Nanchang Fashion Factory

rendering of a modern industrial complex of buildings interconnected with bridges, pedestrian walkways, and vehicular roadways, surrounded by greenery and urban context
  • qLab
  • Design Competition
  • Architecture
  • Urban Design
This design competition submission demonstrates how the city of Nanchang can emerge from its industrial beginnings. A defunct wool factory was reimagined as a shopping centre, innovation hub and event space for the city's newly emerging creative class. A vibrant public realm and a sculpted new modern building envelop the old factory, creating a play between new and old, revolving around a floating atrium that would house fashion shows, performances and exhibitions.

In keeping with the evolution of the city of Nanchang, and China in general, there is a greater aspiration and opportunity for creative industry. Given its location and evocative existing built form, the redevelopment of the Nanchang Yarn Factory is a prime opportunity for the establishment of a creative hub.

This hub will bring together incubator opportunities based on academic partnerships which turn talent and ideas into industry. The redevelopment is centred around an evolution of the fashion industry, bringing consumers together with thought leaders to enable commerce, conferences, events and education.

As with every redevelopment of this nature, the obligation is to look beyond itself and act as a catalyst for broader urban change.

Beyond the bricks and mortar, and beyond the activity of the site, this project acts as a cultural anchor promoting the talents and opportunities of Nanchang to the greater region.

Timeline diagram showing Industrialization, Industrialized, De-industrialization, and Post-industrialization uses for Nanchang Fashion District compared to Toronto

We have used a metaphor of weaving and created a tapestry of activity and circulation to bring together the different activities of the site into a single cultural hub and regional destination.

A concept of heritage is only worthwhile if it enables existing buildings to once again become relevant. By understanding the existing layers of buildings, what is important, valuable and useful and what isn’t, we are able to strip away the clutter and insert new and contrasting contemporary built form.

An understanding of the ecological opportunities of the site is imperative to creating a meaningful project that will serve as a testament to future generations.

By introducing new buildings and a variety of uses we are able to create a series of synergies that feed off each other. Where these different threads intersect, we have created nodes that celebrate the project in the form of places for people to congregate.

Spatial relations surface study

colourful diagram showing indoor and site organization for Nanchang Fashion District

The introduction of a mixture of uses enables a four-dimensional landmark to evolve. By putting culture and history alongside research and incubator opportunities, we anticipate a reinforcement of commercial opportunity that is active with consumer interest. Floating above it all is the event space where fashion shows and events will take place, and that is connected to hospitality and opportunities for idea sharing. The new digital economy is served by a showroom/distribution centre which identifies the entire project as a regional icon.

Sketch of office conference centre

Heritage structures and green space connected by elevated walkways.

Splash water feature in the Nanchang Fashion Factory design competition submission open gathering space

Interior walkway within a glass structure from the Nanchang Fashion Factory architectural design competition submission