Harmony Plaza, Harbin, China
Har er bin, nicknamed the "Ice City” for its legendary and brutally cold winters is the capital and largest city in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province. Song River New Town is positioned to capture the vitality and energy as well as the emerging prosperity of its populace. It is a mixed use planned development located on an urban 20 acre (8 hectare) parcel and comprises approximately 250,000 sm. GFA, including a multi-level shopping mall/entertainment center, two high rise Class A office buildings and two high rise residential apartment towers. In collaboration with the design architect, RTKL, Bennitt Design Group comprehensively developed the integrated contemporary collection of public streetscapes, open spaces and residential roof garden/amenity decks. Acknowledging the severity of climate, especially the long winters, these gardens include strategically located water/ice features and sculptures, architecturally integrated wind shelters and overhead canopies together with cheerfully bright and dynamic paving patterns. A sustainable, simple and horticulturally appropriate palette of plant materials unifies the composition.