International architecture practice, 10 Design, reveals the scheme for CIFI Kunming Plaza, a retail mixed
use destination in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan in China. The design for this 280,000 sqm
development is rooted in the city’s natural terraced landscape and its year-round spring-like weather,
aiming to provide ample outdoor spaces with an open retail street.
10 Design was appointed after winning an international competition. The project is located at the north
of the old city centre in an up-and-coming neighbourhood where new residential and mixed-use
developments are surging. The scheme comprises of two interconnected malls, a retail street, and three
serviced apartment towers that seek to embrace the vibrancy of Kunming and provide seamless
connectivity with the nearby transport hubs.
The design team led by Design Partners, Chin Yong Ng and Lukasz Wawrzenczyk, commented: “The key
driver of the design is the creation of an outdoor retail street that simulates a green valley, winding across
the site between the shopping malls and the towers. This green valley is symbolic of the terraced
landscape of Kunming, designed to create a dynamic retail experience by seamlessly integrating the
indoor space of the malls and towers with the outdoor retail street.”
This harmony of integration is achieved by incorporating a variety of external features into the design,
blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. From external dining terraces to leafy balconies,
open plazas, and a walkable rooftop, this new destination creates unique experiences by generating
exceptional outdoor spaces that visitors can enjoy during the year-round temperate climate.
The retail street also interconnects the shopping malls to the residential towers across the site at multiple
levels, creating multiple access points. One of the main entrances is situated at a large sunken plaza, which
is also designed to hold outdoor events.
The overall design is inspired by autochthonous elements translated in a contemporary way. The silver
aluminum façade of the shopping malls evokes the idea of Chinese silk wrapped around the jewel-like
golden mesh window boxes that serve as key entrance points. On the other hand, the design of the retail
street resembles the local weaving crafts mixed with green terraced slopes and pocket gardens that mimic
the rural Kunming landscape. The rooftop of the malls serves as fully accessible green terraces with open
views towards the spring city of Kunming and the sunken gardens below.
The three high-rise towers accommodate 1500 serviced apartments, which provide double-height and
flexible spaces that have proven popular amongst the younger population. Two low-rise buildings host
the shopping malls across 100,000 sqm of retail, leisure and food & beverage spaces. The entertainment
facilities are located at the top floors of the malls to enhance footfall circulation, including a cinema, a
gym and a clubhouse with an indoor swimming pool.
CIFI Kunming Plaza brings local elements from the vibrant region of Yunnan into a contemporary
development that creates a destination for the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Kunming.
Name: CIFI Kunming Plaza
Location: Kunming, China
Client: CIFI Group
Scope by 10 Design: Architecture
Type: Mixed-Use, Shopping Mall, Retail Street, Serviced Apartment
Site Area: 49,587 sqm
GFA: 283,828 sqm
Status: Winner of International Design Competition
10 Design Team
Design Partners | Chin Yong Ng, Lukasz Wawrzenczyk
Project Leaders | Carrie Wang, Ren Wen, Javier Perea
Architecture | Nicole Wang, Jeff Widjaja, Isla Song, Mujung Kang, Thien Ly, Karl Ostgard, Ted Tan, Leo
Liu, Rochana Verma, Tipa Thiptanee
CGI | Peter Alsterholm, Yasser Salomon, Lulu Guo, Henry Han
10 Design – Lead Design Architect
ARCHINA – Local Architect, Structural Engineer
WSP – MEP Engineer, Traffic Engineer
OUTPUT – Free eye 3D screen