Nanchang Waves is a community center in China’s Jiangxi province that includes a spiraling observation tower.
Offering a 360-degree overview, the tower invites guests to enjoy the full experience of the neighborhood that represents the blueprint for future living and the new spirit of the city of Nanchang. Nanchang Waves derives its design concept from the surrounding waterscapes. The observation tower and surrounding public realm create versatile and welcoming spaces that enhance and connect the urban context to the natural landscape of the region.
Meant to serve as a bustling, multi-functional community hub for local residents, the design consists of three distinct zones—a unique spatial experience where the building and landscape blend together—corresponding with different natural elements: water (the front public plaza), earth (the commercial/retail spaces), and sky (the observation tower).
The landscape design of the public plaza is integrated with the ancient water culture of Nanchang and the landscape of the adjacent Elephant Lake. Each of the landscape nodes contain functions for people of different ages and provide interesting and memorable experiences.
The site’s commercial and retail zone has an accessible rooftop, designed as a continuation of the surrounding terrain. The landscape of the front square extends above a variety of public spaces and through a slowly unfolding outdoor amphitheater. The retail and commercial functions are visually linked to the neighboring open-air plaza.
The experience culminates with a dramatic observation tower that serves as a contemporary landmark for the city and emphasizes Nanchang’s historic tradition of towers. We designed the double spiral staircase as an experiential journey to the observation platform above. From the observation deck, people can get an unparalleled view of the natural landscape of the nearby wetlands, admire the city skyline in the distance, and experience the changing landscape at sunrise and sunset.