviation City is a new district located only 20 Km away from Zhuhai International Airport. At the district’s core is the Civic and Art Center design by Zaha Hadid which lays in the center of an artificial lake and represents the public image of the entire district. An East-West traffic axis crosses the entire district passing through the Civic and Art Center via a tunnel and ends to the East in a cul-de-sac. This semicircular area has at its center a public park and along the round edge four portions of land that represent our red line.




The treatment of the public space and its interaction with the buildings and the surroundings were the focus of the project from the start. The characteristics of the site implicitly suggested a radial distribution of the public pathways stemming from the central green park and reaching the surrounding residential compounds. The concept is to offer to the local community a continuous public space and an open and permeable community complex designed to become the heart of the neighborhood social life.



The radial axis reaching the center of the development are green extensions of the park in order to enhance the spatial quality of the private to semi-public, to public space sequence. The public space around the central park is furthermore enriched by three public features each one with a distinctive character: an interactive water feature is located in front of the Community Center; an open amphitheater is placed along the East-West axis in in front of the Kindergarten; a food street and elevated walkway connect the shopping center with the administrative office building and become a vibrant space for events and social gatherings.




The project brief required a complex that looked homogeneous despite the diverse program and that could be easily recognized as one single development. For this reason we decided to distribute the buildings radially, stretching from outside towards the inside and design each unit using similar characteristics whilst keeping a distinctive identity. The result is an array of buildings dynamically arranged towards the central public space, metaphorically making the viewer the center of the whole composition.



The architecture is designed to adapt to the subtropical climate conditions. Overhanging balconies and roof gardens together with sun-shading perforated facades provide abundant protection from Zhuhai’s hot and humid weather.



Inspired by the local Lingnan architecture decorative features of temple fronts, curved zinc roofs cover the top levels of each building which corners have been sharply raised to resemble the local heritage architecture.






Zhuhai, China


Huafa Group Co., Ltd.


35,930 sqm


49,000 sqm






Concept Design


Neighborhood Center Complex