Looking at the recent projects we are working on, transit oriented development (or TOD) is a model we are seeing more of in the industry, and one that’s shaping the future of mixed use developments in China.
TODs are important to connect the city and increase efficiencies of developments to promote multifunctional use, but what does TOD really mean to retail space? Lead8 Co Founder & Executive Director David Buffonge discusses this topical subject during a panel discussion in the 8th Asia Pacific Commercial Real Estate Cooperation Forum (APCREC) held recently in Shanghai.
Looking at the recent projects we are working on, such as the ITC in Shanghai, Qianhai transit oriented development and TODTOWN Shanghai, one of the biggest benefits of access to movement is a transformation of retail space. Key considerations have been placed on access to transportation networks, the energisation of retail centers and solutions to overcome retail spatial challenges.
What might have otherwise been an inward-focused container of shops instead becomes part of an integrated network of movement – a network of systems. Given this, the concerns of designing retail space are expanded. It’s no longer just a matter of a contained space at the edge of the property, but addressing local and particularly, regional contexts. Design discussion runs from the scale of the hand to the scale of the whole city.
By taking advantage of these pathways, populations and links, spaces are expanded physically and psychologically. Physically, connections to subterranean concourses, bus nodes, bridges and so forth allow for an expansion of entry zones, and thus exploding the “main level” to multiple levels, altering the section of the building in dramatic ways.
Psychologically, integrating with myriad layers of the city tends to blur typical distinctions. As one passes through a sequence of spaces, the division between clearly defined zones become less apparent. The threshold between the different functions seems irrelevant. The spatial variety that comes with assembling a continuous, networked sequence is invigorating.
In this collection of connections we see unexpected spaces emerge and experiences happen throughout the journey. Perhaps retail environments are no longer an exclusive, defined location, but rather something integrated.
For highlights of the event, please click here.
By: Scott Craven (Lead8 Senior Architectural Designer)