How a historic seaport is reimagining the future through Ningbo East New Town

Ningbo, China

The Ningbo East New Town master plan is an expansive mixed-use development that will transform a historic seaport city into a thriving center for finance and international trade. In the heart of the Yangtze River Delta, Ningbo is one of China’s oldest cities. Ningbo, which translates to “serene waters,” has been a key foreign trading port for centuries. This master plan unites the area’s unique natural resources and existing water network to form a modern new city that aligns with Ningbo’s skyline and is flexible to support continued urban growth.

“Each aspect of the architecture is designed to celebrate Ningbo’s rich cultural roots and express optimism for its bright future."
— David P. Chen, AIA 

East New Town's relationship with Historic Old Town.

A thriving city center composed of five unique districts 

The master plan establishes five districts that will build connected communities, increase economic development, and expand Ningbo’s cultural vibrancy. Bridges and green space will unite the districts, with a cohesive architectural language throughout.

Landmark District

New Town’s cultural and entertainment destination, the Landmark District will be home to a sweeping 450-meter mixed-use tower, a 2,500-seat flexible-use theater, an expansive retail podium, and a central plaza.  

Riverside District

The Riverside District features three retail buildings along the riverfront, with architectural design inspired by traditional Chinese lantern symbols of hope and luck.  

Central Park

Adjacent to the Landmark District is Central Park, a lush green public gathering space designed by OJB Landscape Architecture that includes an amphitheater, children’s park, café, scenic pedestrian bridge, gardens, and canal.  

Business Center

On the east side of Central Park, the Business Center will feature world-class office space and amenities. 

Residential District

To the south of the Business Center, the Residential District will be home to six luxury towers with a wide range of living choices.  

An inspiring anchor for the Landmark District 

Stretching 450 meters high, this striking mixed-use tower in the Landmark District tapers as it rises, culminating in a transparent crown that appears to merge with the sky. A four-level retail podium and public plaza curves around the tower’s base with a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings for day and night. At the end of the development’s primary east-west boulevard, this versatile plaza is the vibrant centerpiece of Ningbo East New Town, an inviting public gathering space that can be transformed into a venue for performances and events.

The tower meets the ground softly and curves upward, creating a dramatic and welcoming entrance. 

The facades are soft and light, with the appearance of stacked geometric shapes that distinguish the building’s levels.  

More About the Project

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Shanghai Institute of Architectural Design & Research
  • Structural Engineer: ARUP
  • MEP: ARUP
  • Facade: Meinhardt

Project Information

  • Location: Ningbo, China
  • Client: Evergrande Real Estate Group
  • Size: 7,840,000 sq. ft. / 700,000 sq. m.
  • Height: 1,450 ft. / 450 m.
  • Completion: 2025
  • Firm Role: Master planner, Design Architect
  • Renderings courtesy of Shining SNT

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