Greentown • Young City Demonstration Area, Harbin [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Photographer: Zhang Yang Photo copyrights: Harbin Young City Real Estate Co., Ltd.


Project Overview

Young City is located in Xiangfang District of Harbin City, enclosed by Antong Street, Hongxing Street, a planning road, and Diantan Road. Occupying a plot area of 301,500m2 and with a gross floor area of 699,800m2, it's a residential development built above the inspection and repair shed and depot of Metro Line 3. Young City actively explores its connection with key elements of the city, transforms the stereotypically cold image of metro stations, activate previously lifeless elements, so as to create a liveable, pleasant, and attractive urban interface.
As the demonstration area and sales center of Young City, the project is located in the southeast corner, which is closest to the 3rd Ring Road with convenient traffic, and is set up along the southern side of Antong Street.

Project Commissioner

Greentown China Holdings Limited

Project Creator



Sun Hang, Xu Yunfei

Project Brief

Located in Harbin, the project is the demonstration area and sales center of a transit-oriented residential development built above the depot of Metro Line 3, representing the image and quality of the entire community. By designing a small metro-superstructure demonstration area, the project aims to echo the future lifestyle in the transit-oriented residential development, and at the same time to play a demonstrative role in various aspects such as facade effect, scene creation, and detail treatment, embodying design idea that pursues exquisiteness, elegance and puts quality first. In addition, the design needs to ensure that after fulfilling the task as a property sales center, the project can be smoothly converted into commercial functions and serve future residents and parks above the metro line.
The whole building is a two-storey volume. The first floor presents a unified facade in the form of pure ultra-white glass, which weakens the sense of volume and sets off the lightness and floating sense of the floor above. The C-shaped continuous metal line outlines the boundary of the two-storey block and further enhances its floating effect. The rooftop terrace divides the building into east and west parts, interrupting the monotonous and excessively long horizontal continuity, thus forming a rhythmic and distinctive architectural volume relationship.
The landscape garden on the northern side of the building forms a counterpoint against the functional axis within the building, creating an active interaction between the property models area, the negotiation area, and the central courtyard.

Project Innovation/Need

1. Mini metro-superstructure experiential area
The demonstration area extracts the concept of "metro superstructure" and is combined with the community park to create a superstructure park & lifestyle experience area. The spiral stairway set in the small courtyard on the west side of the building forms a more fun circulation route leading visitors directly to the rooftop garden on the second floor. The garden can either be joined or separated with the indoor space, providing diversified functional experiences. Various spaces such as book bar, exhibition, bar, cafe and salon enrich the themes of the sales center and create a true “living scene on the mini metro superstructure”.
2. Display of community image
Through the interaction of metal, glass, stone and other materials, the interpenetrating volumes and enclosing lines, a horizontal and continuous “window” facing the city is created, which is also a modern-style commercial display surface along the street. In addition to service, leisure, and display, the project also highlights the youthful and vigorous image of the entire community. It has the ambition to promote development of the community and the wider region.

Design Challenge

1. Compatibility of functional spaces
The design adopts a general column network and divides multiple spaces to satisfy the functions of the sales center in the early stage and the conversion to commercial functions in latter stages. The period for serving as a property sales center is relatively long, and the division of various spaces of different sizes needs to adapt to market changes in the later stage. When used as a property sales center, the focus is to create two large spaces. The 6-metre-high property model area faces south and is set along the street, while the negotiation area on the north faces the large garden, creating a relatively private yet stable negotiating atmosphere.
2. Coordination and communication between different professions
From design to construction, coordination between architecture, decoration, and landscape teams was particularly important. Outdoor elevation differences, Entrance and exit slopes and drainage, contradiction among heights of beams, pipelines and indoor ceilings, were all solved through the collaboration between various professions.
3. Control of architectural proportions and detailing
From the relationship between large blocks to the accuracy (down to the millimetres) of line width, from the division of glass panels to the size of vertical concaves, all these were meticulously refined and optimized.
4. Technical challenges
To guarantee conciseness and transparency of the 1F volume on the south side, technical means were adopted to meet the fire-safety requirements for smoke ventilation. An exterior continuous facade along the street formed by dozens of 5.5m-high fixed glass panels is installed.


1. Architectural form design
The form of the building was optimized to reduce the unevenness and control its coefficients. The exterior surface utilizes hollow energy-saving glass to satisfy the required energy-saving parameters while ensuring the facade effect.
2. Reduction of demolition and modification
Considering that the sales center may eventually be transformed and divided into commercial shops, the design avoided possible excessive demolition and modification, thereby ensuring economic sustainability and reducing material waste at the same time.
3. Sustainable details
Each entrance is accompanied with a foyer to form a space which guarantees indoor thermal insulation under extreme conditions in Harbin during winter. Greening of the rooftop not only improves the ecological environment of the overall space, but also reduces the energy consumption of indoor air-conditioning.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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