Green Mall? Chinese Shopping Complex Aims for Eco-Friendly Status

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Can a massive retail complex with a giant water feature at its core ever really be eco-friendly? The design for the Hanhai Dongfeng Town Center by Los Angeles- and Shanghai-based architecture firm amphibianArc aims to reinvent the modern shopping mall with all-LED lighting, vertical greenery throughout the interior and a roof garden, representing a “radical interpretation” that raises awareness about environmental protection.

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“Zhengzhou is among the country’s top 10 most-polluted cities,” says the firm. “To raise the citizen’s awareness on environmental protection and aid in the creation of a microclimate for visitors, the design adopt both horizontal and vertical greening into the building. The roof garden,t together with visible indoor green spaces to the street level pedestrians, proposes a new alternative for enhancing the condition of the urban environment, while maximizing landscape efficiency.”

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The complex is to become an urban landmark with its futuristic design, incorporating a ribbon-like canopy that stretches across the top of the structure and wraps around the side. At the core of the mall is an elevated fount plaza as well as an indoor canal and vertical aquarium. The greenery planted throughout the facility can help filter the air, and the rooftop park provides additional public green space to the residents of the city.


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But a mall is still a mall, and this one seems set to consume an awful lot of water, with no mention of resource-saving practices anywhere in the description of the design. What do you think – can making a few tweaks to a complex that’s essentially a shrine to consumerism ever make it green? 

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