打造特色商业街区 | 经典八达国际的现代化诠释手法

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What makes a great retail street?



Based on our research and reference case studies, we have identified in the classical European commercial street the ideal prototype of a great retail street, and we then studied the historical architectural elements of what makes a truly authentic city street, and why it is successful or makes it commercially viable.
We found that the two main traits of great streets are the following:

They evolved organically over time and are representative of a historic period of time, a cultural, agricultural past, communal behavior, enhanced paths or trade routes

They are conceived and built in response to current urban development or redevelopment trends, future city aspirations or market condition responses indicative of a modernized period of time.

Here are, in details, the attributes of what makes a truly great retail street:
1.有机发展 Organic Growth 

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Our studies show that most European cities developed along circulation corridors. The architecture grows around them in a very intimate and compact way. We find that city plazas and courtyards are the larger public spaces within the cities and are designed to accommodate the village, town or city inhabitants for special events and community gatherings. Everything about the authentic European city, whether it be roadways, pedestrian allays, commercial streets, or iconic architecture reinforces human scale and proportion, directly related to its environment and time period.

2.经典 Timeless 

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Every great classical European city evolved organically over time, celebrating geographic constraints such as access to natural resources, hill town attributes or river front life forces, trade routes and or cultural individuality. These cities represent early development that has lasted the test of time and are still there for us to enjoy and experience today. These cities evoke human senses, emotions and speak about the“Uniqueness of Place”.

3. 原创性 Authenticity 

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In classical European cities the architecture developed organically over time and was in direct response to geographic location, local materials, environmental conditions and pre-industrial human labor forces. Cities were built over decades with attention to detail and craftmanship that can no longer be replicated today, each city was built during a specific period of time that celebrated construction sophistication, technology and engineering limitations of its time.  During enlightened periods, the wealth of classical European cities were showcased through its architecture of primary iconic importance and developed during times of high urban growth and economic prosperity. Today the modern abstraction of classical architectural style is often misrepresented as simply a façade treatment applied to three dimensional box of similar scale or proportion.

The Gensler's approach in building successful retail streets 


Based on our studies and vision, we are proposing a modern architectural abstraction within key elements of European architecture. We do not advise our clients to pursue a pure replica of classic European architecture in order to make the place unique or a destination based on this approach. Rather we advise integrating anchoring systems, in order to create a unique Experiential Place as opposed to a stylized development that has been done over and over in China over the past 10-15 years with varying degrees of success and failure.

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Most of the “duplitecture” constructions in fact (a term coined by Bianca Bosker, author of the book “Original Copies” ) failed to meet expectations, becoming soulless places or empty tourist attractions where to snap wedding photos. Very often the big mistake is not considering local people needs, customs and lifestyles (Feng Shui is one example) and in general the modern design trends, which are very different from the ones of the past.

For these reasons, the Gensler's approach in building a successful commercial retail street is not limited to simply reproduce the aesthetic elements of the classic street, but our main goal instead is to integrate and blend modern ideas of technology and innovation with elements of European architecture. The elements will be abstracted into a modern approach and expressed based on today's design trends. Only in that way we can give birth to a whole new identity and create the real “uniqueness of the place”.

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| 该商业项目融合了德国巴伐利亚传统城镇住宅和店面的八达国际格局,同时保留了两者的突出特征。尖顶造型是传统欧洲城市的常见房屋样式。

The commercial development combines the organizational structures of the traditional Bavarian townhouse and shop-house without losing the performative characteristics of each type. The cluster of these volumes with pitched roofs celebrates what is common to the conventional European cities.

We are not driven by creating a style but rather producing projects that are reflection of our time and the people that will come to visit, play, dine, shop, relax and spend their time within our built environment.

Our focus is creating space for the consumers to feel they are part of a unique Place with a variety of offerings and interactive opportunities and not as though they are in a Bavarian hill town, in London or Venice. We do not believe that the commercial street should become a classical European stylized theme park similar to Disneyland.

Today's consumers are young, technologically savvy, smart, selective and driven by high level of interaction and experience. They travel more than ever before and are constantly seeking something new, hip, vibrant, fun and explorative. It is not the style of architecture which attracts consumers, it is the attractions themselves which do this.

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