Buchan Boosts Retail Presence In China

Construction on Raffles City Changning in Shanghai is complete, unveiling the latest instalment of Buchan’s Retail presence in China.  

Raffles City Changning comprises two retail podiums, three office towers and five heritage buildings restored from the former St Mary’s School – the first girls’ school in Shanghai – and will be a lifestyle destination that combines both new buildings and the site’s existing heritage buildings.

The integrated development will feature a large shopping mall, gourmet supermarket, cinema, restaurants and entertainment experiences. 

The significant retail project is the second Raffles City development in Shanghai for CapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies.

Working collaboratively with P&T Architects from Hong Kong, The Buchan Group was responsible for the planning and interior design of the retail podium. 

Buchan Director Phil Schoutrop said CapitaLand wanted to replicate the success of Buchan’s previous work in Shanghai and create a unique mixed-use destination that complements the established culture and history in this western area of Shanghai.

“The biggest challenge for this project was the existing site conditions,” Mr Schoutrop said. 

“We needed to work around a number of heritage buildings and also the Shanghai Metro for which there are two lines next to, and under, the site. 

“The design aims to give the mall a unique elegant style of its own while acknowledging the rich historical heritage of St Mary’s School, the materials and textures of the area, and the changing local urban landscape.

“The mall is divided into two zones by the existing heritage buildings on the site. The ‘Great Lawn’ that sits between the buildings is a large open green space that, combined with the school buildings, forms a unique meeting and gathering space for the residents and customers alike. 

“Each part of the mall then houses different uses and spaces for different customers. A mixture of fashion and lifestyle tenants with entertainment, and dining options, combines to create a strong sense of journey and place for the locals and visitors alike,” he said. 

The retail component will encompass 114,761m2, almost half of the development’s 260,933m2 total size.