Fuyang Ying River East

The business area includes an iconic super high-rise building with a height of 180 meters as well as low-rise commercial streets for continental European style shopping.
The relationship between Anhui Province and the German State of Lower Saxony are a foundation for tourism and for the transfer of technology and tradition in beer brewing and other related businesses. German-style Biergartens are placed along the river bank providing an authentic atmosphere of German leisure culture.

The location of the plot offers splendid views towards the river delta and the city centre directly behind. In order to take advantage of the views and the location along the river, revitalizing the waterfront and creating reasonably sized commercial facilities is decisive for the success of the project. Three main design principles have been traced:
Maximized view connections, attractive work spaces & leisure activities, and a public Waterfront Promenade.

A continuous circuit linking the main commercial areas at strategic points supports the development to become a vivid, active area with diverse functions.
Located straight in the axis of the delta, the office and hotel towers rotate their direction, thus emphasizing the views towards the delta. The towers are designed to create a choreographic three-dimensional silhouette along the river. At the same time they are facing the green island towards the south, providing visual connections and welcoming the traffic crossing the bridge.
Creating a commercial podium at several levels is a strategy to expand the views to the delta. Directing the commercial area towards the centre and entering from the main access points, leads people in and contains the flow inside. It helps creating an important core for business and commerce.

The residential area comprises high-end apartments with best views towards the Ying River and the city center beyond. The residential buildings have two orientations to optimize both the views towards the river and the sun exposure. Different angles between the buildings avoid blocking the views.

Qinhuangdao HSR Station district

By adding contemporary and green architecture and by inventing and developing a convenient infrastructure for vehicles and pedestrians to cross from one side of the station to the other without interference.
The urban expansion around the station will be seen as proof of a tolerant, modern and smart city, adding both mature and charming features to the city image.

RhineScheme’s task was to design the non-residential areas only.
The northern intervention site occupies a total area of 9.3 ha; the smaller south site has 3.4 ha.
The functions inside the southern area interact as a small town, with a five star hotel, office towers and commercial street, where people have a pleasant stay, workplaces and shopping facilities directly connected to the HSR train station. The uses are organized around a series of interconnected plazas forming a semi-circle with focus on the train station.

The northern areas welcome the passengers with a pair of super high-rise towers, both 205 meters tall. These twin towers create an iconic landmark in the new city skyline.
The further north is marked by mainly residential areas, where low-rise commercial streets along the Central Avenue and the avenue surrounding the train station offer convenient shopping and leisure facilities.

The Cloud Yizhuang

To make it more attractive for potential buyers, this high-rise building should integrate service facilities that other developments in the vicinity do not or cannot offer, furthermore have a strong and unique, icon-like image easy to remember by name and by its shape.
These requirements and goals find an answer in an innovative building concept: The Cloud.

A building which creates at the same time individuality and community feeling by its arena-like interior that provides a positive, optimistic working atmosphere and that integrates attractive services in its podium and on its accessible and passable roofscape.
Compared with any kind of typical office tower, this building offers excellent possibilities of self-projection.
Compared with neighbouring business parks, the Cloud creates a dense business atmosphere, and by fostering communication and exchange it provides the basis for creativity. It is the best expression of commitment to employees and city development.

But not only the envelope is innovative; it is the spatial concept as a whole: Every office is like an individual townhouse – surrounding a central atrium, with individual access from different galleries. The program provides a great flexibility of spaces which can rapidly and efficiently adapt to changes.
The cloud concept is innovative, creative, communicative, open-minded, future-oriented, self-confident and sustainable in itself.

Changchun 1948

Seeing the industrial heritage of the past as a chance to form attractive, creative, innovative spaces, is still not much developed in China. Singular and successful attempts in the biggest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, are exceptions. In Changchun, RhineScheme made a variety of proposals in the form of feasibility studies and business/usage concepts of how to keep and integrate a suitable amount of the old factory halls and revive them with new functions.

Some of the iconic factory buildings as well as typical, unique, sometimes peculiar industrial relics of the past have been seamlessly integrated. A number of fascinating artefacts found in situ have been transformed into artistic sculptures. In the same way landscape elements – mainly the immense rows of big trees having grown on the plot for over 60 years – could be preserved and become part of the new ‘commercial landscape’. Even if a complete conservation of the old building structures was not always possible, brick materials have been re-used extensively in facades and pavements, and great efforts have been made in reshaping buildings that resemble the local findings.

This exceptional commercial area is tailored to local culture and conditions and also to Changchun’s specific urban planning history with Russian influence.
The project is an outstanding case study and one of the early examples in China transforming an abandoned industrial site into a successful mixed-use area. Especially in the evening and night hours ‘Changchun 1948’ unfolds a special charm and magic atmosphere.

Quelle Complex Nuremberg

The “Quelle mail-order machine” with its approximately 250,000 m² usable area is probably the most consistent realization of a perfected logistic concept. To this day, the building impresses with monumentality and lightness.
After the insolvency of Quelle Group in 2009, 82 years after its founding, all conveyor systems were dismantled; the former function is barely visible in the building today.

In 2015, the hammer of the auctioneer fell in the foreclosure sale of the Quelle Shipping Center at 16.8 million Euros for the Portuguese real estate developer Sonae Sierra, who would like to rebuild the area.
RhineScheme’s German partner practice ksg, who developed a usage concept for the Quelle building, is also involved in the further planning. The future complex is intended to offer a mix of shopping, commercial, sports and community facilities.

Dongli Lake European Town

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in countries like Spain, Italy and Greece, a number of beautiful ancient ‘white villages’ can be found. The vernacular design of these villages forms a unique ecological and sustainable environment.
They are spectacular places which express the traditional life in Europe and provide a sense of relaxation, enjoyment and romance.The intention of this project is to become an alternative for the so-called ‘European style’ spread all over China creating a very unilateral image of Europe. It also tries to avoid the mistakes of unbalanced developments which end up in greatly artificial environments with cheap and unsteady character.

After intensive research in order to understand the key features that make the ‘white villages’ so special, it became evident that it is not sufficient to stay on the surface and just copy the architecture (facades), if one wants to capture the essence and atmosphere of these villages. A design method was developed that follows the organic planning, the pattern of narrow streets and squares of differing size, the scale, shapes and volumes of the buildings (traditionally painted in white) which altogether create this unique and vivid environment. 

Inspired by the architecture and urban planning of the traditional ‘white villages’, RhineScheme’s design incorporates winding streets, public and intimate plazas, charming white houses, varied windows and balconies, beautiful courtyards, lakeshore promenades, native vegetation, as well as an attractive mix of recreational, commercial, civic, leisure, retail and residential functions scattered across the master plan, all of which provide the intended casual, humane and lively atmosphere.

The design provides the highest quality of living, working and recreational environment. It emphasizes the difference between the busy urban character of the small town and the natural and quiet appearance of the adjacent ‘Wedding Park’.

The existing water landscape of Dongli Lake has been carefully developed, and additional landscape features have been integrated, creating a continuous urban landscape with unique view connections. People will enjoy an exciting mix of green relaxation and dynamic recreation, and experience beautiful lakeshore promenades in a splendid


Sensitively planned open spaces and water features will enhance the quality of the alleys and streets; the elimination of cars and trucks ensures that the town is pedestrian-friendly and so becomes a pleasant and convenient place to visit, live and work. A car-free environment not only makes the air cleaner, but also allows buildings to be closer together, providing more shade while allowing maximum natural light.

RhineScheme’s proposal seeks great visual quality by adapting a simple and economic structure. The most useful way to do this is locating buildings in a flexible way, using a regular geometric constant that can be adapted to the different needs and uses.

Three big plazas have been created which structure the entire small town:

The Entrance Plaza is a welcoming square which opens to the main access road and parking area, serving as information and gathering point for visitors.

The Main Plaza is at the center of the town. It is surrounded by the most important and representative buildings (theatre, church, museum, roman baths). As it happens in many European towns, it is the public space where festivals, special markets, wedding celebrations, night-life and important events take place. The Main Plaza is the heart of the town.

By contrast, the Water Plaza is in direct contact with the lake thanks to a wooden pier which provides space for many different activities and beautiful views of Dongli Lake. It is a leisure-orientated plaza where people may enjoy outdoor restaurants, bars and coffee shops and different aquatic activities.

These three plazas are connected through two main streets, hosting a large number of galleries, fashion and arts-and-crafts shops. The stone-paved streets which casually change direction provide an easy walk and a peaceful and satisfying promenade.

Besides the main streets and plazas organizing and structuring the urban body, a white labyrinth of alleys, courtyards and small plazas has been designed that make up the rest of the town in an intentionally heterogeneous way, generating a variety of different spaces.

Building plots are organized by assigning different typologies of buildings, so that streets have distinct characters and atmospheres. The curvy narrow streets are perfect for exploration. Visitors will enjoy discovering beautiful tiny plazas, intimate patios, hidden cafés, and feel like taken to a different time and place.

All the proposed architecture – although inspired by traditional Mediterranean architecture – is original and specifically designed to meet its purpose and functions.

The arrangement of the urban structure is a direct result of the business development strategy: An elaborate business concept has been drawn up that aims at generating a lively city working 24 hours a day during 365 days per year.

If the planned hotels, shops, creative industries, offices and agencies, SPA and wellness facilities, restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres want to run successfully, they need to be part of an overall and attractive tourism concept. 

To this intent, different activities and events throughout the year are planned to keep the business flourishing: in spring an Easter Market, Valentine’s Day festival, carnival activities; in summer Water Theatre and music festival, Mediterranean food markets, Spanish bull-riding; in autumn a Bavarian-style October Beer festival, grape harvest celebration, and an autumn market, and in winter ice-skating, traditional Christmas Market, and European New Year.

This business strategy – combined with the architecture and urban structure, landscape and lighting concept – will eventually create an atmosphere and character like in a typical European small town.

Taiyuan South Station | Front Buildings

Foremost aim of this architectural and landscape proposal has been to create an architectural landmark that solves all functional aspects and serves the citizens, strong enough to be an adequate counterpart to the monstrous station building.

A whole string of hybrid buildings is lined up in front of the station, offering a very urban mix of uses and a (semi-)public interior atmosphere along a sequence of functions. Pedestrians can walk through the cluster and pass by shopping-malls and retailers, restaurants, cafés and tea houses, service and cultural facilities, exhibition and show rooms, hotel lobbies and such of business apartments and offices. A system of pedestrian paths is crossing and interconnecting the buildings and the main plaza, making it a permeable connection from the city to the station, equipped with open green spaces for the public and for the users of the buildings.
The overall idea is to form a ‘window to the city’, by the buildings’ architectural shape, by their function and in their façade design. A building volume forming the elements ‘frame and window’ is floating above a two-storey podium with a variety of uses for the public. The ‘windows’ – more or less transparent – will enhance the visibility and interaction between plaza activities and interior universe of each building. Moreover, these ‘windows’ can be used as multimedia screens serving for information, entertainment, and public events. They will indicate significant locations for public urban activities and welcome guests and visitors.

The railway station itself is focus and starting point of future development, with its plazas facing the south-western and north-eastern urban areas as linkage and connection. Both plazas serve as entrance to the city and functional hub for several traffic systems, but with different characters.
The squares will be vitalized by an attractive use of the encompassing buildings, and by their sophisticated landscape. Around the (Western) Main Square a sequence of smaller plazas and landscape features will be implemented to interact with various traffic elements, like subway access, bus terminal, taxi stand, car parking, ‘kiss & ride’, etc. The entity of squares is serving as forum and platform for numerous urban functions and activities, emphasizing the stay qualities along with the function as traffic hub.
The linear structures of the plazas are anchoring the Railway Station as their central element. A water axis is the connecting element between the two plazas. As ‘slow lane’ with rather calm character it is contrasting the ‘fast lane’ for traffic affairs. Tree groves serve as spatial structure and frame setting to create proportionate and human-scale spaces. Finally, a sequence of green spots and pocket parks are implemented as rest areas during the day, supported by an adequate lighting concept at night.

Weihai Xiaoyao Tourist Town

These elements also define the functional distribution and desired atmosphere: to the west, proximity to the water determines the active, leisure and entertainment pole; to the east, proximity to the forest park the more quiet, calm and private area for residences.
In both cases, water and forest are brought into the site in a dramatic way to increase direct contact with the waterfront and the park, for better commercial performance.
The more active western area is itself divided into an area dedicated to leisure, hotels and restaurants to the north, with a closer relationship to the water and the highest point, and a commercial retail area to the south, towards the city and integrating with the urban fabric.

From the present conditions of the site, the existing village gives us a wise and proven way of settling into the terrain, reflected in the street grid and basic orientation. These have been considered in the circulation structure of the master plans.
The surrounding region of Jiaodong provides us with the most valuable architectural resource: the stone-and-seaweed house, arranged mostly in courtyards that protect from the wind.
These elements also determine the master plan designs.

Master plan 1
The stone-and-seaweed house is faithfully rebuilt and recreated in the main buildings of the town: hotels and museum. They form a commercial village, preserving the scale and atmosphere of the old fishing towns. Finally, they provide an intense living experience for the dwellers of the residential area, in close contact with the noble traditional materials and the courtyard way of living.

Master plan 2
follows the same spatial structure but with a modern architectural language inspired by the shapes of the stone houses. In the commercial village, the central courtyards have been replaced by a dynamic and organic succession of public spaces. The residences still preserve the courtyard structure and density of construction while using contemporary materials.

Both master plans include a 5 star hotel, a museum focused on the cultural and architectural values of the region, a commercial center with mixed retail, a bar street and a ring of seafood restaurants surrounding a series of cascading lagoons ending in a water theatre, a potential venue for a “Weihai Impressions” open air show, the main attraction of the site which tells old local stories and legends such as ‘Xiaoyao Town’ and ‘Ever Bright City’. In addition, a residential area with a mix of housing types, from 160 m2 to 300 m2, all offering the experience of living in a modern interpretation of the traditional local house type.

Lanzhou Int’l Trade Center

The planned International Trade Centre is located in the Western part of the city, where the new city centre will be developed.
It is directly located along the main city road connecting the Eastern and Western part and is surrounded by residential and commercial areas.The provincial Gansu Museum is located opposite of the plot, and on the plot itself the existing Friendship Hotel had to find its new and significantly increased location.

Apart from these institutions, both existing pedestrian shopping street (west of the plot) as well as a long-time established farmers’ market (in its North) is witnessing the dense urban atmosphere of the area.
The new program wants to even boost this density by adapting a floor area ratio of more than 5.5 and by adapting an attractive mix of functions, from residential, SOHO, office and large-scale shopping to the already mentioned new Friendship Hotel.

Although the required density would seem to suggest a pure high-rise development, the design respects the existing urban and building structure and continues the existing regular pattern of streets, small plazas and axes.

The shopping mall which occupies big part of the land area is divided into smaller volumes of varying height, creating a vivid roofscape partly as terraces for leisure facilities, partly as roof gardens which compensate for the green that is taken from the ground. The streets in-between widen up to smaller or bigger squares and provide green areas and sunken gardens.
In the northern part of the plot residential towers together with commercial podium buildings form two attractive green courtyards of intimate scale.
Finally, in the most representative south-east corner of the plot and close to the main road, the new Friendship Hotel Tower with its discreet architecture is perfectly visible from distance as a landmark of the plot.

Last not least the colouring of the façades refers to their particular location. One of the first things to notice in Lanzhou is its specific colours; the city is perfectly connected with its natural surrounding. All kinds of yellow, brown and light red are mixed together, reflecting the feeling of desert and the warm colours of the surrounding mountains. These unique colours are quoted in the planned facades and are fixed part of the architectural design.

(Functions: Residential & SOHO incl. ground floor commerce, partly office: 211,000 m² / Shopping mall: 118,000 m² / hotel incl. conference centre: 64,000 m² / underground shopping town: 42,000 m² / underground parking: 64,000 m².)

Tianjin Airport Business Park

As another welcome gesture, the gradually rising surface of one of the buildings, allegorizing a ‘stairway to heaven’, is forming a sculptural event in a cautious, yet fascinating way. It will be memorable to everyone perceiving it, even to people accidentally passing by. The building will not impose itself; it will rather attract people by making them curious about what might follow next.

It is actually the initial image of a diversified, sophisticated sequence of spaces which lead to a beautiful park, flanking the south-west side of the building complex.
The richness of urban space is beneficial to the adjacent projects, such as hotel and governmental buildings.
The specific organization of buildings and open spaces allows a great variety of layouts with representative entrances. The position of entrances as well as the floor plans can be changed and adapted in many ways, in order to offer a great variety of business and commercial spaces.