Seashells on the sea shore: Benoy inspired by coastal landscape for new Hainan leisure destination
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Seashells on the sea shore: Benoy inspired by coastal landscape for new Hainan leisure destination

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Our vision is to bring a completely new experience and break the mould for retail-led tourism developments in Haitang Bay
– Ferdinand Cheung, director at Benoy

architecture firm Benoy have released their latest designs for a retail-led leisure destination on China’s reclaimed Hexin Island in Hainan province.

The 32,000sq m (34,400sq ft) project is the second phase of the wider Sanya Eyot scheme – a resort, billed as “the largest of its kind in the world”, being developed by the China International Travel Service to integrate leisure, high-end hospitality and natural attractions.

Benoy have visualised a porous and multi-layered environment to bring a point of difference to their new site, which will connect to the rest of the resort on Hainan via a pedestrian bridge.

A number of distinctive, small-scale buildings will be clustered together, creating a series of indoor and outdoor spaces to host entertainment and retail activities. A multitude of large canopy structures, inspired by seashells in form and colour, will feature above the buildings – grounding the design in its sea-side context.

“The canopy designs have not only allowed us to fulfil the brief for the project environmentally, helping to encourage air circulation and provide sun shading within this known humid and hot climate, but they also bring a real identity to the scheme,” said Janet Chan, senior associate director at Benoy.

“Their form and colour connect back to the coastal and resort quality of the site and they gave us the platform to showcase our conceptual innovation within the design.”

A succession of elevated walkways will span through the site, connecting buildings together. The north end of the development will be anchored by a newly-proposed covered market area and a large aquarium. A reflective pool will bookend the market space and provide the backdrop for an outdoor dining area.

“Our vision is to bring a completely new experience and break the mould for retail-led tourism developments in Haitang Bay,” said Ferdinand Cheung, director at Benoy. “The scheme will provide visitors with a concept not yet seen before in this area.”

The reclamation of Hexin Island is already complete, and construction is expected to begin this year.

Benoy are collaborating with local design firm the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, environmental consultant THUPDI and bridge design practice Hugh Dutton Associés.

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Architecture firm Benoy have released their latest designs for a retail-led leisure destination on China’s reclaimed Hexin Island in Hainan province.
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