A plaza inspired by ocean waves designed by Zaha Hadid Architects

In collaboration with firm FLO Landscape Design, ZHA completed the transformation of a public square in Chengdu, Sichuan.

Landscape firm FLO Landscape Design has completed in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects the transformation of a public plaza in Dongcheng District, China. The renovated public area – at the foot of a commercial complex spanning 300,000 m² across four buildings – now offers a range of functions to the public, suggesting possibilities for future use.

Thanks to ZHA’s parametric design, the Chengdu MixC Public Plaza now features a distinctive varicolored paving pattern that mimics ocean waves, with shaded tiles tailored to the area’s theme. The characteristic curves unify the large space into a continuous whole, while FLO’s approach enriches the human-scale experience.

FLO Landscape Design and Zaha Hadid Architects, Chengdu MixC Public Plaza Renovation, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 2023. Photo © MixC Life-Style

Prior to the renovation, the site presented problems related to its vast size – 50,000 square meters, the lack of experiential diversity, and the disconnection from the commercial environment. To solve these problems, FLO's design, in collaboration with ZHA, divides the area into three thematic plazas and three distinctive streets, each offering a unique experience tailored to specific public and commercial activities.

The central Tide Plaza incorporates blue wave patterns in its paving, creating a dynamic space for public events such as New Year's Eve celebrations and themed markets. The Wave Garden offers a sloping lawn for informal gatherings, picnics, and camping, as well as a flexible display area and photo landmark.

The Water Garden, at the western end, combines interactive water features with a resort atmosphere, transforming a redundant corner into a lively gathering place for shows and restaurants. Next door, the Garden Alley offers outdoor dining in a verdant setting, while the High Street hosts pop-up stores and brand displays. The Market Street guides visitors to the central plaza with a tree-lined pathway housing market stalls.

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