Completed in 2023 in Jiaxing’s Nanhu District, Seed Plaza by B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio epitomizes modern design and community engagement. Located just 10 kilometers east of downtown, this project represents an evolving relationship between architecture and the environment, especially in the post-pandemic era, where the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces is increasingly blurred.
Seed Plaza in Jiaxing Technical Information
- Architects1-6: B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
- Location: Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China
- Topics: Spatial Layers
- Area: 7000 m2
- Project Year: 2021 – 2023
- Photographs: © Eiichi Kano, © Qingyan Zhu
As an architecture with a 1:1 ratio of indoor and outdoor spaces, Seed Plaza provides people with a space that allows them to take a break and connects with nature. Through people’s walking and roaming, the plaza inspires their self-exploration and establishes intimate neighborhood relationship, and expands the boundaries of life.
– B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio Architects
Seed Plaza in Jiaxing Photographs
Blurring the Lines Between Indoor and Outdoor
Seed Plaza is strategically positioned at the juncture of urban development and natural landscapes, encapsulating the essence of both worlds. Surrounded by a mix of residential, commercial, agricultural, and park areas, the plaza is designed to serve as a dynamic core for the neighborhood. It functions as both an exhibition center and retail space, with plans to evolve into a community hub for the surrounding areas.
The design concept of “Half indoors, half outdoors” reflects a growing societal preference for natural interactions and outdoor living, spurred by the global pandemic’s impact on social behavior. This approach aims to blend the urban with the natural, creating an architectural form that is as open and integrated with its environment as possible. The plaza boasts an impressive 3500 m2 of outdoor space within its 7000 m2 footprint, challenging conventional real estate models by prioritizing non-indoor spaces without sacrificing commercial viability.
“Half city, half nature” further emphasizes the project’s intent to create a microcosm of urban life within its architecture. The plaza comprises 20 stacked boxes, each representing varied and dynamic elements of urbanity and nature. These boxes, alongside floor slabs, create grey spaces for exploration and movement, reminiscent of city streets and alleys. This design encourages visitors to roam freely, discovering the spontaneity and uniqueness that daily life can offer.
Moreover, the architectural form is designed to adapt to future functional needs, transitioning smoothly from a real estate exhibition space to a full-fledged community center. This flexibility ensures that Seed Plaza can evolve in response to the changing dynamics of the neighborhood and its residents.
Spatial organization is another crucial element of the design. Four floors serve as platforms that step back in a terraced manner, mimicking a mountainous terrain. This provides a lively and dynamic facade and creates semi-outdoor spaces that foster communal interactions reminiscent of urban street life. The integration of greenery in these spaces and on the rooftop forest enhances the connection to nature and promotes a sense of well-being among visitors.
Material choices for the facade and interior spaces further reflect the design philosophy, emphasizing a sense of art and integrity through the use of gray and white tones, metal panels, wood panels, and stone. These materials differentiate the various boxes and their functions and create a rich, neighborhood-like atmosphere that invites exploration and engagement.
Seed Plaza in Jiaxing Plans
Seed Plaza in Jiaxing Image Gallery
About B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio, founded in 2014 by Japanese architects Shuhei Aoyama and Yoko Fujii in Beijing, embodies a youthful and vibrant approach to architecture and interior design. The studio’s name, an acronym for Beijing Laboratory for Urban Environment, encapsulates its core philosophy of exploring the dynamic interaction between Beijing’s rich historical tapestry and cutting-edge ideas. Engaged in a diverse array of projects across major cities globally, including architectural and urban renewal projects, cultural spaces, and lifestyle studies, B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio is renowned for its innovative contributions to the cultural and urban landscape.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Architectural Design: Shuhei Aoyama, Yoko Fujii, Haoxiang Rong, Nailun Chen, Jingyuan Li, Yuting Wang, Xinyi Zhang, Yu Nagasaki
- Landscape Design: WTD Group
- Facade (Curtain Wall) Design: Hangzhou Jiawei Curtain Wall Decoration Co., Ltd.
- Sign Design: Boxi Sign
- Lighting Design: ZOE Lighting Design
- Client: Jiaxing Shihe New Rural Development Co., Ltd. & Jiaxing Vanke Real Estate Development Co., Ltd.
- Site Area: 2750 m2
- Materials: Raw Concrete Coating, Aluminum Panels, Stainless Steel, Precast Aggregate Concrete Panels, Facade Wood Veneer Panels, Glass, Exposed Aggregate Concrete, Laminated Bamboo
Structure Type Concrete Frame Structure