The Newest in the West
Mixed development Raffles City Chengdu opens, ready to transform the way the city lives, works, shops and dines
Issue: Oct 2012
Raffles City Chengdu is an important part of CapitaLand’s portfolio in China, representing the Group’s growing interest in and commitment to the country
Rising into the azure sky and forever transforming the skyline of the capital city of Sichuan province in Southwestern China is the newly-opened, iconic Raffles City Chengdu. The fourth Raffles City in the world was officially launched on 3 September 2012.
“The development not only enhances the business and urban landscape of Chengdu’s core Central Business District but entrenches the presence of our real estate value chain in Southwest China and attests to our confidence in Sichuan’s development potential in the long-term. We look forward to contributing to Sichuan’s growth story as the province continues its rapid urbanisation process,” said Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chief Operating Officer, CapitaLand Limited and Deputy Chairman of CapitaLand China Executive Committee.
The development is part of a string of investments by local enterprises from Singapore and reinforces the dynamic economic ties between China and Singapore. Dignitaries from both countries graced its inauguration. Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore; Mr Wei Hong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Provincial Committee and Deputy Governor of Sichuan Province; together with Mr Ng Kee Choe, Chairman of CapitaLand Group and Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group and Chairman of CapitaLand China Executive Committee, joined by government officials and business leaders from China and Singapore.
Mr Wang Zhonglin, Deputy Mayor of Chengdu; Mr Wei Hong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Provincial Committee and Deputy Governor of Sichuan Province; Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore; Mr Ng Kee Choe, Chairman of CapitaLand Group and Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group
Since entering the country 18 years ago, China has become one of CapitaLand’s major markets, accounting for 41 per cent of the Group’s total assets. Today, CapitaLand owns over 120 projects with assets totalling RMB69.5 billion (S$13.7 billion) in China. In the first half of this year alone, 34 per cent of CapitaLand’s S$2.4-billion new investments focused on China.
“CapitaLand is pleased to be closely linked to the development of China’s business and urban landscape. We are confident of China’s potential as the world’s fastest growing economy. It is also well-positioned to leverage the strong bilateral economic ties between Singapore and China,” said Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group and Chairman of CapitaLand China Executive Committee.
Revitalising the City
Mr Hoon Teck Ming, Regional General Manager, Southwest China, CapitaLand China Holdings, together with Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group (third from left) and Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chief Operating Officer, CapitaLand Limited bringing Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr and Mrs Lee Hsien Loong on a tour of Raffles City Chengdu
Not only is Raffles City Chengdu an integral part of CapitaLand’s venture into western China, it is now also a vital landmark of the city. Situated along Renmin South Road in the heart of Chengdu’s international business hub, the fair-faced concrete and glass towers that make up the mixed development are hard to miss. Its connection to the interchange of Lines 1 & 3 of the Chengdu Metro also makes the development easily accessible.
With a sprawling gross floor area of 195,000 square metres, Raffles City Chengdu is city within a city, offering a total experience with a shopping mall, international Grade A offices, a hotel, serviced residences and premium residential apartments. The office tenants include Singapore companies like Silkair, Surbana and CapitaLand China. Meanwhile, the shopping mall is set to give Chengdu a taste of the world’s best. Singapore stalwarts like Bee Cheng Hiang, Charles & Keith, Food Republic have opened branches there; and 7 out of 10 of the shops are international brands. In fact, about 57 per cent of these are new-to-market names and flagship outlets.
By next year, the international high-end serviced residences, Ascott Raffles City Chengdu, will also begin operations.
Reflecting the City
In its design, Raffles City Chengdu reflects the history and culture of the city. Internationally acclaimed architect, Steven Holl, incorporated three ponds into the plaza to allude to the three gorges along the Yangtze River. His inspiration was a poem called “Time was left frozen in the Three Gorges’ by one of China’s most celebrated poets, Du Fu, who once lived in the city.
Within the mall, the gorges create three tiers that shape the interior while the ponds serve as skylights letting in natural light. Drawing the outdoors in, Holl allows for plenty of open spaces and light which slice through the buildings. He also carved three pavilions from the façade of the building to add porosity to the development. As a result, his design has been dubbed ‘Sliced Porosity Block’.
In addition to its arresting design, Raffles City Chengdu is the first development in Southwest China to be accorded the LEED-CS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Core & Shell) pre-certification at the Gold Level by the US Green Building Council for its emphasis on sustainability.
Students from CapitaLand’s Hope School, WanYufang (left) and Pan Shaohong with Mr Liew at the inauguration ceremony where the third ‘My Schoolbag’ programme was launched
Part of the City
Raffles City Chengdu seeks to be part of the city in other ways. In time, it will showcase CapitaLand’s art collection that is still in the process of being completed. CapitaArt will align with contemporary life in Chengdu. The central plaza will be a sculpture park for works by local artists and artists of the region. Among the art pieces are three sculptures by prominent Chinese artist Gao Xiao Wu and a ‘Panda family’ sculpture by well-known artist Julien Marinetti. In the office lobby, there are paintings by Chinese artists Wu Ming Zhong (He Bei) and Fu Zuo Xin (Taiwan).
Already, the mixed development has been part of CapitaLand’s philanthropic endeavours. Mr Liew flagged off this year’s ‘My Schoolbag’ programme in China at the inauguration ceremony. In its third year, the initiative benefited about 19,000 grade 1 primary schoolchildren from 19 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China. These underprivileged children received their first schoolbags and stationery in preparation for school. Among these children were students from 13 CapitaLand Hope Schools across China.
Raffles City Chengdu is not merely the newest addition to the landscape of Chengdu, it has incorporated itself into the life and lifestyle of the city. This mixed development is all set to redefine life in the western part of China.