A new 426,073-square-meter (4,586,212-square-foot) mixed-use development is slated to take shape in the heart of Shanghai’s financial center, the Bund. Designed by the team of Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio, the Bund Finance Center complex will be anchored by two 180-meter (591-foot) towers and include offices, a boutique hotel, an arts center, retail, and a landscaped public plaza at ground level. Six shorter buildings, stepped in height, will attempt to relate to the scale of the Bund’s Art Deco and revivalist banks of the early 1900s

The Bund, known officially as Zhongshan East First Road, occupies the west bank of the Huangpu River. Pedestrian promenades link heavy retail traffic from the Bund’s north end to the former French Concession to the south; the new development inserts a retail podium at the southernmost end. "The project has given us an exciting opportunity to create a glamorous new destination,” Foster + Partners head of design David Nelson said in a release.

Recent developments across the river in the Pudong district have included the Shanghai World Financial Center, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and the Shanghai Tower, by Gensler—currently under construction—which join the 1994 Pearl Tower, by Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co., and the 1999 Jin Mao Tower, designed by Adrian Smith, FAIA, while he was at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

"Sitting at the gateway to Shanghai’s Old Town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years,” Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, said in a release. “In filling this last empty site on Shanghai’s famous Bund, the concept is inspired by China’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage."

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