Gemdale Wuhan / ASPECT Studios


Wuhan, China. Capital of Central province of Hubei, and the setting for the One City development project by Gemdale, with public domain design by Stephen Buckle and the team at ASPECT Studios Shanghai.

  • Landscape design: ASPECT Studios

  • Location: Han Yang Da Dao, Wuhan Shi, Hubei Sheng, China

  • Landscape Design Director: Stephen Buckle

  • Landscape Design Team: Cameron Archie, FangYu Lee, Penny Ren. Sam Xu

  • Area: 35900.0 m2

  • Project Year: 2018

Comprising a cultural and art center, commercial precinct, and eco-shopping gardens, the design of this new mixed-use project is deeply rooted in local culture and people-oriented sustainability - a cultural, social, and commercial center as a place for family, recreation and work.


This brief called for a landmark destination that reflects contemporary Wuhan culture. Our design response abstracts the mythological Chinese Phoenix (originating in Hubei Chu) into a narrative for the flowing land-scape whose fluid lines guide people through the social gathering and event spaces.


A solar ‘tree’ defines the main gathering space of the central plaza casting an extensive canopy across the main entertainment space sheltering people from sun and rain. To its east, the Phoenix reflection pool and dancing fountains flanked by locally selected tree species is a multifunctional play space for children, reflection pool, and summer entertainment space surrounded with shaded seating for parents and on-lookers. South of the water plaza, a series of signature sweeping walls sculptured from local stone, create a visual interplay between each other, structured to deliberately bring people physically closer together to encourage social interaction in the dappled shade.


Throughout the public realm, the design captures a bird's moments in flight, a flutter of wings and feathers, and colors infused into the elements. A sweeping language of the Phoenix unifies public space, while the dramatic local natural rock forest formations of Wuhan have inspired the form and character of the bespoke pre-cast active edges that frame the perimeter development.


Specialist lighting design integrates the precinct’s architecture and landscape, helping it transition to users changing demographics from weekdays to evenings and weekends. From a place of interaction and commerce to a recreational play space.



“Grand and inspiring, humanistic, and engaging. It’s a landscape of many facets, scales, and experiences, each contributing to a dynamic new public domain. The careful selection of native trees and shrubs will bring a seasonal dimension to the design, as the spaces take on different characters through the year,” says, Stephen Buckle, Studio Director ASPECT Studios Shanghai.

Reference: "One City development, Gemdale Wuhan / ASPECT Studios" 10 Aug 2018. ArchDaily.<> ISSN 0719-8884

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