Global Design Workshop

Thursday, February 11th, 2016 | Destinations that delight. Places people love.

Design Architect
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Retail Architect | Celebration Town Center

Los Angeles, USA
142,000 SF

Retail Architect
Click to download project

In the past twenty years, LA has been enriched by the addition of a number of outstanding pedestrian scaled public places. Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, as well as the Grove in Midtown and Universal’s CityWalk are unforgettable gathering places for shopping, eating, entertainment.

LA natives, newcomers and tourists alike flock to these spaces. Expectations are high as people have come to desire and demand the environments these places create. For the most part, however, these places are regional, not community based. The vast majority of Angelenos must drive over an hour to one of these places, and thus there exists the opportunity to build community based retail centers.

The prototypical CELEBRATION provides the exciting environment people have come to expect for shopping, dining and entertainment, right in their community. A quality experience is no longer restricted to weekends. It is now available on a daily basis – and weekends too.

GlobalDesign’s design is loaded with visual energy, and strategically conceived to create an energetic public space that generates the maximum productivity for each lease space.

Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.

Mixed-use | Swan Center

Tanggu District, Tianjin, China
150,000 m²

Click to download project

Mixed-use | China is moving, Bin Hai is moving, Tanggu is moving, the Haihe River is moving. The Tanggu Swan is figurative language in built form. Our design seeks to attract, gather and intensify the energy of central Tanggu to create the single most energetic spot in the New Bin Hai Development Area.

The Tanggu Swan features a dramatically proportioned hotel tower which, paired with a new tower across the street, will create the gateway for Tanggu’s primary retail street. The height of the hotel is accentuated by the project’s four residential towers, which step down in height as they approach the hotel tower. Opposite the four towers are two curvilinear mid-rise buildings residential buildings featuring sky gardens complete with swimming pools.

Sliding between these the residential towers and the mid-rise buildings is the retail and entertainment core of the project. This curving walk street is anchored at one end by the towering hotel, and at the other by a domed entertainment plaza, an anchor retailer and an anchor entertainment center.

The Tanggu Swan will create an exciting gathering place for Tanggu and the Bin Hai District.

Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.

Resort Architect | 2018 Winter Olympics

Gangwon-Do, South Korea
10,000,000 m²

Resort Architect
Click to download project

Click to download press release

We are proud to announce that the GDW master planned Alpensia Resort Village, in South Korea’s Pyeonchang region, won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics with a decisive win over rivals Munich of Germany and Annecy of France.

In the mountainous center of the Korean peninsula there is a beautiful place appropriately named Peace Valley. Our clients asked us to create Alpensia in this valley, a resort unlike any other in Korea as well as facilities to support Korea’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The InterContinental Hotel Group has recently announced that they will operate Alpensia’s three main hotels - a luxury resort hotel and two family hotels.

GlobalDesign Workshop’s design creates the critical mass necessary to make a major international resort successful. Based on the resort village concept recently rediscovered in North America, continually enjoyed in Europe, and now deployed in Asia, the village includes an energetic combination of hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and condominiums. The concentration of energy and facilities this concept generates has the additional benefit of leaving much of the beautiful site untouched.

Seasonality is one of the biggest challenges faced by the tourism industry. Thus, we have incorporated a host of year around activities, including a wellness center, a year around board hill, an indoor water park and an outlet shopping village.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

Retail Architect | Promenades Retail Pavilion

TEDA, Tianjin, China
80,000 m²

Click to download project

Retail Architect | The TEDA Promenades Retail Pavilion demanded a bold form befitting its prominence as the primary anchor for the overall Promenades development. Yet retail requires distinctive districts and stores. Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity.

In response, we created boldly expressive architecture, a metaphorical waterfowl in flight, with subtle nods to Chinese culture. The strong, overall form is constructed of six unique and individual retail districts, varied in colors, materials, lighting, scale, architectural detail; and distinct in retail, dining or entertainment category. Each district is unique.

Contrast is again one of the primary design principals used; district to district and within each district’s hard and soft surfaces, new and old, cool and warm materials; contrasting details and patterns.

The Retail Pavilion is an energetic place that is always changing and current. It is constructed of translucent media walls that filter and texture sunlight by day, then become canvases painted with media and lights by night.

Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.

Residential Architect | TEDA Towers


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TEDA, Tianjin, China

Click to download project

Residential Architect | Our design for the residential towers for TEDA, in Tianjin, China, focuses on two principles. First, the desire to create towers that make a bold statement and communicate at a glance the spirit of our client, TEDA. Second, the need to create a pragmatic solution to a down to earth challenge. Housing is an architectural discipline that must address the most pragmatic of needs, including sun orientation and views.

While these principles are superficially at odds with one another, resolving this conflict resulted in the most compelling of solutions.

The form of these buildings is decisive and expressive, yet every unit has a southern exposure, an abundance of glass, and a stunning view. The result is quite compelling.

Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.

Transportation Architect | Boat Terminal

Aphae-do, South Korea
15,000 m²

Transportation Architect
Click to download project

The Aphae Port Boat Terminal will be the primary point of departure for all guests traveling to the resorts we are designing for the Sinan Diamond area, an archipelago of nearly 1000 islands near the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula. The architecture of the port facilities transitions guests from urban to island. Beyond that, the structures are particularly figurative. Strong forms, crafted of rusted Core-ten steel, are heavily influenced by the work of the internationally acclaimed artist Richard Serra. The buildings suggest boat and ship bows when seen from the water, fish forms when seen from the air.

Facilities include the passenger terminal, ferry landing, hotel, marina and support areas. Long-term parking will be centralized at parking structures located in the center of the site, while short term parking will be provided adjacent to the terminal building. Long-term guests will be transported from parking to terminal by a monorail train.

Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.

Entertainment Design | Time Warner

New York, USA
40,000 SF

Click to download project

Entertainment Design | Shortly after AOL bought Time Warner, they asked us to create a bricks and mortar place for visitors to experience AOL Time Warner. People knew where to find AOL in cyberspace - our challenge was to create a home for them in human space.

We sought to build a space of media, a space always current, always active, continually moving.

Our design for the AOL Time Warner Experience, located on the ground floor of New York City’s Time Warner Center, included a wide variety of interactive and multimedia exhibits, as well as live TV studios.

More important, however, were the ground breaking ideas our team developed while working on this project. Never before had media been so integrated with architecture that it became architecture. The forms became ethereal, the media became architectural. When they met in the middle, they created a remarkable space.

Entertainment Design | International expert master planners and architectural designers of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.

Mixed-use | Aphae-do RD+E

Aphae-do, South Korea
1,000,000 m²

Mixed-use
Click to download project

Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave.

The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored.

The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae.

People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic.

Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.

Urban Design | Blossom Tanggu Park

Tanggu District, Tianjin, China
740,000 m²

Urban Design
Click to download project

The City of Tanggu is the home of the port of Beijing and Tianjin. Under its young and forward looking leadership, Tanggu is emerging from the shadow of those two great cities, creating a presence of its own. The mayor of Tanggu asked us to create a park and a sculptural icon at the city’s entrance that would immediately communicate to all those arriving both the spirit of the city, and the quality of life it provides.

The icon, Blossom Tanggu, combines the beauty of a flower blossom and the power of a rising wave. Both are metaphors for surging potential, while the combination of strength and beauty are particularly powerful in China.

The park furthers these metaphors, reminds visitors of the city’s seaside presence, and includes a plethora of activities to ensure that it will always be filled with people, thus communicating the city’s quality of life.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.

Resort Architect | Aphae-do Resort

Aphae-do, South Korea
12,000,000 m²

Resort Architect

Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave.

The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored.

The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae.

People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

Click to download project

Urban Design | Blossom Tanggu Sculpture


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Tanggu District, Tianjin, China

Urban Design
Click to download project

The City of Tanggu is the home of the port of Beijing and Tianjin. Under its young and forward looking leadership, Tanggu is emerging from the shadow of those two great cities, creating a presence of its own. The mayor of Tanggu asked us to create a park and a sculptural icon at the city’s entrance that would immediately communicate to all those arriving both the spirit of the city, and the quality of life it provides.

The icon, Blossom Tanggu, combines the beauty of a flower blossom and the power of a rising wave. Both are metaphors for surging potential, while the combination of strength and beauty are particularly powerful in China.

The park furthers these metaphors, reminds visitors of the city’s seaside presence, and includes a plethora of activities to ensure that it will always be filled with people, thus communicating the city’s quality of life.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.

Entertainment Design | The Grove

Anaheim, California
14,000 SF

Entertainment Design | The Grove was originally created as a classic dinner theater called Tinseltown, home to an Academy Awards show that let visitors from around the world experience a night at the Oscars.

The exterior architecture is based on the classic Warner Bros. Studios sound stages in Burbank, California. It captures the glamour of Hollywood’s glory years. The interior is resplendent with Art Deco architecture, suggesting to guests the grand cinema palaces of those same glorious years.

Entertainment Design | Entertainers expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.

Town Center Planner | Bon Carré

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
1,000,000 SF

Town Center Planner
Click to download project

Our work on Bon Carré was as much a social movement as it was a master planning and retail design exercise. Bon Marché, a once booming mall on what was then the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had become an inner city wasteland as the city grew past the old mall. The mall became home to the highest crime rate in the city.

Additionally, the people of Baton Rouge frequently complain that the town has no center, no place to walk.

We addressed both of these issues by creating an upscale town center, complete with a million dollar park, right in front of the newly christened Bon Carré. The idea was to bring the “gentry” back to declare the area safe, allowing the middle class to reoccupy the mall as well as the new town center.

Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.

Urban Design | DecoCity Urban Plan

Chengdu, China
709,000 m²

Urban Design
Click to download project

One the edge of Chengdu, GlobalDesign is creating a concept for uniquely engaging riverfront new city. The Client’s program called for a thoroughly Art DecoCity and GDW has thoroughly researched the best examples of the style. DecoCity celebrates the Deco movement.

GDW focused on two planning of our urban planning principles, quality of life and unique identity. With its active city center, parks and gathering places, places that laud nature and extol sport and radial arrangement of canals and pedestrian pathways, DecoCity celebrates living.

DecoCity’s unique identity goes beyond style. From the “Rising Sun” form determinate suggestive of China’s place in the world, to formal Deco geometry, and typically Deco skyline, DecoCity redefines urban branding.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

The two primary goals for a truly sustainable city are, without question, quality lifestyle and identity. Why? When one puts political agendas aside, it is obvious that the single largest commitment of environmental resources required of a city is the construction of the city itself. A city that is loved, that people enjoy living in and are proud to call home is a city that will remain intact for generations.

Ironically, cities and the structures they are made of are typically awarded sustainability points for the ease of which they can be recycled. We believe that this is a fallacy. We wonder why a well designed city should have reason to be recycled. Searching the annals of history, we are aware of no city that provided quality of life, no city that made its residents proud, that was subsequently subjected to the rigors of recycling. Not, in any event, without the help of an invading enemy army!

This is not to say that we reject all the principles of sustainable city design. We simply find most redundant. Why is it necessary, for example, to award points based on transport? Moving people easily, effectively and pleasantly through a city has always been a major goal for planners (except, perhaps, during medieval times, when it was a greater concern to make it difficult for invaders to navigate city streets then for residents to easily move around).

A city that forces its residents to remain immobile or sit in traffic is not a city that provides quality of life. A city that makes circulation pleasant does, however, provide an enviable lifestyle. Should not the desire to create pleasant strolls and easy commutes be of paramount priority for the urban planner? Is not the process of awarding points for public transport directed more specifically to special interest lobbies than to those who will call a city their home?

We reject the notion of designing based on checklists created by academia and special interests. We favor cities designed for people. We reject the notion that people will work to preserve their city because of the ease of which it can be recycled. Instead, we seek to create places that capture the hearts of inhabitants.
A people proud of a city will maintain and preserve it, making sure the precious natural resources invested in its creation will benefit generations to come.

Clubhouse Architect | RoseValley Clubhouse

Chengdu, China
1,800 m²

Click to download project

Rose Valley, as the name implies, features outstanding villas surrounded by vast fields of roses. The defining architectural concept of Rose Valley is that of contrast – old and new, solid and transparent, building and farm. GDW’s three primary goals for the clubhouse are first to create a place that is impressive yet incredibly comfortable and welcoming; second to create a single building expressive of all of the project’s finest features; and third, to showcase the stunning views of water and roses that homeowners will daily enjoy.

The building we have created accomplishes all three of these goals. At street side, visitors are greeted by a grand Tuscan hall and a beautifully proportioned stone Tuscan tower. Carefully joined to the hall, in much the same way that old and new are frequently combined in Italy, is a modern wing of stone, glass and copper. Upon entering the hall, visitors are at once awed and welcomed by an enormous hall with ancient terra cotta floors, towering timber columns, and an enormous traditional European fireplace filled with a roaring fire. Flanking the hall is a formal, old school restaurant and a traditional, yet comfortable and welcoming, library lounge.

Axial to the front door of the clubhouse is an opening overlooking a spacious modern hall – unexpected in its context, yet foreshadowed by the modern piece at the buildings entry. One’s view naturally continues along the axis to what may be the clubhouse’s finest feature – a huge wall of glass with seemingly endless views of fields of roses.

Thus the Rose Valley Clubhouse accomplishes each of GDW’s goals. It is impressive yet makes one feel at home; it celebrates contrasting architecture, and serves as a frame for Rose Valley’s exceptional views.

Clubhouse Architect | California design studio expert at designing clubhouses and residential projects people love, places that delight.

Mixed-use | RoseValley Commercial Center

Chengdu, China
220,000 m²

Click to download project

Mixed-use | One of the biggest challenges faced by China today is the need to balance its rapid growth with the need to protect its most valuable farmland. Nowhere is this truer than in Chengdu, where the mild weather, abundant rainfall and rich soil conditions combine to create some of the country’s most productive farmland. As a result of these conflicting forces, developers can provide for the country’s housing needs only on odd patches in the midst of fields of farmland.

GDW worked closely with the developer of Rose Valley to leverage these requirements and conditions to create a truly unique place to live. Our concept creates small villages of homes surrounded by spectacular fields of flowers – primarily, as the name suggests, roses, but also a balance of year around growers such as lavender.

GDW’s plan further leverages the riverfront site’s abundant water to create a series of canals and streams, transitioning from teutonic geometry at the project’s entrance to natural streams closer to the river, transitioning residents and visitors and residents alike from city to farm.

The resultant villages of villas surrounded by gorgeous streams and fields of roses addresses the challenges faced by our developer by creating a place that is surprising to visit and really wonderful to live.

Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.

Residential Architect | RoseValley Entry Gate


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Chengdu, China

Residential Architect | Rose Valley features architecture with elements both authentically historical and quintessentially modern. GDW’s task when creating the main entry was first to celebrate the contrast of these elements, and in so doing preface the architecture of the entire project, second to frame the entry and transition arriving residents and visitors from the outside world to the magic of Rose Valley, and third, to provide ticketing facilities and security for the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors who will daily wander Rose Valley’s fields of roses.

GDW first created a traditional stone archway, based on extensive research of Roman aqueducts and Italian gates. Next, we created a series of dynamically sculpted walls of stone, rusted steel and climbing roses, modern in form and execution. These walls, some of which also form dramatic waterfalls, create a sense of arrival, of movement, energy and of modernity. They also, quite practically, shield the ticketing and security functions from public views, allowing the gate to function as it must while appearing entirely ornamental.

Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.

Residential Architect | RoseValley


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Chengdu, China

Click to download project

Residential Architect | Chengdu, China, is a place of obvious architectural contrast. The city is home to some of China’s finest modern commercial architecture, yet ringed with villas that are distinctly historically associative in design. When GDW was engaged to design the villas of Rose Valley, we were tasked with creating homes of historical European architecture. While this architectural style is effective at creating a sense of timelessness, strength and security, it is not as effective at facilitating a modern lifestyle, or at providing great views – of critical import for this project as the villas all have backyards of fields of roses.

When tasked with creating historically associative architecture, GDW focuses on two primary principles. This first is that the architecture should be literal and authentic, based on sound research of the best examples of a given style. Second, we like to contrast old and new, to provide for the client’s desire to create a timeless environment without sacrificing the modern lifestyle.

Adherence to these principles led us to create homes that are traditional at the street edge, and modern at the back. Thus the houses are rich and secure at the front, and wide open to the stunning views at the back.

Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.

Resort Architect | Cloud Lake Resort

Chengdu, China
4,000,000 m²

Click to download project

CloudLake, a riverfront resort with no lake in sight, is to be built as an “outside the gate” hospitality center to several adjacent theme and water parks. GDW’s concept combines bold geometry and intimate human scale to create a place that has wide appeal to all sorts of people, a place that will extend their stays and encourage them to visit repeatedly. GDW based the project on San Antonio, Texas’ wildly successful Riverwalk, extensively researching that project to gain a thorough understanding of how it works and why people find it so attractive.

Riverwalk is a textbook example of a place people love, a place with the quality described by the latin phrase Genius Loci, a place with a magical quality that all recognize but few understand. The designers of GDW have spent their careers studying places with Genius Loci around the world in an effort to understand how that magical quality is achieved. Riverwalk achieves the magic, in part, by completely integrating water in the project. The water isn’t just something that can be seen, it is so close that people are immersed in its nearness. Riverwalk is all about the water: strolling by the water, dining by the water, enjoying music by the water, and riding boats on the water. The water is its magic.

CloudLake adopts this theme, fully integrating water with the space, and with the experience guests have when visiting CloudLake. CloudLake combines a Riverwalk like walk street with boutique hotels, a large five star hotel, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to create an ideal place for those visiting the neighboring theme parks to stay and to spend their evenings.

GDW achieves the magic of CloudLake by learning from Riverwalk. Observe, Analyze, Implement.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

 

Resort Architect | DiscoveryCove King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Palace

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
1,000,000 m²

Resort Architect
Click to download project

The Red Sea, with its crystal clear waters and abundant sea life, is one of the world’s fastest developing waterfront destinations. In the heart of this gorgeous region, on a one square kilometer oceanfront site, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman asked GDW to design a palace for Prince Salman, as well as additional palaces for each of his six sons.

The concept we created focused on discovery, privacy and water sports, and took the form of a metaphorical flower lying on the sandy beach. Petals of this tropical flower formed a series of private coves, each the home of an individual palace, its own private beaches, guesthouses, gardens and water sports facilities. At the center of the flower is a community recreation hub, a place for the family to come together to enjoy water sports and evening recreation. Enormous waterfalls tumble down into cool, subterranean pools, and all are surrounded by evening entertainment venues.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

Entertainment Design | Men in Black

Orlando, Florida, USA
50,000 SF

Click to download project

Entertainment Design | This dark ride facility, restaurant and retail shop, designed for a major theme park, plays to the brilliant premise on which the movie Men in Black was based. The film postulated that the iconoclastic 60’s designers were so odd, so far removed from the normative, that they were obviously aliens.

The architecture of this ride facility looks to the pavilions of the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow, New York. The playful attitude of those pavilions, created by the aliens, provides the ideal environment to tell the Men in Black story, and creates the appropriate environment for a play day in the theme park.

Entertainment Design | International designers expert in master planning and architecture of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.

Urban Design | HaiheBeach Park

Tanggu District, Tianjin, China
500,000 m²

Click to download project

Urban Design | The Haihe River is the most intriguing asset of the Chinese city of Tanggu. Yet until recently, it was also its greatest liability. Hidden behind seawalls, littered with abandoned chemical factories, and filled with their by-products, no one in Tanggu had any desire to go anywhere near the Haihe River, let alone live, work or play there.

Our visionary client, Tanggu’s mayor, charged us with creating a one kilometer long riverfront park that would change perceptions of the river, its value and its potential. We deployed one of our primary public space principals - create a place made up of a variety of spaces, each with varied appeal to young and old, men and women, rich and poor. We further announced its importance with three larger-than-life icons, metaphors to the river and the movement of the water.

The Haihe Beach Park has entirely changed the character of Tanggu and its riverfront. More significantly, it has given the people of Tanggu a vision for a better future.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

Urban Design | HaiheRiver South Urban Plan

Tanggu District, Tianjin, China
10,000,000 m²

Click to download project

Urban Design | Directly across the Haihe River from our Haihe Beach Park, on a grand point formerly occupied bt a chemical plant, is the 1.5 million m2 site of Haihe River South, or the Moon and the Ribbon Walk. We created the Haihe Beach Park in order to show the people of Tanggu that the riverfront could be an engaging place to visit.

The intent of Haihe River South is to show the people of the city that the riverfront can also be an enjoyable place to live, work and play.

The place we created addresses each of those needs. The residential neighborhoods are very high density, yet preserve sun access and maximize views and open space. The mixed-use work district maximizes river views and integrates well with the residential. All areas of the plan celebrate the water.

One of our most basic design principles involves creating metaphors. The crescent moon shaped entertainment island and the ribbon shaped waterfront park refer to a well known Chinese poem. Use of this metaphor effectively inculcates the place with enormous emotional appeal to the people of Tanggu.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

Resort Architect | GreenTea Lake Resort

Chengdu, China
3,000,000 m²

Click to download project

Resort Architect | Just outside of Chengdu, China, in an area famous for its green tea plantations, GDW created a concept for a year-around lakefront resort development. The hills surrounding the lake are uniquely terraced with row upon row of carefully manicured hedges of tea plants, creating a distinct topography, and suggesting a environment that is both natural and man made.

GDW took its conceptual cues from this unique topography, and developed an architecture for the project that mimics the stepped forms of the hills that encircle GreenTea Lake. The resultant structures are distinct and unique, yet at the same time blend beautifully with the surrounding topography. The resort respects and celebrates its environmental context.

GDW worked with the client to create a program designed to attract people throughout the year, with activities for each season. Facilities and activities include a central mixed-use village, a waterfront boardwalk, golf, a multitude of water sports, a conference center, a fishing camp, an equestrian center, and a variety of hotel, timeshare and villas to provide accommodations for guests of all age and economic categories.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, relaxing four seasons resorts that delight.

Urban Design | HaiheRiver South Sculpture


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Tanggu District, Tianjin, China

Urban Design | Symbols, icons and metaphors are powerful tools to communicate the importance of a place, and a vision for the future.

These sculpture pieces, with references to the work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, were created for the Haihe River South project in the port city of Tanggu, China. They proclaim the project’s importance to the redevelopment of the city, they capture the spirit of the people of Tanggu, and they foreshadow the city’s future.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

Urban Design | Haihe River Master Plan


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Urban Design | GDW design principal Brent Thompson created the Haihe River Beach Park to add value to the city of Tanggu’s riverfront property by showing the population of the city the riverfront could be a wonderful place to work, live and play.

Following the creation of the park, Mr. Thompson created an overall master plan, a blueprint for the development of the riverfront as it winds its way through this rapidly growing city, home to China’s second largest port.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

Retail Architect | DubaiBazaar Mixed-Use


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Retail Architect | GDW’s concept for the Dubai Bazaar combines old and new, past with present, texture with form. We at GDW love contrast – light with dark, heavy with light, rough with smooth, old with new. The Dubai Bazaar, which includes a major shopping center and four hotels, is a study in contrasts. At its core, it honors our client’s desire to combine a “historic” souk (a traditional middle eastern marketplace) with a modern mall.

Based on our belief that traditional architecture should be authentic, and based on solid research and an understanding of the relevant history, we started the design process by taking a tour of middle eastern souks. We visited souks in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria, the former built by the Romans, the later a comparatively young millennium of years old. We visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, the old souk in Marrakech, Morocco, as well as Dubai’s old souk. We also extensively researched less approachable souks, such as the Esfahan Souk in Iran.

After extensive documentation and study of those souks, we created a “historic” souk for Dubai, and contrasted the mass and history of that “old” souk with a light and airy modern market place.

Observe, Analyze, Implement. This is the GDW way.

Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.

Destination Design | King Abdullah University

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
1,000,000 m²

Destination Design | GDW teamed with HOK on a charrette to create a concept for the entirely new King Abdullah University to be located near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our concept made the most of green building techniques, and is evocative of the sands of the peninsula on the exterior, while the interior is redolent of a classic desert oasis.

The typical research laboratory buildings address the heat of the sun with solid, windowless walls. On the shaded north, however, the buildings include enough glass to both light the spaces and to allow the inhabitants to enjoy the oasis environment outside. Students walk through the shaded oasis environment as they move around the campus, allowing them to escape the indoor environment while sheltering them from the harsh desert conditions.

Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Cultural Architect | Seoul Music Hall


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Seoul, South Korea

Click to download project

Cultural Architect | The growth of Seoul since it hosted the Olympics in 1988 has been phenomenal. It has grown in physical size, population and worldwide prominence.

Moreover, the city has become the design, style and cultural center of Asia The growth of this great city has focused its energy on the south side of the Han River. Just a generation ago, this area was relatively rural and undeveloped. Now it is home to the seats of power of many of the world’s largest and most innovative corporations.

Ironically, however, the wealth of culture that is so endemic to Seoul’s identity, so much a part of what makes the city unique, did not follow the growth of the city as it crossed the Han and flourished in the south.

The Lotte Music Hall will forever change the perception and reality of the area. Designed as a catalyst for cultural growth, this monumental facility is a clarion call to the city, a clear and symbolic announcement that culture has found the south of the Han.

Cultural Architect | Cultural architects expert at master planning and architectural design of cultural destinations that delight, places people love.

Destination Design | TEDA Convention Center

TEDA, Tianjin, China
90,000 m²

Click to download project

Destination Design | Our design for the TEDA Convention Center is a bold reminder of its presence near the sea with a sweeping and optimistic attitude. TEDA, located in the Tianjin province of China, is the rapidly growing home of numerous international companies. This center provides a place for them to meet.

Culture is everywhere in China, and culture is central to our work. We believe projects should enjoy the best of what is available internationally, while always remembering, embracing and celebrating the local culture.

As a result, the TEDA Convention Center displays bold, international forms and uniquely Chinese elements. The result is a singular architecture that captures the spirit of TEDA.

Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Home Architect | Malibu Beach House

Malibu, California, USA
5,500 SF

Click to download project

There is a spot in Malibu where the coastal plain meets the Santa Monica Mountains, the place where the sea and the mountains meet.

The Raptor and Conch House lives in that spot. The tightly wound form of the conch, a metaphor for the sea, provides space for the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The sweeping form of the raptor, the metaphor for the mountains enclose the balance of the house. The entry to the home is in the place where they meet.

Sweeping forms on a Cartesian backbone, layers, transparency and metaphor. This home encapsulates the spirit of our design.

Home Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that families love, places that delight.

Urban Design | San Cha Kou Urban Plan

Tianjin, China
1,000,000 m²

Click to download project

Urban Design | Located at the convergence of the Haihe River and two ancient and legendary canals, SAN CHA KOU can truly be called the birthplace of the modern Chinese city of Tianjin.

This proposal for the redevelopment of SAN CHA KOU is designed to initiate Tianjin’s long-term redevelopment plans for the Haihe River, plans that will completely transform the city. Our concept for SAN CHA KOU showcases this transformation, setting an example for future
designers of how to celebrate the river’s edge. It will set the standard for development, dramatically improving the quality of life of those who live, work or play within this area.

Most importantly, it will help Tianjin achieve international recognition as a remarkable place to live and work.

The project includes a city park, a retail and entertainment center, two museums, five high-rise residential towers and blocks of medium density mixed-use.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.

Mixed-use | Circles Mixed-Use

Shenfu, China
145,000 m²

Mixed-use
Click to download project

The Circle of Life is the chosen metaphor of Shenfu, a wholly new city in the north of China. At the heart of the new city is a circular lake. Two GDW projects grace the lake’s newly created shoreline. The first is the Shenfu Circles mixed-use center, a vibrant retail, entertainment and office center that physically and philosophically embraces and celebrates Shenfu’s representative metaphor.

Circles is sculpted from a series of interlocking cylindrical forms, stitched together by a serpentine pedestrian street making up the core of the guest experience. The expressive forms of this street are punctured by a series of negative cylinders - round courtyards, each with a character of its own, highlighting the pedestrian experience. The circular theme is further accentuated by four positive cylinders - carefully placed towers that create a dramatic skyline for both this project and the city center lake.

Contrasts and the creative use of media are two hallmarks of GDW’s work. Circles exploits both of these talents. Translucent walls of glass and metal mesh serve as sun filters by day and media canvases by night. When the sun sets, the walls are painted with colored light and projected video. Further, the four cylindrical towers are paired according to their skins. Two are solids, with subtly fenestrated stone facades, contrasted by the unique layers of delicate lace that cover the other two towers.

Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.

Retail Architect | theWave Retail Center

Shenfu, China
1,700 m²

Click to download project

Retail Architect | Shenfu, in China’s north, is a completely new city defined by the energy, passion and enthusiasm of the local people. At the core of Shenfu is a shiny new lake, and giving life to lake and city alike is GDW’s leisure, dining and retail center, theWave. Additionally, GDW has designed a major exhibit hall, a visitor and investor center of sorts, on the site. The ultimate goal of the retail is to celebrate the exhibit hall, to create a whirlwind of pedestrian activity around it, and display the best of Shenfu’s lifestyle, leisure and entertainment offerings residents, interested visitors and potential investors alike.

theWave is appropriately named. It’s swirling walls of rusted Corten steel and glass ripple, curve and roll as they create a vortex centered on the exhibit hall, move people through the space, focus activity in a central public “square,” and frame scenic views of the lake. The exhibit hall will display Shenfu’s plans for the future. theWave will display Shenfu’s heart.

Gary Goddard Entertainment [www.garygoddard.com/] created the "Circle of Life" concept, including the great circle sculpture seen in some of our views, for Shenfu.

Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.

 

 

Town Center Planner | Phoenix Town Center

TEDA, Tianjin, China
60,000 m²

Click to download project

Town Center Planner | The design of the TEDA Phoenix Center, with its asymmetrically sweeping wings contrasting with its axially aligned circles and ellipses, brings to mind the grand feathers of a Chinese Phoenix bird. Considered auspicious throughout China, the Phoenix is swift as it is light, beautiful in color, charming in song. The Phoenix is a sign of harmony and prosperity in China, and Phoenix feathers symbolize precious and rare objects or people.

The plan has been carefully divided into three unique and singular zones. To the south is the commercial zone, the energetic heart of not only this development, but of the larger, contiguous master-planned development as well.

To the northeast, the Phoenix wing shaped mixed-use facility derives its shape from the raised monorail line that curves through the site. The third zone, in the northwest, is largely residential in character, with carefully sculpted low-rise buildings enjoying coveted southern exposures, and five mid-rise towers with very small footprints that acknowledge and celebrate the valuable exposure that the train line brings to this site.

Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.

Transportation Architect | Crane Train Station

TEDA, Tianjin, China
5,000 m²

Click to download project

Transportation Architect | A metaphorical waterfowl, this train station tells the story of a crane taking flight. In the beginning, it flaps its wings madly, generating a great deal of noise, but little speed. It seems it will never fly.

In time, however, it gains speed, and struggles free of the water. As it takes flight, this awkward fowl is transformed into one of nature’s pictures of grace and beauty.

This station, wings outstretched, is perched on the edge of the TEDA Promenades lagoon. As the arrival point for most guests visiting the Promenades, it is a remarkably fitting metaphor for TEDA.

Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.

Transportation Architect | Dragon Station

TEDA, Tianjin, China
5,000 m²

Click to download project

Transportation Architect | The dragon is the Chinese symbol of strength and dignity. As such, it was an appropriate metaphor for our second concept for the Promenades train station. Bold stone walls serve as the station’s foundation. The dragon-like roof is supported by a line of over-scaled columns, their shape derived from traditional Chinese structural elements.

Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.

Entertainment Design | Water Show

TEDA, Tianjin, China
70,000 SF

Click to download project

Entertainment Design | We relied on two metaphors to capture the spirit of TEDA, a new city in the Tianjin province of China. Water fowls taking flight and the geothermal strength of the earth both speak of untold potential transforming into unreal splendor.

Stravinsky’s Firebird captures the strength of both metaphors, so we adopted it as the musical score for the Firebird Water Show. These metaphors lead to a series of compelling water features - a stylized volcano of fire and water, a peaceful waterfowl pond that is transformed into an edgy, yet harmless, geyser pool, and the grand nightly Lagoon Show, the Firebirds. These volcano-like towers are wrapped with sweeping water wings, creating an unexpected contrast that is as beautiful as it is startling. Pragmatically, this water show is a free gift calculated to widen appeal, extend stays and encourage repeat visitation.

Entertainment Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.

Master Planning | Promenades Master Plan

TEDA, Tianjin, China
2,000,000 m²

Click to download project

Master Planning | Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity', one of our primary master planning principles, creates a place appealing to a wide variety of people; a place enticing to them, whatever their mood or appetite; whatever the season, time of day or day of the week.

The TEDA PROMENADE Master Plan exemplifies this principle. Our design makes a grand statement by organizing its facilities around a central thematic element, an elliptical lagoon. The Lagoon is the entertainment, the environmental nucleus that creates the stage set for each component piece. This extroverted approach allows guests to remain constantly oriented within the whole of the place, while a major assembly of icons encourages them to move throughout the site. This structure of development is consistent with modern urban core developments and the exposition style of recent World Fairs.

The space we created is home to a world class soccer stadium and convention center, and the future home of a major retail and entertainment center, as well as 5000 homes in over 40 towers.

Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Master Planning | Technical Park Master Plan


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TEDA, Tianjin, China

Click to download project

Master Planning | Energy, activity, ideas and creativity. A symbolic gesture to the world that China is emerging and transitioning from a labor based industrial machine to a center of intellectual innovation. A mixed-use community where people can live, work, shop and spend leisure time.

GlobalDesign Workshop’s design combines three metaphors to communicate the importance of the Technical Park.

The first metaphor is a series of concentric rings, similar to those created when a stone hits water. Pond Ripples.

The second metaphor, suggesting the overwhelming movement of a cyclone or whirlpool, is evocative of energy and movement, of an unstoppable force of nature. Cyclone.

The third metaphor is that of the Ying and the Yang, the careful balance within the community of residential and office space, of places to live and places to create. YingYang.

The focus of Pond Ripples, the energy of Cyclone and the balance of YingYang are prescient of the TEDA Technical Park’s future place in the world.

Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Master Planning | Chang Po Eco Lake

Muan, South Korea
3,320,000 m²

Master Planning | The Joseon kings treasured the Secret Garden in Seoul’s Changdeok Palace as a favored escape. Resplendent in natural beauty and immediately accessible from the working portion of the palace, it provided daily opportunities for respite and relief, and kept the kings in perfect harmony with nature. Today the hard working residents of Seoul continue to find respite in this magical place that so beautifully contrasts with the dense urban world surrounding its walls.

The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will be just such a place. Immediately adjacent to Muan Enterprise City and Muan International Airport, it will afford Muan’s residents and guests the opportunity to live and play in perfect harmony with nature without leaving their city. In the crowded and competitive world of international enterprise cities, the lifestyle facilitated by the Secret Garden will set Muan apart, and enable Muan to attract a highly skilled and diversified workforce.

The Lotus House floats on piles over the floating lotuses of the Buyongji Pond in Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden, living in the environment without damaging the environment. In fact, the environment is made more beautiful by the Lotus House. In a similar fashion, the homes, boardwalks, commercial and entertainment facilities of Muan’s Secret Garden will be perched on piles, floating over reed filled wetlands, surrounded by snowy egrets and schools of fish. The architecture, upholstered in natural wood, metals and stone, will be in complete harmony with nature. The wetlands and lake itself will be extensively cleaned and enhanced, and migrant bird habitats will be carefully crafted at the water’s edge.

The Muan lifestyle will be enhanced by opportunities to live, work, play and relax surrounded by the lake’s fresh, clean waters. The Secret Garden will include a variety of housing types, varying in style, relationship to the lake and in density. Waterfront villas, each with its own boat dock, will float on stilts above the reeds that line the water’s edge. Town homes with boat docks will line canals, affording beautiful views for every home and immediate access to the lake. A marina, surrounded with denser condominiums, will provide another opportunity to live on the water, an ideal situation for boating enthusiasts and romantics alike.

Guests will find a great variety of options for short or long term stays in the Secret Garden. Overnight guests in transit at Muan International Airport will be serviced by a beautiful hotel situated on a point in the lake, while those taking advantage of the business and conference center or the adjacent golf courses will be treated to resort like accommodations on an island in the lake. For long term guests, always a fixture in an international business park, the Marina will include serviced apartments. Those more interested in shopping, dining entertainment and cultural pursuits will find serviced apartments adjacent to the commercial district.

Places that accommodate rich, activity filled lifestyles attract international businesses. The Secret Garden will provide a plethora of ways to shop, play and learn. A retail and entertainment center at the heart of the Garden will include shops, restaurants, cinemas and an entertainment pier sporting a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and numerous game booths. An island lake will include a wonderfully themed restaurant and a beautifully situated teahouse.

Water sports entertainment will include a year around water themed park and spa, a yacht club and water sports center and the Marina. Eco Lake itself will provide areas for motor sports such as water skiing, sailing regattas, and kayak trips though the wetlands.

Enjoyment of activities provided by the Secret Garden will not be limited to residents, members or paying guests. Public offerings will include a public park, a wetlands study center, public beaches, trails and a civic amphitheater.

The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will offer residents and guests of Muan Enterprise City opportunities to pursue rewarding careers without sacrificing a rich and varied lifestyle. Like the kings of old, they will have immediate access to this magical place, this place so close to where they work, yet so very far apart.

Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Entertainment Design | Tokyo DisneySea


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Tokyo, Japan

Click to download project

Entertainment Design | These facilities, designed for a major theme park in Japan, look to the future while remembering the past. Influenced by Rube Goldberg, the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and the movies Blade Runner and Brazil, this architecture is storytelling at its finest.

Perhaps most significantly, these projects were a lesson in seeing things through the eyes of the user, or guest, and creating a place that will resonate with them; a magical place that captures the imagination. Countless popular web sites have been devoted to these facilities. They create a degree of popular connectedness, an almost cult appeal, that can not be ignored.

Entertainment Design | Expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.

Transportation Architect | Tokyo Train Station

Tokyo, Japan
6,000 m²

Click to download project

Transportation Architect | This monorail station, designed for a major theme park in Japan, is intended to create a transition from the Cartesian modernity and overwhelming vastness of Tokyo to the escape fantasy of the major international theme parks that are the heart of this resort.

The station celebrates the resort’s location on the shore of the Tokyo Bay with a series of wave forms and sail forms, each layered against a firm and solid concrete “breakwater”.

Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.

Transportation Architect | Theme Park Train Station

Tokyo, Japan
4,000 m²

Click to download project

Transportation Architect | Just inside what is arguably the world’s best and most successful theme park, Tokyo DisneySea, is a train station that connects the magic of Disney with the teutonic geometry of modern day Tokyo. The train station has, therefore, two purposes. The first is to create an arrival hall for people coming to the park. The second is to transition them emotionally from city to theme park.

The architecture of all of the buildings surrounding the park’s main entrance is very literally old Italy. During the concept design process, we asked ourselves “What would Carlo Scarpa do?”, Mr. Scarpa being an early modernist Italian architect who worked in a manner both modern and respectful of the beautiful context of the historical Italian cities in which most of his architecture was built. The design we created attempts to answer this question. It is based on his work for the Bank of Verona, and uses the iconic early modern classic train station design of a series of round vaults, exposed black steel structure and steel framed windows, all of which sits on a classic Italian plinth. Research and design, Observe, Analyze, Implement.

Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.

Residential Architect | TheIslands

Tianjin, China
3,340,000 m²

Click to download project

Residential Architect | GDW’s approach to designing residential communities in the countryside is based on our belief that there is little advantage to living in the country in a living situation typical of a city. We have, therefore, taken advantage of our site’s high water table to create a large lake and surrounding canal, allowing most homes to enjoy waterfront locations.

Further, lakeside homes are always valued, though waterfront homes exclusively located on islands are more valuable still. We therefore carved a number of unique and special islands within the lake, leaving between them a system of romantic canals, featuring summer time rowing and winter time skating, and larger bodies of water for big views and all sorts of water sports.

Islands also provides for the need of people to gather, shop, mingle and dine together with two spectacular water front clubs and a vibrant, central and energetic mixed-use town center.

Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.

Entertainment Design | Warner Bros. Madrid

Madrid, Spain
1,000,000 m²

Entertainment Design | Like most theme parks, Warner Bros. Movie World in Madrid, Spain, greets guests with a main street at the entry to the park. We based the design of this main street on California’s Hollywood Boulevard, and recreated such icons as the Mann’s Chinese Theater, home to the Academy Awards.

Our research was thorough. In the case of Mann’s Chinese, we were able to work from the original, hand drawn blueprints to authentically and accurately recreate that splendid theater.

The street includes shops, restaurants and a state of the art theater.

Entertainment Design | International studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations, places people love.

Residential Architect | Zuma Meadow Farm

Malibu, California, USA
7,800 SF

Click to download project

Residential Architect | Built on the site once occupied by the bunkhouse of one of Malibu’s oldest and most renowned farms, the Zuma Meadow Farm captures the spirit and simplicity of traditional California farmhouses. Rustic but polished, comfortable yet graceful, valuable yet unpretentious, solid and stable, history and a story.
The home’s rustic historicism is achieved through extensive use of reclaimed materials. Features include a heavy timber frame constructed of hand hewn and rough sawn timbers as much as 150 years old, reclaimed terra cotta, oak and limestone floors from Italy, and stone and reclaimed barn-wood cladding. New materials used were carefully selected to coordinate with the old. Examples include Corten “rusty” roofing and a pervious concrete driveway that has the look and absorption of decomposed granite without the mess and maintenance issues.
The Zuma Meadow Farm consists of an “original” farmhouse and its two barns. One barn has been connected to the farmhouse and “converted” into living space. California’s stringent earthquake code required that the home’s hand hewn timber frame and trusses be augmented with a significant amount of steel. The design and construction, however, carefully conceal all steel and connections, and the result is reminiscent of a historic Amish timber frame barn.
The timber frame in the house proper features rough sawn, old growth softwoods reclaimed from demolished warehouses in the Pacific Northwest. The required heavy steel frame in this part of the house has also been carefully concealed, lending the house the look and feel of historic farmhouse or lodge.
Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity.

Residential Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.

Resort Architect | Yongyu Muui Resort

Yongyu Muui, South Korea
4,500,000 m²

Click to download project

Resort Architect | The coastlines of Incheon’s Yongyu and Muui islands are extraordinary places. Peaceful coves, each singular in character, sheltered and separated by pine-covered hills, rocky cliffs and tiny offshore islands. The peaceful attitude belies the close proximity to 20 million people in Seoul, and one East Asia’s busiest international airports.

Positionally and historically, these islands are significant as the place where the land meets the sea and where Korea first opened up to the West. Today, by air and by sea, Incheon is arguably Korea’s most important gateway to the world at large.

The concept that we have developed for the Yongyu Muui Nautilus and Gull Resort creates a series of unique yet related environments, each carefully placed to enjoy the benefits of the natural beauty of the site, while harmonizing and enhancing its natural condition. The plan suggests nautilus shells and gull wings to metaphorically express the connection between land and sea, between ships and airplanes.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

Mixed-use | Crown Mixed-Use

Shenfu, China
843,000 m²

Mixed-use | From wooded hillside to an urban ring, the Shenfu Crown mixes urban living with a natural environment. The 843,000 M2 (9,075,000 SF) mixed-use center focuses on an enormous central courtyard resplendent in landscape, water features and featuring an enormous iconic central fountain. This green plaza is immediately adjacent to a heavily wooded hillside, and serves to stretch and pull those woods into the Crown's center. Surrounding this central courtyard is a pedestrian walk street in the midst of an indoor/outdoor retail and entertainment center. The architecture here takes its form from kimchi pots and natural beehives, the latter suggestive of the swarming human energy that will fill this place. The inner edge of this active pedestrian zone is populated with restaurants, all of which enjoy the views and the peaceful serenity of the green courtyard.
Wrapping around the central courtyard and retail and entertainment center is a sheltering wall of urbanity; a series of low-rise and mid-rise mixed-use buildings providing space for retail, offices and residences. The concept takes Main Street, shapes it into an ellipse, and wraps it around the courtyard and pedestrian walk street. The architecture of this ring suggests the protective crenellations of a castle and the bejeweled adornments of a Crown. Beyond this protective ring is a sea of trees, punctuated by a circle of iconic residential towers. Residents who live in these sculpted towers are surrounded by green and open space, yet less than a minute's walk from the urban core, the entertainment zone and the courtyard.
The architecture of the whole development borrows from that of the Pre-Columbian people of the Americas, with simple stepped forms evocative of Machu Picchu. The concept relies on strong and ubiquitous horizontal bands that both unify and accentuate the building forms, yet are simple and affordable to construct. The architecture is both iconic and attainable.
Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.

Urban Design | Butterfly City

Aphae-do, South Korea
40,000 Residents

Urban Design
Click to download project

Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is civic poetry. The entire city has taken on the form of a graceful Korean butterfly. The butterfly is a metaphor for beauty, movement, energy, grace and most appropriately, transformation; transformation into something far more beautiful, far more noteworthy. Further, the form of a butterfly has great practical value for a city planner. It has a linear, compact core that performs all the basic functions, and wings gridded by veins that draw energy and strength from the center.

Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is unique to Korea – in fact it is unique to the world. It will be the substance behind the Imagine Aphae resort, the economic engine behind the entire Imagine Sinan Resort. This city, the future home to 30 to 35,000 people, will provide a standard of living unmatched in Korea. The design for the city, based on North American innovation and Korean pragmatism, seeks to create a fabric of urban edges and open green space. Butterfly city references North American New Town Planning, the planning of the waterfront cities San Diego and Vancouver, and some of the best and most recent planning work done in Seoul.

The city is situated just north of the Imagine Aphae resort, spanning from water on the west to water on the east. The city is bifurcated by the main access route that connects the resort to the boat terminal. The future Sinan Gun administration building sits just west of this access. This building is necessarily central to the city, and needs to be surrounded, on its south side by commercial space and residential space. The prime public spaces, however are on the waterfront, both east and west of the administration building. This creates somewhat of a conflict, one that is addressed by surrounding the administration building and the waterfronts in ellipses, and by connecting the ellipse of the primary waterfront to the ellipse of the administration building with a great circle. The waving “line” that connects all three spaces becomes the commercial core of the city. The great circle, and the area just to the east of the circle, form the highest density residential neighborhood. Concentric rings of steadily decreasing density form the remainder of the city. Thus the administration building, commercial core, and two great open spaces form the body of the butterfly, tidal flat observation piers form its antennae, and the residential neighborhoods form its wings. Parks and schools accent those wings, forming the figurative “eyes” common to the wings of many butterflies.

Primary vehicular access is from a bridge connecting Aphae-do to nearby Mockbo, which then feeds the above mentioned primary island access road. This access road becomes a major north south artery for the city, and is one of four roads connecting city and resort. Secondary to this is a ring road that creates the city’s great circle, and additional arteries that outline the wings. The streets have been carefully planned to allow for great street trees and landscape strips and islands. In many ways, the quality of a city is the quality of its streets. The streets of BUTTERFLY CITY are patterned off those of some of the world’s cities.
Cars are augmented by rail in BUTTERFLY CITY. There is a monorail planned to connect Mockbo, the resort, city and port. Further, the commercial core of the city is defined by a trolley that runs continually from ellipse to ellipse, coast to coast, tying the city together. Every home in the city is within a reasonable walk to this core – the trolley gives residents access to the remainder of the city, while creating a layer of charm and appeal not previously seen.

As BUTTERFLY CITY is an island city, water is brought into the city to give greater access to the waterfront. Water wraps around the primary core, and a circular canal connects the county building to the coast, providing a linear park of water, landscape and biking and walking trails for the residents of the highest density area.

This carefully constructed network of core, roads, public spaces, canals and parks, as well as the great quality of its streets, commercial center and public spaces result in a standard of living the equal of which will be difficult to find in Asia.

Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY – a city as beautiful as its namesake, as livable as any in the world.

Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.

Retail Architect | Caruso Town Center

Palm Desert, USA
200,000 SF

Retail Architect | Rick Caruso’s charge to GDW Design Principal Brent Thompson was simple. “Look at our hugely successful projects in Thousand Oaks and repeat our success in Palm Desert.” The execution of that charge less simple. Thousand Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles, is pleasantly temperate area with a proximity to the Pacific Ocean that modulates its weather. Palm Desert, on the other hand, consistently is baked to extreme temperatures in the summer, and can also get quite hot in the spring and fall.
The design process was initiated with a bench marking tour of each of Caruso’s previous projects in order to understand their strengths and success. We wanted to understand those qualities that separate them from other projects. We learned that the planning is simple, straightforward and typical for this sort of everyday use community retail center. What sets Caruso’s work apart is its attention to guests. Every place where the public will set foot is given careful attention. There is a richness of texture and color, an appeal to all five senses. The architecture, likewise, is also layered and textured. The large building masses are broken into smaller pieces, so that each shop seems to be a building of its own. Fountains, art, landscaping and background music add further depth.
Much of this was easily transferable to our design. What wasn’t analogous was weather protection – how to create shade without both burying the shops and loosing the individuality that the Thousand Oaks shops enjoy. A typical solution is to add an arcade, but that both creates a single building mass and hides storefronts. The solution we adopted takes its clues from Caruso’s earlier work. We mixed a variety of shade devices – arcades, awnings, trellises – to provide sun protection and variety without obscuring storefronts.
We solved the challenges of this project using our standard process – identify the unique needs, research successful solutions and apply them. This is what we do.
Retail Architect | Expert design studio creating places people love.

Retail Architect | Towers Mixed-Use

Tanggu District, Tianjin, China
170,000 m²

Retail Architect
Click to download project

Tanggu City is located in the heart of China’s Bin Hai new area, and the Tanggu Towers Mixed-use project is to be located in the heart of Tanggu. The site, a solid city block, is surrounded by a cacophony of buildings, signs and shops, each calling louder then the next for attention. The architecture is loud, the colors are loud, the lighting screams louder yet.
In locations like this, the best way to call attention to oneself is to set oneself apart from the noise, to be the calm in the midst of the frenzy. GDW’s design for the Tanggu Towers creates a facade of quiet sophistication, a radical departure from the surroundings, a project that vehemently sets itself apart by providing a place of quiet for the eyes of every person on the street. It’s towers, one a hotel, another serviced apartments and six others residential, are generally teutonic and rigid, though bits of whimsy at times interrupts their cartesian formality.
Inside the project, however, is an energetic heart that magically contrasts with reserve of its exterior. A retail street, entered by passing between the twin towers that line the main street, cascades down several levels, maximizes the value of the land while maintaining an above ground feel.
Tanggu Towers, a calmly sophisticated facade with a vibrant, beating heart at its core.
Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.

Resort Architect | Flower Islands Resort

Sinan-Gun, South Korea
8 Resorts

Resort Architect | GDW developed the concept for the Flower Islands with several simple goals in mind: the project should be visible from outer space, the concept should be simple and obvious and highly suggestive of a resort, and it should be both unique in the world while celebrating the best of Korea. Based on these goals, we studied the world renowned Palm Islands in Dubai and developed the concept for the Flower Islands of Korea.
At its core, our concept was to create concentrated developments on the islands of Korea that largely leave the surrounding natural environment intact and untouched, allowing guests to enjoy the islands in their natural state, just as our research team enjoyed them on our initial visits.
The flower concept, in addition to creating a metaphor obviously suggestive a resort experience, creates an energetic core for the resort, a place people can meet and gather, while preserving the surrounding nature, wrapping it around the resort’s edges. The flowers are further respectful of both the local culture and topography, creating peaceful petals connected to a lively bud.
This concept represents GDW’s core philosophy for resort design: create an energetic village, and leave the balance of the site in its peaceful and natural condition for guests to appreciate and enjoy.
Resort Architect | Destination design studio creating resorts that delight.

Destination Design | Haihe River Icon

50 Meters

Click to download project

Destination Design | GlobalDesign Workshop Inc. [GDW] is a boutique design studio specializing in the master planning architectural and experiential design of mixed-use town centers and retail, dining and entertainment [RD+E] destinations. GDW selectively pursues only a few significant commissions each year, allowing design principal Brent Thompson to personally craft every GDW project. The result is a consistent level of quality design, and a history of projects that bring success to our clients.
Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.

Mixed-use | Dagang Town Center

Tianjin, China
193,000

Mixed-use | GDW created two concepts for the Dagang Town Center using a charrette technique, developing both concepts in just a single week in order to facilitate our client’s extremely tight schedule. Both concepts combine an energetic, mixed-use town center with a quieter residential community that is both integrated with and separate from the commercial uses of the town center.
The first scheme, Ribbons, combines a glass retail plinth with a “ribbon” of office space above, architecture that winds up and down as it makes its way around the town centers great plaza. The second scheme, Blender, uses swirling forms to create a vortex of energy in its central circular plaza.
Both schemes include a series of smaller scale office duplexes, as well as GDW’s trademark “Stacked Villas,” stacked two story residential units, each with a private courtyard and volume ceilings, that use a skip stop elevator and private, outdoor entries to create residences that combine the privacy and indoor outdoor living of a villa with the density of a condominium.
Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.

Destination Design | Themed Tunnels


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TEDA, Tianjin, China

Destination Design | One of the fastest growing areas on the planet is China’s Bin Hai New Area. Twenty years ago, China focused its considerable energy on building Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Ten years ago, Shanghai’s Pudong district went through a similar period of growth, and is now home to some of the world’s finest architecture. More recently, China has focused its energies on the Bin Hai New Area. Located on the edge of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, and just a forty-five minute train ride from Beijing, the focus of the area’s development is the TEDA economic development area.

In the heart of TEDA a block of towers is under construction, including one that will be the world’s third tallest. Twenty to thirty-thousand people will visit or work on this block each working day. The entry experience most will experience will not be the grand lobbies of the towers, but instead the system of tunnels that lead to the underground parking structures.

GDW was contracted by the TEDA government to design the entry canopies and interior skins of those entry tunnels. GDW’s concept has two major features. First, the tunnel entries. GDW designed a light, flowing, cloud like entry canopy evocative of movement and motion. At night, color changing lights give the canopies an altogether different character, and their quality of movement is enhanced.

Our design of the tunnels themselves had two primary goals. First, as with the canopies, our design, a series of liquid, flowing bands of color, evokes movement and energy. Second, along with creating an entry experience for towers, our work is intended to help orient people in the two and a half kilometer long system of tunnels. Our concept, the four seasons, which also relate in China to the four points of the compass, are expressed in both the colors of the seasons and a series of two dimensional icons evocative of those seasons.

GDW | Destination Design | Expert design studio creating places people love.

Residential Architect | Raptor + Conch

Malibu, California, USA
3,545 SF

Residential Architect | There is a spot in Malibu where the coastal plain meets the Santa Monica Mountains, the place where the sea and the mountains meet.
The Raptor and Conch House lives in that spot. The tightly wound form of the conch, a metaphor for the sea, provides space for the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The sweeping form of the raptor, the metaphor for the mountains enclose the balance of the house. The entry to the home is in the place where they meet.
Sweeping forms on a Cartesian backbone, layers, transparency and metaphor. This home encapsulates the spirit of our design.
Residential Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, residences that delight.

GDWbook


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Master Planners | Master Planning Works


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Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.

Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action.

Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:

  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]

The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place.

For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan.

Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.

Retail Architect | Destination Design


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Retail Architect | What is Destination Design? 4 Necessary Ingredients

What is a Destination Design? What is a Retail destination? The Apple dictionary defines a definition as follows:

destination |ˌdestəˈnā sh ən|

noun

the place to which someone or something is going or being sent : a popular destination for golfers.

adjective

being a place that people will make a special trip to visit : a destination restaurant.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin destinatio(n-), from destinare ‘make firm, establish.’ The original sense was [the action of intending someone or something for a particular purpose,] later [being destined for a particular place,] hence (from the early 19th cent.) the place itself.

Obvious. But when a retail architect is designing in the context of created places, what makes a great retail destination, and what makes people want to go there, stay there and be there?

1. People

People want to got to a retail destination because other people, many other people, go there. People want to be there, like to be there. The primary reason people go to successful retail destinations is because other people go there - because crowds of people go there. People go to watch people, be with people, meet people.

People are the single most important form of entertainment. The best movie watched in an empty theater falls flat. An exceptional meal in an empty restaurant is not enjoyed but endured. A crowded theme park frustrates, but an empty park is no fun at all. An empty resort is spooky and odd, and an empty urban town center is frightening and perhaps dangerous. One traveling to a resort seeking serenity will likely do so only if others have previously done so and vouched for the quality of the experience.

2. Choices

People go to a retail destination because they have chosen to do so. This is at the essence of the definition of destination design. They could easily choose to go elsewhere. Whether traveling on foot, by car or by plane, they have embarked on a trip with the express purpose of ending up in a specific destination. Once they have decided to make a trip, they have choices - they could just as easily walk, drive or fly to any number of other destinations. It it therefore imperative that a retail destination provide potential guests with reasons for it to be their choice. A retail architect must create a place with wide appeal, unique experiences, and perceived value or cache.

3. People Want to BE There

People choose to travel to a destination because they want to be there. Great retail destinations have a magical quality. While one considers pragmatic concerns, such as travel time, cost, parking and ease of use, when selecting a destination it is the magic of a place that attracts the masses. The most successful destinations often are often very difficult to use, in part because they are so successful. Venice, Italy, is horribly crowded, difficult to access and very expensive; yet magical and one of the earth’s most visited destinations. Venice has magic – an attraction difficult to define, yet remarkable to experience.

When pragmatic issues are equal, and often when they are not, people will decide to go where they most want to be.

4. Entertainment

Because people desire to be in a place resplendent with magical quality, entertainment is a common thread in most great destinations. Whether the destination is an active participant in the entertainment, such as a theme park with its shows and rides, a cultural center with movies, plays or a concerts, or a passive participant, such as a retail center with fabulous architecture, people watching, shopping and dining, the entertainment provides an element of escape. A successful retail architect knows escape from the cares and concerns of everyday life creates magic.

Resort Architect | Hongfeng Spa Resort

China, Guiyang
2,310,000 m²

Near the city of Guiyang in China's Guizhou province is a large and beautiful lake, Hongfeng Hu. The name means Red Maple Lake, fitting, as the lake is surrounded by mountains populated with Red Maple trees.

On a beautiful lakeside site, resplendent with mountains, valleys and a couple of smaller lakes, GDW created Hongfeng Spa Resort. Complete with a lakeside resort village, resort hotels, a water park, theme park and themed residential neighborhoods, this resort makes the most of this fabulous setting.

Hongfeng Spa Resort is a resort with something for everyone. Experiences have been designed for all ages, for you and old, active and inactive, rich and middle class. A truly spectacular family resort.

Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.

DESIGN ARCHITECT NIGHT BLUE1
Destination Design | One of the fastest growing areas on the planet is China’s Bin Hai New Area. Twenty years ago, China focused its considerable energy on building Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Ten years ago, Shanghai’s Pudong district went through a similar period of growth, and is now home to some of the world’s finest architecture. More recently, China has focused its energies on the Bin Hai New Area. Located on the edge of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, and just a forty-five minute train ride from Beijing, the focus of the area’s development is the TEDA economic development area. In the heart of TEDA a block of towers is under construction, including one that will be the world’s third tallest. Twenty to thirty-thousand people will visit or work on this block each working day. The entry experience most will experience will not be the grand lobbies of the towers, but instead the system of tunnels that lead to the underground parking structures. GDW was contracted by the TEDA government to design the entry canopies and interior skins of those entry tunnels. GDW’s concept has two major features. First, the tunnel entries. GDW designed a light, flowing, cloud like entry canopy evocative of movement and motion. At night, color changing lights give the canopies an altogether different character, and their quality of movement is enhanced. Our design of the tunnels themselves had two primary goals. First, as with the canopies, our design, a series of liquid, flowing bands of color, evokes movement and energy. Second, along with creating an entry experience for towers, our work is intended to help orient people in the two and a half kilometer long system of tunnels. Our concept, the four seasons, which also relate in China to the four points of the compass, are expressed in both the colors of the seasons and a series of two dimensional icons evocative of those seasons. GDW | Destination Design | Expert design studio creating places people love.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
Master plan urban07
Click to download project Master Planning | Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity', one of our primary master planning principles, creates a place appealing to a wide variety of people; a place enticing to them, whatever their mood or appetite; whatever the season, time of day or day of the week. The TEDA PROMENADE Master Plan exemplifies this principle. Our design makes a grand statement by organizing its facilities around a central thematic element, an elliptical lagoon. The Lagoon is the entertainment, the environmental nucleus that creates the stage set for each component piece. This extroverted approach allows guests to remain constantly oriented within the whole of the place, while a major assembly of icons encourages them to move throughout the site. This structure of development is consistent with modern urban core developments and the exposition style of recent World Fairs. The space we created is home to a world class soccer stadium and convention center, and the future home of a major retail and entertainment center, as well as 5000 homes in over 40 towers. Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Urban Design Click to download project One the edge of Chengdu, GlobalDesign is creating a concept for uniquely engaging riverfront new city. The Client’s program called for a thoroughly Art DecoCity and GDW has thoroughly researched the best examples of the style. DecoCity celebrates the Deco movement. GDW focused on two planning of our urban planning principles, quality of life and unique identity. With its active city center, parks and gathering places, places that laud nature and extol sport and radial arrangement of canals and pedestrian pathways, DecoCity celebrates living. DecoCity’s unique identity goes beyond style. From the “Rising Sun” form determinate suggestive of China’s place in the world, to formal Deco geometry, and typically Deco skyline, DecoCity redefines urban branding. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight. The two primary goals for a truly sustainable city are, without question, quality lifestyle and identity. Why? When one puts political agendas aside, it is obvious that the single largest commitment of environmental resources required of a city is the construction of the city itself. A city that is loved, that people enjoy living in and are proud to call home is a city that will remain intact for generations. Ironically, cities and the structures they are made of are typically awarded sustainability points for the ease of which they can be recycled. We believe that this is a fallacy. We wonder why a well designed city should have reason to be recycled. Searching the annals of history, we are aware of no city that provided quality of life, no city that made its residents proud, that was subsequently subjected to the rigors of recycling. Not, in any event, without the help of an invading enemy army! This is not to say that we reject all the principles of sustainable city design. We simply find most redundant. Why is it necessary, for example, to award points based on transport? Moving people easily, effectively and pleasantly through a city has always been a major goal for planners (except, perhaps, during medieval times, when it was a greater concern to make it difficult for invaders to navigate city streets then for residents to easily move around). A city that forces its residents to remain immobile or sit in traffic is not a city that provides quality of life. A city that makes circulation pleasant does, however, provide an enviable lifestyle. Should not the desire to create pleasant strolls and easy commutes be of paramount priority for the urban planner? Is not the process of awarding points for public transport directed more specifically to special interest lobbies than to those who will call a city their home? We reject the notion of designing based on checklists created by academia and special interests. We favor cities designed for people. We reject the notion that people will work to preserve their city because of the ease of which it can be recycled. Instead, we seek to create places that capture the hearts of inhabitants. A people proud of a city will maintain and preserve it, making sure the precious natural resources invested in its creation will benefit generations to come.
urban architect, urban design firm, urban design architect, urban design consultant, urban design services, urban designer, american urban designer, new town architect, new town design, new town master planning
Click to download project Urban Design | Located at the convergence of the Haihe River and two ancient and legendary canals, SAN CHA KOU can truly be called the birthplace of the modern Chinese city of Tianjin. This proposal for the redevelopment of SAN CHA KOU is designed to initiate Tianjin’s long-term redevelopment plans for the Haihe River, plans that will completely transform the city. Our concept for SAN CHA KOU showcases this transformation, setting an example for future designers of how to celebrate the river’s edge. It will set the standard for development, dramatically improving the quality of life of those who live, work or play within this area. Most importantly, it will help Tianjin achieve international recognition as a remarkable place to live and work. The project includes a city park, a retail and entertainment center, two museums, five high-rise residential towers and blocks of medium density mixed-use. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Urban Design Click to download project Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is civic poetry. The entire city has taken on the form of a graceful Korean butterfly. The butterfly is a metaphor for beauty, movement, energy, grace and most appropriately, transformation; transformation into something far more beautiful, far more noteworthy. Further, the form of a butterfly has great practical value for a city planner. It has a linear, compact core that performs all the basic functions, and wings gridded by veins that draw energy and strength from the center. Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is unique to Korea – in fact it is unique to the world. It will be the substance behind the Imagine Aphae resort, the economic engine behind the entire Imagine Sinan Resort. This city, the future home to 30 to 35,000 people, will provide a standard of living unmatched in Korea. The design for the city, based on North American innovation and Korean pragmatism, seeks to create a fabric of urban edges and open green space. Butterfly city references North American New Town Planning, the planning of the waterfront cities San Diego and Vancouver, and some of the best and most recent planning work done in Seoul. The city is situated just north of the Imagine Aphae resort, spanning from water on the west to water on the east. The city is bifurcated by the main access route that connects the resort to the boat terminal. The future Sinan Gun administration building sits just west of this access. This building is necessarily central to the city, and needs to be surrounded, on its south side by commercial space and residential space. The prime public spaces, however are on the waterfront, both east and west of the administration building. This creates somewhat of a conflict, one that is addressed by surrounding the administration building and the waterfronts in ellipses, and by connecting the ellipse of the primary waterfront to the ellipse of the administration building with a great circle. The waving “line” that connects all three spaces becomes the commercial core of the city. The great circle, and the area just to the east of the circle, form the highest density residential neighborhood. Concentric rings of steadily decreasing density form the remainder of the city. Thus the administration building, commercial core, and two great open spaces form the body of the butterfly, tidal flat observation piers form its antennae, and the residential neighborhoods form its wings. Parks and schools accent those wings, forming the figurative “eyes” common to the wings of many butterflies. Primary vehicular access is from a bridge connecting Aphae-do to nearby Mockbo, which then feeds the above mentioned primary island access road. This access road becomes a major north south artery for the city, and is one of four roads connecting city and resort. Secondary to this is a ring road that creates the city’s great circle, and additional arteries that outline the wings. The streets have been carefully planned to allow for great street trees and landscape strips and islands. In many ways, the quality of a city is the quality of its streets. The streets of BUTTERFLY CITY are patterned off those of some of the world’s cities. Cars are augmented by rail in BUTTERFLY CITY. There is a monorail planned to connect Mockbo, the resort, city and port. Further, the commercial core of the city is defined by a trolley that runs continually from ellipse to ellipse, coast to coast, tying the city together. Every home in the city is within a reasonable walk to this core – the trolley gives residents access to the remainder of the city, while creating a layer of charm and appeal not previously seen. As BUTTERFLY CITY is an island city, water is brought into the city to give greater access to the waterfront. Water wraps around the primary core, and a circular canal connects the county building to the coast, providing a linear park of water, landscape and biking and walking trails for the residents of the highest density area. This carefully constructed network of core, roads, public spaces, canals and parks, as well as the great quality of its streets, commercial center and public spaces result in a standard of living the equal of which will be difficult to find in Asia. Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY – a city as beautiful as its namesake, as livable as any in the world. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.
urban architect, urban design firm, urban design architect, urban design consultant, urban design services, urban designer, american urban designer, new town architect, new town design, new town master planning
Click to download project Urban Design | Directly across the Haihe River from our Haihe Beach Park, on a grand point formerly occupied bt a chemical plant, is the 1.5 million m2 site of Haihe River South, or the Moon and the Ribbon Walk. We created the Haihe Beach Park in order to show the people of Tanggu that the riverfront could be an engaging place to visit. The intent of Haihe River South is to show the people of the city that the riverfront can also be an enjoyable place to live, work and play. The place we created addresses each of those needs. The residential neighborhoods are very high density, yet preserve sun access and maximize views and open space. The mixed-use work district maximizes river views and integrates well with the residential. All areas of the plan celebrate the water. One of our most basic design principles involves creating metaphors. The crescent moon shaped entertainment island and the ribbon shaped waterfront park refer to a well known Chinese poem. Use of this metaphor effectively inculcates the place with enormous emotional appeal to the people of Tanggu. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
05_HaiheBeachPark_Photo
Click to download project Urban Design | The Haihe River is the most intriguing asset of the Chinese city of Tanggu. Yet until recently, it was also its greatest liability. Hidden behind seawalls, littered with abandoned chemical factories, and filled with their by-products, no one in Tanggu had any desire to go anywhere near the Haihe River, let alone live, work or play there. Our visionary client, Tanggu’s mayor, charged us with creating a one kilometer long riverfront park that would change perceptions of the river, its value and its potential. We deployed one of our primary public space principals - create a place made up of a variety of spaces, each with varied appeal to young and old, men and women, rich and poor. We further announced its importance with three larger-than-life icons, metaphors to the river and the movement of the water. The Haihe Beach Park has entirely changed the character of Tanggu and its riverfront. More significantly, it has given the people of Tanggu a vision for a better future. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
02_HaiheRiver_Diagram
Urban Design | GDW design principal Brent Thompson created the Haihe River Beach Park to add value to the city of Tanggu’s riverfront property by showing the population of the city the riverfront could be a wonderful place to work, live and play. Following the creation of the park, Mr. Thompson created an overall master plan, a blueprint for the development of the riverfront as it winds its way through this rapidly growing city, home to China’s second largest port. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
01_BlossomTanggu_Masterplan_Masterplan
Urban Design Click to download project The City of Tanggu is the home of the port of Beijing and Tianjin. Under its young and forward looking leadership, Tanggu is emerging from the shadow of those two great cities, creating a presence of its own. The mayor of Tanggu asked us to create a park and a sculptural icon at the city’s entrance that would immediately communicate to all those arriving both the spirit of the city, and the quality of life it provides. The icon, Blossom Tanggu, combines the beauty of a flower blossom and the power of a rising wave. Both are metaphors for surging potential, while the combination of strength and beauty are particularly powerful in China. The park furthers these metaphors, reminds visitors of the city’s seaside presence, and includes a plethora of activities to ensure that it will always be filled with people, thus communicating the city’s quality of life. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.
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Town Center Planner Click to download project Our work on Bon Carré was as much a social movement as it was a master planning and retail design exercise. Bon Marché, a once booming mall on what was then the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had become an inner city wasteland as the city grew past the old mall. The mall became home to the highest crime rate in the city. Additionally, the people of Baton Rouge frequently complain that the town has no center, no place to walk. We addressed both of these issues by creating an upscale town center, complete with a million dollar park, right in front of the newly christened Bon Carré. The idea was to bring the “gentry” back to declare the area safe, allowing the middle class to reoccupy the mall as well as the new town center. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Town Center Planner | The design of the TEDA Phoenix Center, with its asymmetrically sweeping wings contrasting with its axially aligned circles and ellipses, brings to mind the grand feathers of a Chinese Phoenix bird. Considered auspicious throughout China, the Phoenix is swift as it is light, beautiful in color, charming in song. The Phoenix is a sign of harmony and prosperity in China, and Phoenix feathers symbolize precious and rare objects or people. The plan has been carefully divided into three unique and singular zones. To the south is the commercial zone, the energetic heart of not only this development, but of the larger, contiguous master-planned development as well. To the northeast, the Phoenix wing shaped mixed-use facility derives its shape from the raised monorail line that curves through the site. The third zone, in the northwest, is largely residential in character, with carefully sculpted low-rise buildings enjoying coveted southern exposures, and five mid-rise towers with very small footprints that acknowledge and celebrate the valuable exposure that the train line brings to this site. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
mixed-use, mixed-use architect, mixed-use design, mixed-use consultant, mixed-use designer, urban design master planner, urban design concept architecture, master planning, mixed-use design
Retail Architect Click to download project Tanggu City is located in the heart of China’s Bin Hai new area, and the Tanggu Towers Mixed-use project is to be located in the heart of Tanggu. The site, a solid city block, is surrounded by a cacophony of buildings, signs and shops, each calling louder then the next for attention. The architecture is loud, the colors are loud, the lighting screams louder yet. In locations like this, the best way to call attention to oneself is to set oneself apart from the noise, to be the calm in the midst of the frenzy. GDW’s design for the Tanggu Towers creates a facade of quiet sophistication, a radical departure from the surroundings, a project that vehemently sets itself apart by providing a place of quiet for the eyes of every person on the street. It’s towers, one a hotel, another serviced apartments and six others residential, are generally teutonic and rigid, though bits of whimsy at times interrupts their cartesian formality. Inside the project, however, is an energetic heart that magically contrasts with reserve of its exterior. A retail street, entered by passing between the twin towers that line the main street, cascades down several levels, maximizes the value of the land while maintaining an above ground feel. Tanggu Towers, a calmly sophisticated facade with a vibrant, beating heart at its core. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
Malibu House Architect10
Residential Architect | There is a spot in Malibu where the coastal plain meets the Santa Monica Mountains, the place where the sea and the mountains meet. The Raptor and Conch House lives in that spot. The tightly wound form of the conch, a metaphor for the sea, provides space for the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The sweeping form of the raptor, the metaphor for the mountains enclose the balance of the house. The entry to the home is in the place where they meet. Sweeping forms on a Cartesian backbone, layers, transparency and metaphor. This home encapsulates the spirit of our design. Residential Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, residences that delight.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
01_Tianjin_MasterPlan
Click to download project Residential Architect | GDW’s approach to designing residential communities in the countryside is based on our belief that there is little advantage to living in the country in a living situation typical of a city. We have, therefore, taken advantage of our site’s high water table to create a large lake and surrounding canal, allowing most homes to enjoy waterfront locations. Further, lakeside homes are always valued, though waterfront homes exclusively located on islands are more valuable still. We therefore carved a number of unique and special islands within the lake, leaving between them a system of romantic canals, featuring summer time rowing and winter time skating, and larger bodies of water for big views and all sorts of water sports. Islands also provides for the need of people to gather, shop, mingle and dine together with two spectacular water front clubs and a vibrant, central and energetic mixed-use town center. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
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Residential Architect | Rose Valley features architecture with elements both authentically historical and quintessentially modern. GDW’s task when creating the main entry was first to celebrate the contrast of these elements, and in so doing preface the architecture of the entire project, second to frame the entry and transition arriving residents and visitors from the outside world to the magic of Rose Valley, and third, to provide ticketing facilities and security for the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors who will daily wander Rose Valley’s fields of roses. GDW first created a traditional stone archway, based on extensive research of Roman aqueducts and Italian gates. Next, we created a series of dynamically sculpted walls of stone, rusted steel and climbing roses, modern in form and execution. These walls, some of which also form dramatic waterfalls, create a sense of arrival, of movement, energy and of modernity. They also, quite practically, shield the ticketing and security functions from public views, allowing the gate to function as it must while appearing entirely ornamental. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Rose Valley, as the name implies, features outstanding villas surrounded by vast fields of roses. The defining architectural concept of Rose Valley is that of contrast – old and new, solid and transparent, building and farm. GDW’s three primary goals for the clubhouse are first to create a place that is impressive yet incredibly comfortable and welcoming; second to create a single building expressive of all of the project’s finest features; and third, to showcase the stunning views of water and roses that homeowners will daily enjoy. The building we have created accomplishes all three of these goals. At street side, visitors are greeted by a grand Tuscan hall and a beautifully proportioned stone Tuscan tower. Carefully joined to the hall, in much the same way that old and new are frequently combined in Italy, is a modern wing of stone, glass and copper. Upon entering the hall, visitors are at once awed and welcomed by an enormous hall with ancient terra cotta floors, towering timber columns, and an enormous traditional European fireplace filled with a roaring fire. Flanking the hall is a formal, old school restaurant and a traditional, yet comfortable and welcoming, library lounge. Axial to the front door of the clubhouse is an opening overlooking a spacious modern hall – unexpected in its context, yet foreshadowed by the modern piece at the buildings entry. One’s view naturally continues along the axis to what may be the clubhouse’s finest feature – a huge wall of glass with seemingly endless views of fields of roses. Thus the Rose Valley Clubhouse accomplishes each of GDW’s goals. It is impressive yet makes one feel at home; it celebrates contrasting architecture, and serves as a frame for Rose Valley’s exceptional views. Clubhouse Architect | California design studio expert at designing clubhouses and residential projects people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project There is a spot in Malibu where the coastal plain meets the Santa Monica Mountains, the place where the sea and the mountains meet. The Raptor and Conch House lives in that spot. The tightly wound form of the conch, a metaphor for the sea, provides space for the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The sweeping form of the raptor, the metaphor for the mountains enclose the balance of the house. The entry to the home is in the place where they meet. Sweeping forms on a Cartesian backbone, layers, transparency and metaphor. This home encapsulates the spirit of our design. Home Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that families love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Residential Architect | Our design for the residential towers for TEDA, in Tianjin, China, focuses on two principles. First, the desire to create towers that make a bold statement and communicate at a glance the spirit of our client, TEDA. Second, the need to create a pragmatic solution to a down to earth challenge. Housing is an architectural discipline that must address the most pragmatic of needs, including sun orientation and views. While these principles are superficially at odds with one another, resolving this conflict resulted in the most compelling of solutions. The form of these buildings is decisive and expressive, yet every unit has a southern exposure, an abundance of glass, and a stunning view. The result is quite compelling. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Residential Architect | Built on the site once occupied by the bunkhouse of one of Malibu’s oldest and most renowned farms, the Zuma Meadow Farm captures the spirit and simplicity of traditional California farmhouses. Rustic but polished, comfortable yet graceful, valuable yet unpretentious, solid and stable, history and a story. The home’s rustic historicism is achieved through extensive use of reclaimed materials. Features include a heavy timber frame constructed of hand hewn and rough sawn timbers as much as 150 years old, reclaimed terra cotta, oak and limestone floors from Italy, and stone and reclaimed barn-wood cladding. New materials used were carefully selected to coordinate with the old. Examples include Corten “rusty” roofing and a pervious concrete driveway that has the look and absorption of decomposed granite without the mess and maintenance issues. The Zuma Meadow Farm consists of an “original” farmhouse and its two barns. One barn has been connected to the farmhouse and “converted” into living space. California’s stringent earthquake code required that the home’s hand hewn timber frame and trusses be augmented with a significant amount of steel. The design and construction, however, carefully conceal all steel and connections, and the result is reminiscent of a historic Amish timber frame barn. The timber frame in the house proper features rough sawn, old growth softwoods reclaimed from demolished warehouses in the Pacific Northwest. The required heavy steel frame in this part of the house has also been carefully concealed, lending the house the look and feel of historic farmhouse or lodge. Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity. Residential Architect | Malibu design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
26_CHP_Residential_Design
Click to download project Residential Architect | Chengdu, China, is a place of obvious architectural contrast. The city is home to some of China’s finest modern commercial architecture, yet ringed with villas that are distinctly historically associative in design. When GDW was engaged to design the villas of Rose Valley, we were tasked with creating homes of historical European architecture. While this architectural style is effective at creating a sense of timelessness, strength and security, it is not as effective at facilitating a modern lifestyle, or at providing great views – of critical import for this project as the villas all have backyards of fields of roses. When tasked with creating historically associative architecture, GDW focuses on two primary principles. This first is that the architecture should be literal and authentic, based on sound research of the best examples of a given style. Second, we like to contrast old and new, to provide for the client’s desire to create a timeless environment without sacrificing the modern lifestyle. Adherence to these principles led us to create homes that are traditional at the street edge, and modern at the back. Thus the houses are rich and secure at the front, and wide open to the stunning views at the back. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
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Resort Architect | GDW developed the concept for the Flower Islands with several simple goals in mind: the project should be visible from outer space, the concept should be simple and obvious and highly suggestive of a resort, and it should be both unique in the world while celebrating the best of Korea. Based on these goals, we studied the world renowned Palm Islands in Dubai and developed the concept for the Flower Islands of Korea. At its core, our concept was to create concentrated developments on the islands of Korea that largely leave the surrounding natural environment intact and untouched, allowing guests to enjoy the islands in their natural state, just as our research team enjoyed them on our initial visits. The flower concept, in addition to creating a metaphor obviously suggestive a resort experience, creates an energetic core for the resort, a place people can meet and gather, while preserving the surrounding nature, wrapping it around the resort’s edges. The flowers are further respectful of both the local culture and topography, creating peaceful petals connected to a lively bud. This concept represents GDW’s core philosophy for resort design: create an energetic village, and leave the balance of the site in its peaceful and natural condition for guests to appreciate and enjoy. Resort Architect | Destination design studio creating resorts that delight.
Resort Architect
Near the city of Guiyang in China's Guizhou province is a large and beautiful lake, Hongfeng Hu. The name means Red Maple Lake, fitting, as the lake is surrounded by mountains populated with Red Maple trees. On a beautiful lakeside site, resplendent with mountains, valleys and a couple of smaller lakes, GDW created Hongfeng Spa Resort. Complete with a lakeside resort village, resort hotels, a water park, theme park and themed residential neighborhoods, this resort makes the most of this fabulous setting. Hongfeng Spa Resort is a resort with something for everyone. Experiences have been designed for all ages, for you and old, active and inactive, rich and middle class. A truly spectacular family resort. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
01_ChengPoLake_Siteplan
Master Planning | The Joseon kings treasured the Secret Garden in Seoul’s Changdeok Palace as a favored escape. Resplendent in natural beauty and immediately accessible from the working portion of the palace, it provided daily opportunities for respite and relief, and kept the kings in perfect harmony with nature. Today the hard working residents of Seoul continue to find respite in this magical place that so beautifully contrasts with the dense urban world surrounding its walls. The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will be just such a place. Immediately adjacent to Muan Enterprise City and Muan International Airport, it will afford Muan’s residents and guests the opportunity to live and play in perfect harmony with nature without leaving their city. In the crowded and competitive world of international enterprise cities, the lifestyle facilitated by the Secret Garden will set Muan apart, and enable Muan to attract a highly skilled and diversified workforce. The Lotus House floats on piles over the floating lotuses of the Buyongji Pond in Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden, living in the environment without damaging the environment. In fact, the environment is made more beautiful by the Lotus House. In a similar fashion, the homes, boardwalks, commercial and entertainment facilities of Muan’s Secret Garden will be perched on piles, floating over reed filled wetlands, surrounded by snowy egrets and schools of fish. The architecture, upholstered in natural wood, metals and stone, will be in complete harmony with nature. The wetlands and lake itself will be extensively cleaned and enhanced, and migrant bird habitats will be carefully crafted at the water’s edge. The Muan lifestyle will be enhanced by opportunities to live, work, play and relax surrounded by the lake’s fresh, clean waters. The Secret Garden will include a variety of housing types, varying in style, relationship to the lake and in density. Waterfront villas, each with its own boat dock, will float on stilts above the reeds that line the water’s edge. Town homes with boat docks will line canals, affording beautiful views for every home and immediate access to the lake. A marina, surrounded with denser condominiums, will provide another opportunity to live on the water, an ideal situation for boating enthusiasts and romantics alike. Guests will find a great variety of options for short or long term stays in the Secret Garden. Overnight guests in transit at Muan International Airport will be serviced by a beautiful hotel situated on a point in the lake, while those taking advantage of the business and conference center or the adjacent golf courses will be treated to resort like accommodations on an island in the lake. For long term guests, always a fixture in an international business park, the Marina will include serviced apartments. Those more interested in shopping, dining entertainment and cultural pursuits will find serviced apartments adjacent to the commercial district. Places that accommodate rich, activity filled lifestyles attract international businesses. The Secret Garden will provide a plethora of ways to shop, play and learn. A retail and entertainment center at the heart of the Garden will include shops, restaurants, cinemas and an entertainment pier sporting a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and numerous game booths. An island lake will include a wonderfully themed restaurant and a beautifully situated teahouse. Water sports entertainment will include a year around water themed park and spa, a yacht club and water sports center and the Marina. Eco Lake itself will provide areas for motor sports such as water skiing, sailing regattas, and kayak trips though the wetlands. Enjoyment of activities provided by the Secret Garden will not be limited to residents, members or paying guests. Public offerings will include a public park, a wetlands study center, public beaches, trails and a civic amphitheater. The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will offer residents and guests of Muan Enterprise City opportunities to pursue rewarding careers without sacrificing a rich and varied lifestyle. Like the kings of old, they will have immediate access to this magical place, this place so close to where they work, yet so very far apart. Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
RESORT MASTER PLANNER | 2018 Winter Olympics | GlobalDesign Workshop | Brent Thompson
Resort Architect Click to download project Click to download press release We are proud to announce that the GDW master planned Alpensia Resort Village, in South Korea’s Pyeonchang region, won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics with a decisive win over rivals Munich of Germany and Annecy of France. In the mountainous center of the Korean peninsula there is a beautiful place appropriately named Peace Valley. Our clients asked us to create Alpensia in this valley, a resort unlike any other in Korea as well as facilities to support Korea’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The InterContinental Hotel Group has recently announced that they will operate Alpensia’s three main hotels - a luxury resort hotel and two family hotels. GlobalDesign Workshop’s design creates the critical mass necessary to make a major international resort successful. Based on the resort village concept recently rediscovered in North America, continually enjoyed in Europe, and now deployed in Asia, the village includes an energetic combination of hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and condominiums. The concentration of energy and facilities this concept generates has the additional benefit of leaving much of the beautiful site untouched. Seasonality is one of the biggest challenges faced by the tourism industry. Thus, we have incorporated a host of year around activities, including a wellness center, a year around board hill, an indoor water park and an outlet shopping village. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
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Resort Architect Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight. Click to download project
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Click to download project Resort Architect | The coastlines of Incheon’s Yongyu and Muui islands are extraordinary places. Peaceful coves, each singular in character, sheltered and separated by pine-covered hills, rocky cliffs and tiny offshore islands. The peaceful attitude belies the close proximity to 20 million people in Seoul, and one East Asia’s busiest international airports. Positionally and historically, these islands are significant as the place where the land meets the sea and where Korea first opened up to the West. Today, by air and by sea, Incheon is arguably Korea’s most important gateway to the world at large. The concept that we have developed for the Yongyu Muui Nautilus and Gull Resort creates a series of unique yet related environments, each carefully placed to enjoy the benefits of the natural beauty of the site, while harmonizing and enhancing its natural condition. The plan suggests nautilus shells and gull wings to metaphorically express the connection between land and sea, between ships and airplanes. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project CloudLake, a riverfront resort with no lake in sight, is to be built as an “outside the gate” hospitality center to several adjacent theme and water parks. GDW’s concept combines bold geometry and intimate human scale to create a place that has wide appeal to all sorts of people, a place that will extend their stays and encourage them to visit repeatedly. GDW based the project on San Antonio, Texas’ wildly successful Riverwalk, extensively researching that project to gain a thorough understanding of how it works and why people find it so attractive. Riverwalk is a textbook example of a place people love, a place with the quality described by the latin phrase Genius Loci, a place with a magical quality that all recognize but few understand. The designers of GDW have spent their careers studying places with Genius Loci around the world in an effort to understand how that magical quality is achieved. Riverwalk achieves the magic, in part, by completely integrating water in the project. The water isn’t just something that can be seen, it is so close that people are immersed in its nearness. Riverwalk is all about the water: strolling by the water, dining by the water, enjoying music by the water, and riding boats on the water. The water is its magic. CloudLake adopts this theme, fully integrating water with the space, and with the experience guests have when visiting CloudLake. CloudLake combines a Riverwalk like walk street with boutique hotels, a large five star hotel, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to create an ideal place for those visiting the neighboring theme parks to stay and to spend their evenings. GDW achieves the magic of CloudLake by learning from Riverwalk. Observe, Analyze, Implement. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.  
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Resort Architect Click to download project The Red Sea, with its crystal clear waters and abundant sea life, is one of the world’s fastest developing waterfront destinations. In the heart of this gorgeous region, on a one square kilometer oceanfront site, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman asked GDW to design a palace for Prince Salman, as well as additional palaces for each of his six sons. The concept we created focused on discovery, privacy and water sports, and took the form of a metaphorical flower lying on the sandy beach. Petals of this tropical flower formed a series of private coves, each the home of an individual palace, its own private beaches, guesthouses, gardens and water sports facilities. At the center of the flower is a community recreation hub, a place for the family to come together to enjoy water sports and evening recreation. Enormous waterfalls tumble down into cool, subterranean pools, and all are surrounded by evening entertainment venues. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Resort Architect | Just outside of Chengdu, China, in an area famous for its green tea plantations, GDW created a concept for a year-around lakefront resort development. The hills surrounding the lake are uniquely terraced with row upon row of carefully manicured hedges of tea plants, creating a distinct topography, and suggesting a environment that is both natural and man made. GDW took its conceptual cues from this unique topography, and developed an architecture for the project that mimics the stepped forms of the hills that encircle GreenTea Lake. The resultant structures are distinct and unique, yet at the same time blend beautifully with the surrounding topography. The resort respects and celebrates its environmental context. GDW worked with the client to create a program designed to attract people throughout the year, with activities for each season. Facilities and activities include a central mixed-use village, a waterfront boardwalk, golf, a multitude of water sports, a conference center, a fishing camp, an equestrian center, and a variety of hotel, timeshare and villas to provide accommodations for guests of all age and economic categories. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, relaxing four seasons resorts that delight.
11_AphaePort_Birdseye
Transportation Architect Click to download project The Aphae Port Boat Terminal will be the primary point of departure for all guests traveling to the resorts we are designing for the Sinan Diamond area, an archipelago of nearly 1000 islands near the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula. The architecture of the port facilities transitions guests from urban to island. Beyond that, the structures are particularly figurative. Strong forms, crafted of rusted Core-ten steel, are heavily influenced by the work of the internationally acclaimed artist Richard Serra. The buildings suggest boat and ship bows when seen from the water, fish forms when seen from the air. Facilities include the passenger terminal, ferry landing, hotel, marina and support areas. Long-term parking will be centralized at parking structures located in the center of the site, while short term parking will be provided adjacent to the terminal building. Long-term guests will be transported from parking to terminal by a monorail train. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
Retail Architect | Master Plans
Retail Architect | What is Destination Design? 4 Necessary Ingredients What is a Destination Design? What is a Retail destination? The Apple dictionary defines a definition as follows: destination |ˌdestəˈnā sh ən| noun

the place to which someone or something is going or being sent : a popular destination for golfers.

adjective

being a place that people will make a special trip to visit : a destination restaurant. ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin destinatio(n-), from destinare ‘make firm, establish.’ The original sense was [the action of intending someone or something for a particular purpose,] later [being destined for a particular place,] hence (from the early 19th cent.) the place itself.

Obvious. But when a retail architect is designing in the context of created places, what makes a great retail destination, and what makes people want to go there, stay there and be there? 1. People People want to got to a retail destination because other people, many other people, go there. People want to be there, like to be there. The primary reason people go to successful retail destinations is because other people go there - because crowds of people go there. People go to watch people, be with people, meet people. People are the single most important form of entertainment. The best movie watched in an empty theater falls flat. An exceptional meal in an empty restaurant is not enjoyed but endured. A crowded theme park frustrates, but an empty park is no fun at all. An empty resort is spooky and odd, and an empty urban town center is frightening and perhaps dangerous. One traveling to a resort seeking serenity will likely do so only if others have previously done so and vouched for the quality of the experience. 2. Choices People go to a retail destination because they have chosen to do so. This is at the essence of the definition of destination design. They could easily choose to go elsewhere. Whether traveling on foot, by car or by plane, they have embarked on a trip with the express purpose of ending up in a specific destination. Once they have decided to make a trip, they have choices - they could just as easily walk, drive or fly to any number of other destinations. It it therefore imperative that a retail destination provide potential guests with reasons for it to be their choice. A retail architect must create a place with wide appeal, unique experiences, and perceived value or cache. 3. People Want to BE There People choose to travel to a destination because they want to be there. Great retail destinations have a magical quality. While one considers pragmatic concerns, such as travel time, cost, parking and ease of use, when selecting a destination it is the magic of a place that attracts the masses. The most successful destinations often are often very difficult to use, in part because they are so successful. Venice, Italy, is horribly crowded, difficult to access and very expensive; yet magical and one of the earth’s most visited destinations. Venice has magic – an attraction difficult to define, yet remarkable to experience. When pragmatic issues are equal, and often when they are not, people will decide to go where they most want to be. 4. Entertainment Because people desire to be in a place resplendent with magical quality, entertainment is a common thread in most great destinations. Whether the destination is an active participant in the entertainment, such as a theme park with its shows and rides, a cultural center with movies, plays or a concerts, or a passive participant, such as a retail center with fabulous architecture, people watching, shopping and dining, the entertainment provides an element of escape. A successful retail architect knows escape from the cares and concerns of everyday life creates magic.
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Retail Architect | Rick Caruso’s charge to GDW Design Principal Brent Thompson was simple. “Look at our hugely successful projects in Thousand Oaks and repeat our success in Palm Desert.” The execution of that charge less simple. Thousand Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles, is pleasantly temperate area with a proximity to the Pacific Ocean that modulates its weather. Palm Desert, on the other hand, consistently is baked to extreme temperatures in the summer, and can also get quite hot in the spring and fall. The design process was initiated with a bench marking tour of each of Caruso’s previous projects in order to understand their strengths and success. We wanted to understand those qualities that separate them from other projects. We learned that the planning is simple, straightforward and typical for this sort of everyday use community retail center. What sets Caruso’s work apart is its attention to guests. Every place where the public will set foot is given careful attention. There is a richness of texture and color, an appeal to all five senses. The architecture, likewise, is also layered and textured. The large building masses are broken into smaller pieces, so that each shop seems to be a building of its own. Fountains, art, landscaping and background music add further depth. Much of this was easily transferable to our design. What wasn’t analogous was weather protection – how to create shade without both burying the shops and loosing the individuality that the Thousand Oaks shops enjoy. A typical solution is to add an arcade, but that both creates a single building mass and hides storefronts. The solution we adopted takes its clues from Caruso’s earlier work. We mixed a variety of shade devices – arcades, awnings, trellises – to provide sun protection and variety without obscuring storefronts. We solved the challenges of this project using our standard process – identify the unique needs, research successful solutions and apply them. This is what we do. Retail Architect | Expert design studio creating places people love.
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Retail Architect Click to download project Tanggu City is located in the heart of China’s Bin Hai new area, and the Tanggu Towers Mixed-use project is to be located in the heart of Tanggu. The site, a solid city block, is surrounded by a cacophony of buildings, signs and shops, each calling louder then the next for attention. The architecture is loud, the colors are loud, the lighting screams louder yet. In locations like this, the best way to call attention to oneself is to set oneself apart from the noise, to be the calm in the midst of the frenzy. GDW’s design for the Tanggu Towers creates a facade of quiet sophistication, a radical departure from the surroundings, a project that vehemently sets itself apart by providing a place of quiet for the eyes of every person on the street. It’s towers, one a hotel, another serviced apartments and six others residential, are generally teutonic and rigid, though bits of whimsy at times interrupts their cartesian formality. Inside the project, however, is an energetic heart that magically contrasts with reserve of its exterior. A retail street, entered by passing between the twin towers that line the main street, cascades down several levels, maximizes the value of the land while maintaining an above ground feel. Tanggu Towers, a calmly sophisticated facade with a vibrant, beating heart at its core. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
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Mixed-use Click to download project The Circle of Life is the chosen metaphor of Shenfu, a wholly new city in the north of China. At the heart of the new city is a circular lake. Two GDW projects grace the lake’s newly created shoreline. The first is the Shenfu Circles mixed-use center, a vibrant retail, entertainment and office center that physically and philosophically embraces and celebrates Shenfu’s representative metaphor. Circles is sculpted from a series of interlocking cylindrical forms, stitched together by a serpentine pedestrian street making up the core of the guest experience. The expressive forms of this street are punctured by a series of negative cylinders - round courtyards, each with a character of its own, highlighting the pedestrian experience. The circular theme is further accentuated by four positive cylinders - carefully placed towers that create a dramatic skyline for both this project and the city center lake. Contrasts and the creative use of media are two hallmarks of GDW’s work. Circles exploits both of these talents. Translucent walls of glass and metal mesh serve as sun filters by day and media canvases by night. When the sun sets, the walls are painted with colored light and projected video. Further, the four cylindrical towers are paired according to their skins. Two are solids, with subtly fenestrated stone facades, contrasted by the unique layers of delicate lace that cover the other two towers. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Retail Architect Click to download project In the past twenty years, LA has been enriched by the addition of a number of outstanding pedestrian scaled public places. Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, as well as the Grove in Midtown and Universal’s CityWalk are unforgettable gathering places for shopping, eating, entertainment. LA natives, newcomers and tourists alike flock to these spaces. Expectations are high as people have come to desire and demand the environments these places create. For the most part, however, these places are regional, not community based. The vast majority of Angelenos must drive over an hour to one of these places, and thus there exists the opportunity to build community based retail centers. The prototypical CELEBRATION provides the exciting environment people have come to expect for shopping, dining and entertainment, right in their community. A quality experience is no longer restricted to weekends. It is now available on a daily basis – and weekends too. GlobalDesign’s design is loaded with visual energy, and strategically conceived to create an energetic public space that generates the maximum productivity for each lease space. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Retail Architect | The TEDA Promenades Retail Pavilion demanded a bold form befitting its prominence as the primary anchor for the overall Promenades development. Yet retail requires distinctive districts and stores. Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity. In response, we created boldly expressive architecture, a metaphorical waterfowl in flight, with subtle nods to Chinese culture. The strong, overall form is constructed of six unique and individual retail districts, varied in colors, materials, lighting, scale, architectural detail; and distinct in retail, dining or entertainment category. Each district is unique. Contrast is again one of the primary design principals used; district to district and within each district’s hard and soft surfaces, new and old, cool and warm materials; contrasting details and patterns. The Retail Pavilion is an energetic place that is always changing and current. It is constructed of translucent media walls that filter and texture sunlight by day, then become canvases painted with media and lights by night. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Urban Design | Directly across the Haihe River from our Haihe Beach Park, on a grand point formerly occupied bt a chemical plant, is the 1.5 million m2 site of Haihe River South, or the Moon and the Ribbon Walk. We created the Haihe Beach Park in order to show the people of Tanggu that the riverfront could be an engaging place to visit. The intent of Haihe River South is to show the people of the city that the riverfront can also be an enjoyable place to live, work and play. The place we created addresses each of those needs. The residential neighborhoods are very high density, yet preserve sun access and maximize views and open space. The mixed-use work district maximizes river views and integrates well with the residential. All areas of the plan celebrate the water. One of our most basic design principles involves creating metaphors. The crescent moon shaped entertainment island and the ribbon shaped waterfront park refer to a well known Chinese poem. Use of this metaphor effectively inculcates the place with enormous emotional appeal to the people of Tanggu. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Mixed-use Click to download project Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Town Center Planner Click to download project Our work on Bon Carré was as much a social movement as it was a master planning and retail design exercise. Bon Marché, a once booming mall on what was then the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had become an inner city wasteland as the city grew past the old mall. The mall became home to the highest crime rate in the city. Additionally, the people of Baton Rouge frequently complain that the town has no center, no place to walk. We addressed both of these issues by creating an upscale town center, complete with a million dollar park, right in front of the newly christened Bon Carré. The idea was to bring the “gentry” back to declare the area safe, allowing the middle class to reoccupy the mall as well as the new town center. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Mixed-use | One of the biggest challenges faced by China today is the need to balance its rapid growth with the need to protect its most valuable farmland. Nowhere is this truer than in Chengdu, where the mild weather, abundant rainfall and rich soil conditions combine to create some of the country’s most productive farmland. As a result of these conflicting forces, developers can provide for the country’s housing needs only on odd patches in the midst of fields of farmland. GDW worked closely with the developer of Rose Valley to leverage these requirements and conditions to create a truly unique place to live. Our concept creates small villages of homes surrounded by spectacular fields of flowers – primarily, as the name suggests, roses, but also a balance of year around growers such as lavender. GDW’s plan further leverages the riverfront site’s abundant water to create a series of canals and streams, transitioning from teutonic geometry at the project’s entrance to natural streams closer to the river, transitioning residents and visitors and residents alike from city to farm. The resultant villages of villas surrounded by gorgeous streams and fields of roses addresses the challenges faced by our developer by creating a place that is surprising to visit and really wonderful to live. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Retail Architect | Shenfu, in China’s north, is a completely new city defined by the energy, passion and enthusiasm of the local people. At the core of Shenfu is a shiny new lake, and giving life to lake and city alike is GDW’s leisure, dining and retail center, theWave. Additionally, GDW has designed a major exhibit hall, a visitor and investor center of sorts, on the site. The ultimate goal of the retail is to celebrate the exhibit hall, to create a whirlwind of pedestrian activity around it, and display the best of Shenfu’s lifestyle, leisure and entertainment offerings residents, interested visitors and potential investors alike. theWave is appropriately named. It’s swirling walls of rusted Corten steel and glass ripple, curve and roll as they create a vortex centered on the exhibit hall, move people through the space, focus activity in a central public “square,” and frame scenic views of the lake. The exhibit hall will display Shenfu’s plans for the future. theWave will display Shenfu’s heart. Gary Goddard Entertainment [www.garygoddard.com/] created the "Circle of Life" concept, including the great circle sculpture seen in some of our views, for Shenfu. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.    
01_DubaiBazaar_Axon
Retail Architect | GDW’s concept for the Dubai Bazaar combines old and new, past with present, texture with form. We at GDW love contrast – light with dark, heavy with light, rough with smooth, old with new. The Dubai Bazaar, which includes a major shopping center and four hotels, is a study in contrasts. At its core, it honors our client’s desire to combine a “historic” souk (a traditional middle eastern marketplace) with a modern mall. Based on our belief that traditional architecture should be authentic, and based on solid research and an understanding of the relevant history, we started the design process by taking a tour of middle eastern souks. We visited souks in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria, the former built by the Romans, the later a comparatively young millennium of years old. We visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, the old souk in Marrakech, Morocco, as well as Dubai’s old souk. We also extensively researched less approachable souks, such as the Esfahan Souk in Iran. After extensive documentation and study of those souks, we created a “historic” souk for Dubai, and contrasted the mass and history of that “old” souk with a light and airy modern market place. Observe, Analyze, Implement. This is the GDW way. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Mixed-use | China is moving, Bin Hai is moving, Tanggu is moving, the Haihe River is moving. The Tanggu Swan is figurative language in built form. Our design seeks to attract, gather and intensify the energy of central Tanggu to create the single most energetic spot in the New Bin Hai Development Area. The Tanggu Swan features a dramatically proportioned hotel tower which, paired with a new tower across the street, will create the gateway for Tanggu’s primary retail street. The height of the hotel is accentuated by the project’s four residential towers, which step down in height as they approach the hotel tower. Opposite the four towers are two curvilinear mid-rise buildings residential buildings featuring sky gardens complete with swimming pools. Sliding between these the residential towers and the mid-rise buildings is the retail and entertainment core of the project. This curving walk street is anchored at one end by the towering hotel, and at the other by a domed entertainment plaza, an anchor retailer and an anchor entertainment center. The Tanggu Swan will create an exciting gathering place for Tanggu and the Bin Hai District. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Town Center Planner | The design of the TEDA Phoenix Center, with its asymmetrically sweeping wings contrasting with its axially aligned circles and ellipses, brings to mind the grand feathers of a Chinese Phoenix bird. Considered auspicious throughout China, the Phoenix is swift as it is light, beautiful in color, charming in song. The Phoenix is a sign of harmony and prosperity in China, and Phoenix feathers symbolize precious and rare objects or people. The plan has been carefully divided into three unique and singular zones. To the south is the commercial zone, the energetic heart of not only this development, but of the larger, contiguous master-planned development as well. To the northeast, the Phoenix wing shaped mixed-use facility derives its shape from the raised monorail line that curves through the site. The third zone, in the northwest, is largely residential in character, with carefully sculpted low-rise buildings enjoying coveted southern exposures, and five mid-rise towers with very small footprints that acknowledge and celebrate the valuable exposure that the train line brings to this site. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Entertainment Design | Shortly after AOL bought Time Warner, they asked us to create a bricks and mortar place for visitors to experience AOL Time Warner. People knew where to find AOL in cyberspace - our challenge was to create a home for them in human space. We sought to build a space of media, a space always current, always active, continually moving. Our design for the AOL Time Warner Experience, located on the ground floor of New York City’s Time Warner Center, included a wide variety of interactive and multimedia exhibits, as well as live TV studios. More important, however, were the ground breaking ideas our team developed while working on this project. Never before had media been so integrated with architecture that it became architecture. The forms became ethereal, the media became architectural. When they met in the middle, they created a remarkable space. Entertainment Design | International expert master planners and architectural designers of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
10_WarnerBrosMovieWorld_Photo
Entertainment Design | Like most theme parks, Warner Bros. Movie World in Madrid, Spain, greets guests with a main street at the entry to the park. We based the design of this main street on California’s Hollywood Boulevard, and recreated such icons as the Mann’s Chinese Theater, home to the Academy Awards. Our research was thorough. In the case of Mann’s Chinese, we were able to work from the original, hand drawn blueprints to authentically and accurately recreate that splendid theater. The street includes shops, restaurants and a state of the art theater. Entertainment Design | International studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations, places people love.
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Mixed-use | From wooded hillside to an urban ring, the Shenfu Crown mixes urban living with a natural environment. The 843,000 M2 (9,075,000 SF) mixed-use center focuses on an enormous central courtyard resplendent in landscape, water features and featuring an enormous iconic central fountain. This green plaza is immediately adjacent to a heavily wooded hillside, and serves to stretch and pull those woods into the Crown's center. Surrounding this central courtyard is a pedestrian walk street in the midst of an indoor/outdoor retail and entertainment center. The architecture here takes its form from kimchi pots and natural beehives, the latter suggestive of the swarming human energy that will fill this place. The inner edge of this active pedestrian zone is populated with restaurants, all of which enjoy the views and the peaceful serenity of the green courtyard. Wrapping around the central courtyard and retail and entertainment center is a sheltering wall of urbanity; a series of low-rise and mid-rise mixed-use buildings providing space for retail, offices and residences. The concept takes Main Street, shapes it into an ellipse, and wraps it around the courtyard and pedestrian walk street. The architecture of this ring suggests the protective crenellations of a castle and the bejeweled adornments of a Crown. Beyond this protective ring is a sea of trees, punctuated by a circle of iconic residential towers. Residents who live in these sculpted towers are surrounded by green and open space, yet less than a minute's walk from the urban core, the entertainment zone and the courtyard. The architecture of the whole development borrows from that of the Pre-Columbian people of the Americas, with simple stepped forms evocative of Machu Picchu. The concept relies on strong and ubiquitous horizontal bands that both unify and accentuate the building forms, yet are simple and affordable to construct. The architecture is both iconic and attainable. Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.
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Retail Architect Click to download project Tanggu City is located in the heart of China’s Bin Hai new area, and the Tanggu Towers Mixed-use project is to be located in the heart of Tanggu. The site, a solid city block, is surrounded by a cacophony of buildings, signs and shops, each calling louder then the next for attention. The architecture is loud, the colors are loud, the lighting screams louder yet. In locations like this, the best way to call attention to oneself is to set oneself apart from the noise, to be the calm in the midst of the frenzy. GDW’s design for the Tanggu Towers creates a facade of quiet sophistication, a radical departure from the surroundings, a project that vehemently sets itself apart by providing a place of quiet for the eyes of every person on the street. It’s towers, one a hotel, another serviced apartments and six others residential, are generally teutonic and rigid, though bits of whimsy at times interrupts their cartesian formality. Inside the project, however, is an energetic heart that magically contrasts with reserve of its exterior. A retail street, entered by passing between the twin towers that line the main street, cascades down several levels, maximizes the value of the land while maintaining an above ground feel. Tanggu Towers, a calmly sophisticated facade with a vibrant, beating heart at its core. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.
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Mixed-use | GDW created two concepts for the Dagang Town Center using a charrette technique, developing both concepts in just a single week in order to facilitate our client’s extremely tight schedule. Both concepts combine an energetic, mixed-use town center with a quieter residential community that is both integrated with and separate from the commercial uses of the town center. The first scheme, Ribbons, combines a glass retail plinth with a “ribbon” of office space above, architecture that winds up and down as it makes its way around the town centers great plaza. The second scheme, Blender, uses swirling forms to create a vortex of energy in its central circular plaza. Both schemes include a series of smaller scale office duplexes, as well as GDW’s trademark “Stacked Villas,” stacked two story residential units, each with a private courtyard and volume ceilings, that use a skip stop elevator and private, outdoor entries to create residences that combine the privacy and indoor outdoor living of a villa with the density of a condominium. Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
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Mixed-use Click to download project Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Mixed-use | China is moving, Bin Hai is moving, Tanggu is moving, the Haihe River is moving. The Tanggu Swan is figurative language in built form. Our design seeks to attract, gather and intensify the energy of central Tanggu to create the single most energetic spot in the New Bin Hai Development Area. The Tanggu Swan features a dramatically proportioned hotel tower which, paired with a new tower across the street, will create the gateway for Tanggu’s primary retail street. The height of the hotel is accentuated by the project’s four residential towers, which step down in height as they approach the hotel tower. Opposite the four towers are two curvilinear mid-rise buildings residential buildings featuring sky gardens complete with swimming pools. Sliding between these the residential towers and the mid-rise buildings is the retail and entertainment core of the project. This curving walk street is anchored at one end by the towering hotel, and at the other by a domed entertainment plaza, an anchor retailer and an anchor entertainment center. The Tanggu Swan will create an exciting gathering place for Tanggu and the Bin Hai District. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Town Center Planner | The design of the TEDA Phoenix Center, with its asymmetrically sweeping wings contrasting with its axially aligned circles and ellipses, brings to mind the grand feathers of a Chinese Phoenix bird. Considered auspicious throughout China, the Phoenix is swift as it is light, beautiful in color, charming in song. The Phoenix is a sign of harmony and prosperity in China, and Phoenix feathers symbolize precious and rare objects or people. The plan has been carefully divided into three unique and singular zones. To the south is the commercial zone, the energetic heart of not only this development, but of the larger, contiguous master-planned development as well. To the northeast, the Phoenix wing shaped mixed-use facility derives its shape from the raised monorail line that curves through the site. The third zone, in the northwest, is largely residential in character, with carefully sculpted low-rise buildings enjoying coveted southern exposures, and five mid-rise towers with very small footprints that acknowledge and celebrate the valuable exposure that the train line brings to this site. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Urban Design | Directly across the Haihe River from our Haihe Beach Park, on a grand point formerly occupied bt a chemical plant, is the 1.5 million m2 site of Haihe River South, or the Moon and the Ribbon Walk. We created the Haihe Beach Park in order to show the people of Tanggu that the riverfront could be an engaging place to visit. The intent of Haihe River South is to show the people of the city that the riverfront can also be an enjoyable place to live, work and play. The place we created addresses each of those needs. The residential neighborhoods are very high density, yet preserve sun access and maximize views and open space. The mixed-use work district maximizes river views and integrates well with the residential. All areas of the plan celebrate the water. One of our most basic design principles involves creating metaphors. The crescent moon shaped entertainment island and the ribbon shaped waterfront park refer to a well known Chinese poem. Use of this metaphor effectively inculcates the place with enormous emotional appeal to the people of Tanggu. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Town Center Planner Click to download project Our work on Bon Carré was as much a social movement as it was a master planning and retail design exercise. Bon Marché, a once booming mall on what was then the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had become an inner city wasteland as the city grew past the old mall. The mall became home to the highest crime rate in the city. Additionally, the people of Baton Rouge frequently complain that the town has no center, no place to walk. We addressed both of these issues by creating an upscale town center, complete with a million dollar park, right in front of the newly christened Bon Carré. The idea was to bring the “gentry” back to declare the area safe, allowing the middle class to reoccupy the mall as well as the new town center. Town Center Planner | Expert planning studio expert at master planning and architectural design of town centers that delight, places people love.
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Mixed-use Click to download project The Circle of Life is the chosen metaphor of Shenfu, a wholly new city in the north of China. At the heart of the new city is a circular lake. Two GDW projects grace the lake’s newly created shoreline. The first is the Shenfu Circles mixed-use center, a vibrant retail, entertainment and office center that physically and philosophically embraces and celebrates Shenfu’s representative metaphor. Circles is sculpted from a series of interlocking cylindrical forms, stitched together by a serpentine pedestrian street making up the core of the guest experience. The expressive forms of this street are punctured by a series of negative cylinders - round courtyards, each with a character of its own, highlighting the pedestrian experience. The circular theme is further accentuated by four positive cylinders - carefully placed towers that create a dramatic skyline for both this project and the city center lake. Contrasts and the creative use of media are two hallmarks of GDW’s work. Circles exploits both of these talents. Translucent walls of glass and metal mesh serve as sun filters by day and media canvases by night. When the sun sets, the walls are painted with colored light and projected video. Further, the four cylindrical towers are paired according to their skins. Two are solids, with subtly fenestrated stone facades, contrasted by the unique layers of delicate lace that cover the other two towers. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Resort Architect Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight. Click to download project
DESIGN ARCHITECT NIGHT BLUE1
Destination Design | One of the fastest growing areas on the planet is China’s Bin Hai New Area. Twenty years ago, China focused its considerable energy on building Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Ten years ago, Shanghai’s Pudong district went through a similar period of growth, and is now home to some of the world’s finest architecture. More recently, China has focused its energies on the Bin Hai New Area. Located on the edge of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, and just a forty-five minute train ride from Beijing, the focus of the area’s development is the TEDA economic development area. In the heart of TEDA a block of towers is under construction, including one that will be the world’s third tallest. Twenty to thirty-thousand people will visit or work on this block each working day. The entry experience most will experience will not be the grand lobbies of the towers, but instead the system of tunnels that lead to the underground parking structures. GDW was contracted by the TEDA government to design the entry canopies and interior skins of those entry tunnels. GDW’s concept has two major features. First, the tunnel entries. GDW designed a light, flowing, cloud like entry canopy evocative of movement and motion. At night, color changing lights give the canopies an altogether different character, and their quality of movement is enhanced. Our design of the tunnels themselves had two primary goals. First, as with the canopies, our design, a series of liquid, flowing bands of color, evokes movement and energy. Second, along with creating an entry experience for towers, our work is intended to help orient people in the two and a half kilometer long system of tunnels. Our concept, the four seasons, which also relate in China to the four points of the compass, are expressed in both the colors of the seasons and a series of two dimensional icons evocative of those seasons. GDW | Destination Design | Expert design studio creating places people love.
Entertainment Architect | The Grove, Anaheim
Entertainment Design | The Grove was originally created as a classic dinner theater called Tinseltown, home to an Academy Awards show that let visitors from around the world experience a night at the Oscars. The exterior architecture is based on the classic Warner Bros. Studios sound stages in Burbank, California. It captures the glamour of Hollywood’s glory years. The interior is resplendent with Art Deco architecture, suggesting to guests the grand cinema palaces of those same glorious years. Entertainment Design | Entertainers expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Entertainment Design | Shortly after AOL bought Time Warner, they asked us to create a bricks and mortar place for visitors to experience AOL Time Warner. People knew where to find AOL in cyberspace - our challenge was to create a home for them in human space. We sought to build a space of media, a space always current, always active, continually moving. Our design for the AOL Time Warner Experience, located on the ground floor of New York City’s Time Warner Center, included a wide variety of interactive and multimedia exhibits, as well as live TV studios. More important, however, were the ground breaking ideas our team developed while working on this project. Never before had media been so integrated with architecture that it became architecture. The forms became ethereal, the media became architectural. When they met in the middle, they created a remarkable space. Entertainment Design | International expert master planners and architectural designers of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Entertainment Design | We relied on two metaphors to capture the spirit of TEDA, a new city in the Tianjin province of China. Water fowls taking flight and the geothermal strength of the earth both speak of untold potential transforming into unreal splendor. Stravinsky’s Firebird captures the strength of both metaphors, so we adopted it as the musical score for the Firebird Water Show. These metaphors lead to a series of compelling water features - a stylized volcano of fire and water, a peaceful waterfowl pond that is transformed into an edgy, yet harmless, geyser pool, and the grand nightly Lagoon Show, the Firebirds. These volcano-like towers are wrapped with sweeping water wings, creating an unexpected contrast that is as beautiful as it is startling. Pragmatically, this water show is a free gift calculated to widen appeal, extend stays and encourage repeat visitation. Entertainment Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
Los Angeles Entetainment Designer | Malibu Architect Brent Thompson Architects
Click to download project Entertainment Design | This dark ride facility, restaurant and retail shop, designed for a major theme park, plays to the brilliant premise on which the movie Men in Black was based. The film postulated that the iconoclastic 60’s designers were so odd, so far removed from the normative, that they were obviously aliens. The architecture of this ride facility looks to the pavilions of the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow, New York. The playful attitude of those pavilions, created by the aliens, provides the ideal environment to tell the Men in Black story, and creates the appropriate environment for a play day in the theme park. Entertainment Design | International designers expert in master planning and architecture of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
Entertainment Design | Tokyo DisneySea
Click to download project Entertainment Design | These facilities, designed for a major theme park in Japan, look to the future while remembering the past. Influenced by Rube Goldberg, the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and the movies Blade Runner and Brazil, this architecture is storytelling at its finest. Perhaps most significantly, these projects were a lesson in seeing things through the eyes of the user, or guest, and creating a place that will resonate with them; a magical place that captures the imagination. Countless popular web sites have been devoted to these facilities. They create a degree of popular connectedness, an almost cult appeal, that can not be ignored. Entertainment Design | Expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
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Mixed-use Click to download project Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Mixed-use | Mixed-use design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations people love, places that delight.
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Entertainment Design | Like most theme parks, Warner Bros. Movie World in Madrid, Spain, greets guests with a main street at the entry to the park. We based the design of this main street on California’s Hollywood Boulevard, and recreated such icons as the Mann’s Chinese Theater, home to the Academy Awards. Our research was thorough. In the case of Mann’s Chinese, we were able to work from the original, hand drawn blueprints to authentically and accurately recreate that splendid theater. The street includes shops, restaurants and a state of the art theater. Entertainment Design | International studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations, places people love.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | Just inside what is arguably the world’s best and most successful theme park, Tokyo DisneySea, is a train station that connects the magic of Disney with the teutonic geometry of modern day Tokyo. The train station has, therefore, two purposes. The first is to create an arrival hall for people coming to the park. The second is to transition them emotionally from city to theme park. The architecture of all of the buildings surrounding the park’s main entrance is very literally old Italy. During the concept design process, we asked ourselves “What would Carlo Scarpa do?”, Mr. Scarpa being an early modernist Italian architect who worked in a manner both modern and respectful of the beautiful context of the historical Italian cities in which most of his architecture was built. The design we created attempts to answer this question. It is based on his work for the Bank of Verona, and uses the iconic early modern classic train station design of a series of round vaults, exposed black steel structure and steel framed windows, all of which sits on a classic Italian plinth. Research and design, Observe, Analyze, Implement. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | This monorail station, designed for a major theme park in Japan, is intended to create a transition from the Cartesian modernity and overwhelming vastness of Tokyo to the escape fantasy of the major international theme parks that are the heart of this resort. The station celebrates the resort’s location on the shore of the Tokyo Bay with a series of wave forms and sail forms, each layered against a firm and solid concrete “breakwater”. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Mixed-use | From wooded hillside to an urban ring, the Shenfu Crown mixes urban living with a natural environment. The 843,000 M2 (9,075,000 SF) mixed-use center focuses on an enormous central courtyard resplendent in landscape, water features and featuring an enormous iconic central fountain. This green plaza is immediately adjacent to a heavily wooded hillside, and serves to stretch and pull those woods into the Crown's center. Surrounding this central courtyard is a pedestrian walk street in the midst of an indoor/outdoor retail and entertainment center. The architecture here takes its form from kimchi pots and natural beehives, the latter suggestive of the swarming human energy that will fill this place. The inner edge of this active pedestrian zone is populated with restaurants, all of which enjoy the views and the peaceful serenity of the green courtyard. Wrapping around the central courtyard and retail and entertainment center is a sheltering wall of urbanity; a series of low-rise and mid-rise mixed-use buildings providing space for retail, offices and residences. The concept takes Main Street, shapes it into an ellipse, and wraps it around the courtyard and pedestrian walk street. The architecture of this ring suggests the protective crenellations of a castle and the bejeweled adornments of a Crown. Beyond this protective ring is a sea of trees, punctuated by a circle of iconic residential towers. Residents who live in these sculpted towers are surrounded by green and open space, yet less than a minute's walk from the urban core, the entertainment zone and the courtyard. The architecture of the whole development borrows from that of the Pre-Columbian people of the Americas, with simple stepped forms evocative of Machu Picchu. The concept relies on strong and ubiquitous horizontal bands that both unify and accentuate the building forms, yet are simple and affordable to construct. The architecture is both iconic and attainable. Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.
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Resort Architect | GDW developed the concept for the Flower Islands with several simple goals in mind: the project should be visible from outer space, the concept should be simple and obvious and highly suggestive of a resort, and it should be both unique in the world while celebrating the best of Korea. Based on these goals, we studied the world renowned Palm Islands in Dubai and developed the concept for the Flower Islands of Korea. At its core, our concept was to create concentrated developments on the islands of Korea that largely leave the surrounding natural environment intact and untouched, allowing guests to enjoy the islands in their natural state, just as our research team enjoyed them on our initial visits. The flower concept, in addition to creating a metaphor obviously suggestive a resort experience, creates an energetic core for the resort, a place people can meet and gather, while preserving the surrounding nature, wrapping it around the resort’s edges. The flowers are further respectful of both the local culture and topography, creating peaceful petals connected to a lively bud. This concept represents GDW’s core philosophy for resort design: create an energetic village, and leave the balance of the site in its peaceful and natural condition for guests to appreciate and enjoy. Resort Architect | Destination design studio creating resorts that delight.
Master Planning | Urban Design
Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love. Master Plan: a comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action. Master plan has many meanings. Generally refers to comprehensive plans or strategies. In design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, the terms masterplan, master plan, or master planning, commonly refer to:
  • strategic placement of facilities and spaces
  • scale or relative size
  • location
  • proximity
  • functional relationship [with respect to components of a city, area, neighborhood, site, building, room, etc.]
The focus, however, of any good master plan is not on the physical aspects of the plan, but on the GUESTS that will use the plan, and on the EXPERIENCE they will enjoy once in the proposed place. For our purposes, Master Plan refers to an actionable set of deliverables describing the essence of a place, its components, and its magic. Deliverables necessary for this description typically include a site plan, tenant plan, functional diagrams, bird’s-eye and POV [eye level] renderings, image photos and an economic strategy and feasibility plan. Master Planners | Destinations that delight. Places people love.
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Mixed-use | GDW created two concepts for the Dagang Town Center using a charrette technique, developing both concepts in just a single week in order to facilitate our client’s extremely tight schedule. Both concepts combine an energetic, mixed-use town center with a quieter residential community that is both integrated with and separate from the commercial uses of the town center. The first scheme, Ribbons, combines a glass retail plinth with a “ribbon” of office space above, architecture that winds up and down as it makes its way around the town centers great plaza. The second scheme, Blender, uses swirling forms to create a vortex of energy in its central circular plaza. Both schemes include a series of smaller scale office duplexes, as well as GDW’s trademark “Stacked Villas,” stacked two story residential units, each with a private courtyard and volume ceilings, that use a skip stop elevator and private, outdoor entries to create residences that combine the privacy and indoor outdoor living of a villa with the density of a condominium. Mixed-use | Expert design studio creating places people love.
Resort Architect
Near the city of Guiyang in China's Guizhou province is a large and beautiful lake, Hongfeng Hu. The name means Red Maple Lake, fitting, as the lake is surrounded by mountains populated with Red Maple trees. On a beautiful lakeside site, resplendent with mountains, valleys and a couple of smaller lakes, GDW created Hongfeng Spa Resort. Complete with a lakeside resort village, resort hotels, a water park, theme park and themed residential neighborhoods, this resort makes the most of this fabulous setting. Hongfeng Spa Resort is a resort with something for everyone. Experiences have been designed for all ages, for you and old, active and inactive, rich and middle class. A truly spectacular family resort. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
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Urban Design Click to download project One the edge of Chengdu, GlobalDesign is creating a concept for uniquely engaging riverfront new city. The Client’s program called for a thoroughly Art DecoCity and GDW has thoroughly researched the best examples of the style. DecoCity celebrates the Deco movement. GDW focused on two planning of our urban planning principles, quality of life and unique identity. With its active city center, parks and gathering places, places that laud nature and extol sport and radial arrangement of canals and pedestrian pathways, DecoCity celebrates living. DecoCity’s unique identity goes beyond style. From the “Rising Sun” form determinate suggestive of China’s place in the world, to formal Deco geometry, and typically Deco skyline, DecoCity redefines urban branding. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight. The two primary goals for a truly sustainable city are, without question, quality lifestyle and identity. Why? When one puts political agendas aside, it is obvious that the single largest commitment of environmental resources required of a city is the construction of the city itself. A city that is loved, that people enjoy living in and are proud to call home is a city that will remain intact for generations. Ironically, cities and the structures they are made of are typically awarded sustainability points for the ease of which they can be recycled. We believe that this is a fallacy. We wonder why a well designed city should have reason to be recycled. Searching the annals of history, we are aware of no city that provided quality of life, no city that made its residents proud, that was subsequently subjected to the rigors of recycling. Not, in any event, without the help of an invading enemy army! This is not to say that we reject all the principles of sustainable city design. We simply find most redundant. Why is it necessary, for example, to award points based on transport? Moving people easily, effectively and pleasantly through a city has always been a major goal for planners (except, perhaps, during medieval times, when it was a greater concern to make it difficult for invaders to navigate city streets then for residents to easily move around). A city that forces its residents to remain immobile or sit in traffic is not a city that provides quality of life. A city that makes circulation pleasant does, however, provide an enviable lifestyle. Should not the desire to create pleasant strolls and easy commutes be of paramount priority for the urban planner? Is not the process of awarding points for public transport directed more specifically to special interest lobbies than to those who will call a city their home? We reject the notion of designing based on checklists created by academia and special interests. We favor cities designed for people. We reject the notion that people will work to preserve their city because of the ease of which it can be recycled. Instead, we seek to create places that capture the hearts of inhabitants. A people proud of a city will maintain and preserve it, making sure the precious natural resources invested in its creation will benefit generations to come.
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Click to download project Resort Architect | Just outside of Chengdu, China, in an area famous for its green tea plantations, GDW created a concept for a year-around lakefront resort development. The hills surrounding the lake are uniquely terraced with row upon row of carefully manicured hedges of tea plants, creating a distinct topography, and suggesting a environment that is both natural and man made. GDW took its conceptual cues from this unique topography, and developed an architecture for the project that mimics the stepped forms of the hills that encircle GreenTea Lake. The resultant structures are distinct and unique, yet at the same time blend beautifully with the surrounding topography. The resort respects and celebrates its environmental context. GDW worked with the client to create a program designed to attract people throughout the year, with activities for each season. Facilities and activities include a central mixed-use village, a waterfront boardwalk, golf, a multitude of water sports, a conference center, a fishing camp, an equestrian center, and a variety of hotel, timeshare and villas to provide accommodations for guests of all age and economic categories. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, relaxing four seasons resorts that delight.
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Click to download project Urban Design | Directly across the Haihe River from our Haihe Beach Park, on a grand point formerly occupied bt a chemical plant, is the 1.5 million m2 site of Haihe River South, or the Moon and the Ribbon Walk. We created the Haihe Beach Park in order to show the people of Tanggu that the riverfront could be an engaging place to visit. The intent of Haihe River South is to show the people of the city that the riverfront can also be an enjoyable place to live, work and play. The place we created addresses each of those needs. The residential neighborhoods are very high density, yet preserve sun access and maximize views and open space. The mixed-use work district maximizes river views and integrates well with the residential. All areas of the plan celebrate the water. One of our most basic design principles involves creating metaphors. The crescent moon shaped entertainment island and the ribbon shaped waterfront park refer to a well known Chinese poem. Use of this metaphor effectively inculcates the place with enormous emotional appeal to the people of Tanggu. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
KingAbdullah_Masterplan
Destination Design | GDW teamed with HOK on a charrette to create a concept for the entirely new King Abdullah University to be located near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our concept made the most of green building techniques, and is evocative of the sands of the peninsula on the exterior, while the interior is redolent of a classic desert oasis. The typical research laboratory buildings address the heat of the sun with solid, windowless walls. On the shaded north, however, the buildings include enough glass to both light the spaces and to allow the inhabitants to enjoy the oasis environment outside. Students walk through the shaded oasis environment as they move around the campus, allowing them to escape the indoor environment while sheltering them from the harsh desert conditions. Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Master Planning | The Joseon kings treasured the Secret Garden in Seoul’s Changdeok Palace as a favored escape. Resplendent in natural beauty and immediately accessible from the working portion of the palace, it provided daily opportunities for respite and relief, and kept the kings in perfect harmony with nature. Today the hard working residents of Seoul continue to find respite in this magical place that so beautifully contrasts with the dense urban world surrounding its walls. The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will be just such a place. Immediately adjacent to Muan Enterprise City and Muan International Airport, it will afford Muan’s residents and guests the opportunity to live and play in perfect harmony with nature without leaving their city. In the crowded and competitive world of international enterprise cities, the lifestyle facilitated by the Secret Garden will set Muan apart, and enable Muan to attract a highly skilled and diversified workforce. The Lotus House floats on piles over the floating lotuses of the Buyongji Pond in Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden, living in the environment without damaging the environment. In fact, the environment is made more beautiful by the Lotus House. In a similar fashion, the homes, boardwalks, commercial and entertainment facilities of Muan’s Secret Garden will be perched on piles, floating over reed filled wetlands, surrounded by snowy egrets and schools of fish. The architecture, upholstered in natural wood, metals and stone, will be in complete harmony with nature. The wetlands and lake itself will be extensively cleaned and enhanced, and migrant bird habitats will be carefully crafted at the water’s edge. The Muan lifestyle will be enhanced by opportunities to live, work, play and relax surrounded by the lake’s fresh, clean waters. The Secret Garden will include a variety of housing types, varying in style, relationship to the lake and in density. Waterfront villas, each with its own boat dock, will float on stilts above the reeds that line the water’s edge. Town homes with boat docks will line canals, affording beautiful views for every home and immediate access to the lake. A marina, surrounded with denser condominiums, will provide another opportunity to live on the water, an ideal situation for boating enthusiasts and romantics alike. Guests will find a great variety of options for short or long term stays in the Secret Garden. Overnight guests in transit at Muan International Airport will be serviced by a beautiful hotel situated on a point in the lake, while those taking advantage of the business and conference center or the adjacent golf courses will be treated to resort like accommodations on an island in the lake. For long term guests, always a fixture in an international business park, the Marina will include serviced apartments. Those more interested in shopping, dining entertainment and cultural pursuits will find serviced apartments adjacent to the commercial district. Places that accommodate rich, activity filled lifestyles attract international businesses. The Secret Garden will provide a plethora of ways to shop, play and learn. A retail and entertainment center at the heart of the Garden will include shops, restaurants, cinemas and an entertainment pier sporting a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and numerous game booths. An island lake will include a wonderfully themed restaurant and a beautifully situated teahouse. Water sports entertainment will include a year around water themed park and spa, a yacht club and water sports center and the Marina. Eco Lake itself will provide areas for motor sports such as water skiing, sailing regattas, and kayak trips though the wetlands. Enjoyment of activities provided by the Secret Garden will not be limited to residents, members or paying guests. Public offerings will include a public park, a wetlands study center, public beaches, trails and a civic amphitheater. The Secret Garden at Chang Po Eco Lake will offer residents and guests of Muan Enterprise City opportunities to pursue rewarding careers without sacrificing a rich and varied lifestyle. Like the kings of old, they will have immediate access to this magical place, this place so close to where they work, yet so very far apart. Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Urban Design | GDW design principal Brent Thompson created the Haihe River Beach Park to add value to the city of Tanggu’s riverfront property by showing the population of the city the riverfront could be a wonderful place to work, live and play. Following the creation of the park, Mr. Thompson created an overall master plan, a blueprint for the development of the riverfront as it winds its way through this rapidly growing city, home to China’s second largest port. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Click to download project Master Planning | Energy, activity, ideas and creativity. A symbolic gesture to the world that China is emerging and transitioning from a labor based industrial machine to a center of intellectual innovation. A mixed-use community where people can live, work, shop and spend leisure time. GlobalDesign Workshop’s design combines three metaphors to communicate the importance of the Technical Park. The first metaphor is a series of concentric rings, similar to those created when a stone hits water. Pond Ripples. The second metaphor, suggesting the overwhelming movement of a cyclone or whirlpool, is evocative of energy and movement, of an unstoppable force of nature. Cyclone. The third metaphor is that of the Ying and the Yang, the careful balance within the community of residential and office space, of places to live and places to create. YingYang. The focus of Pond Ripples, the energy of Cyclone and the balance of YingYang are prescient of the TEDA Technical Park’s future place in the world. Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Residential Architect | Chengdu, China, is a place of obvious architectural contrast. The city is home to some of China’s finest modern commercial architecture, yet ringed with villas that are distinctly historically associative in design. When GDW was engaged to design the villas of Rose Valley, we were tasked with creating homes of historical European architecture. While this architectural style is effective at creating a sense of timelessness, strength and security, it is not as effective at facilitating a modern lifestyle, or at providing great views – of critical import for this project as the villas all have backyards of fields of roses. When tasked with creating historically associative architecture, GDW focuses on two primary principles. This first is that the architecture should be literal and authentic, based on sound research of the best examples of a given style. Second, we like to contrast old and new, to provide for the client’s desire to create a timeless environment without sacrificing the modern lifestyle. Adherence to these principles led us to create homes that are traditional at the street edge, and modern at the back. Thus the houses are rich and secure at the front, and wide open to the stunning views at the back. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
Master plan urban07
Click to download project Master Planning | Endless variety within a distinctly unified identity', one of our primary master planning principles, creates a place appealing to a wide variety of people; a place enticing to them, whatever their mood or appetite; whatever the season, time of day or day of the week. The TEDA PROMENADE Master Plan exemplifies this principle. Our design makes a grand statement by organizing its facilities around a central thematic element, an elliptical lagoon. The Lagoon is the entertainment, the environmental nucleus that creates the stage set for each component piece. This extroverted approach allows guests to remain constantly oriented within the whole of the place, while a major assembly of icons encourages them to move throughout the site. This structure of development is consistent with modern urban core developments and the exposition style of recent World Fairs. The space we created is home to a world class soccer stadium and convention center, and the future home of a major retail and entertainment center, as well as 5000 homes in over 40 towers. Master Planning | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Urban Design | Located at the convergence of the Haihe River and two ancient and legendary canals, SAN CHA KOU can truly be called the birthplace of the modern Chinese city of Tianjin. This proposal for the redevelopment of SAN CHA KOU is designed to initiate Tianjin’s long-term redevelopment plans for the Haihe River, plans that will completely transform the city. Our concept for SAN CHA KOU showcases this transformation, setting an example for future designers of how to celebrate the river’s edge. It will set the standard for development, dramatically improving the quality of life of those who live, work or play within this area. Most importantly, it will help Tianjin achieve international recognition as a remarkable place to live and work. The project includes a city park, a retail and entertainment center, two museums, five high-rise residential towers and blocks of medium density mixed-use. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Urban Design Click to download project The City of Tanggu is the home of the port of Beijing and Tianjin. Under its young and forward looking leadership, Tanggu is emerging from the shadow of those two great cities, creating a presence of its own. The mayor of Tanggu asked us to create a park and a sculptural icon at the city’s entrance that would immediately communicate to all those arriving both the spirit of the city, and the quality of life it provides. The icon, Blossom Tanggu, combines the beauty of a flower blossom and the power of a rising wave. Both are metaphors for surging potential, while the combination of strength and beauty are particularly powerful in China. The park furthers these metaphors, reminds visitors of the city’s seaside presence, and includes a plethora of activities to ensure that it will always be filled with people, thus communicating the city’s quality of life. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.
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Click to download project Residential Architect | GDW’s approach to designing residential communities in the countryside is based on our belief that there is little advantage to living in the country in a living situation typical of a city. We have, therefore, taken advantage of our site’s high water table to create a large lake and surrounding canal, allowing most homes to enjoy waterfront locations. Further, lakeside homes are always valued, though waterfront homes exclusively located on islands are more valuable still. We therefore carved a number of unique and special islands within the lake, leaving between them a system of romantic canals, featuring summer time rowing and winter time skating, and larger bodies of water for big views and all sorts of water sports. Islands also provides for the need of people to gather, shop, mingle and dine together with two spectacular water front clubs and a vibrant, central and energetic mixed-use town center. Residential Architect | International design studio expert at designing homes and residential projects that people love, places that delight.
RESORT MASTER PLANNER | 2018 Winter Olympics | GlobalDesign Workshop | Brent Thompson
Resort Architect Click to download project Click to download press release We are proud to announce that the GDW master planned Alpensia Resort Village, in South Korea’s Pyeonchang region, won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics with a decisive win over rivals Munich of Germany and Annecy of France. In the mountainous center of the Korean peninsula there is a beautiful place appropriately named Peace Valley. Our clients asked us to create Alpensia in this valley, a resort unlike any other in Korea as well as facilities to support Korea’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The InterContinental Hotel Group has recently announced that they will operate Alpensia’s three main hotels - a luxury resort hotel and two family hotels. GlobalDesign Workshop’s design creates the critical mass necessary to make a major international resort successful. Based on the resort village concept recently rediscovered in North America, continually enjoyed in Europe, and now deployed in Asia, the village includes an energetic combination of hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and condominiums. The concentration of energy and facilities this concept generates has the additional benefit of leaving much of the beautiful site untouched. Seasonality is one of the biggest challenges faced by the tourism industry. Thus, we have incorporated a host of year around activities, including a wellness center, a year around board hill, an indoor water park and an outlet shopping village. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.
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Transportation Architect Click to download project The Aphae Port Boat Terminal will be the primary point of departure for all guests traveling to the resorts we are designing for the Sinan Diamond area, an archipelago of nearly 1000 islands near the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula. The architecture of the port facilities transitions guests from urban to island. Beyond that, the structures are particularly figurative. Strong forms, crafted of rusted Core-ten steel, are heavily influenced by the work of the internationally acclaimed artist Richard Serra. The buildings suggest boat and ship bows when seen from the water, fish forms when seen from the air. Facilities include the passenger terminal, ferry landing, hotel, marina and support areas. Long-term parking will be centralized at parking structures located in the center of the site, while short term parking will be provided adjacent to the terminal building. Long-term guests will be transported from parking to terminal by a monorail train. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Resort Architect Imagine a magical place to start an amazing holiday: a place so captivating that guests’ minds are filled with daydreams of anticipation for weeks before their arrival; fond memories for years after they leave. The Aphae-do Resort is architectural poetry. Its buildings are constructed of simile, their forms determined by metaphor, and the surrounding public spaces carved in allegory. Everywhere there is meaning. And everywhere there is nature. Nature preserved, nature restored, nature celebrated and nature honored. The poetry of the Aphae-do Resort honors the history, culture and natural beauty of this singular place. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Korean Islands. The Aphae Resort meets human needs, nurtures human desires, and inspires human dreams. This is the poetry of the Aphae. People go on holidays to meet basic human needs. Beyond that, they seek Magic. Our design for the Aphae resort creates the magic. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight. Click to download project
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Click to download project CloudLake, a riverfront resort with no lake in sight, is to be built as an “outside the gate” hospitality center to several adjacent theme and water parks. GDW’s concept combines bold geometry and intimate human scale to create a place that has wide appeal to all sorts of people, a place that will extend their stays and encourage them to visit repeatedly. GDW based the project on San Antonio, Texas’ wildly successful Riverwalk, extensively researching that project to gain a thorough understanding of how it works and why people find it so attractive. Riverwalk is a textbook example of a place people love, a place with the quality described by the latin phrase Genius Loci, a place with a magical quality that all recognize but few understand. The designers of GDW have spent their careers studying places with Genius Loci around the world in an effort to understand how that magical quality is achieved. Riverwalk achieves the magic, in part, by completely integrating water in the project. The water isn’t just something that can be seen, it is so close that people are immersed in its nearness. Riverwalk is all about the water: strolling by the water, dining by the water, enjoying music by the water, and riding boats on the water. The water is its magic. CloudLake adopts this theme, fully integrating water with the space, and with the experience guests have when visiting CloudLake. CloudLake combines a Riverwalk like walk street with boutique hotels, a large five star hotel, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to create an ideal place for those visiting the neighboring theme parks to stay and to spend their evenings. GDW achieves the magic of CloudLake by learning from Riverwalk. Observe, Analyze, Implement. Resort Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning resort destinations people love, places that delight.  
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Urban Design Click to download project Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is civic poetry. The entire city has taken on the form of a graceful Korean butterfly. The butterfly is a metaphor for beauty, movement, energy, grace and most appropriately, transformation; transformation into something far more beautiful, far more noteworthy. Further, the form of a butterfly has great practical value for a city planner. It has a linear, compact core that performs all the basic functions, and wings gridded by veins that draw energy and strength from the center. Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY is unique to Korea – in fact it is unique to the world. It will be the substance behind the Imagine Aphae resort, the economic engine behind the entire Imagine Sinan Resort. This city, the future home to 30 to 35,000 people, will provide a standard of living unmatched in Korea. The design for the city, based on North American innovation and Korean pragmatism, seeks to create a fabric of urban edges and open green space. Butterfly city references North American New Town Planning, the planning of the waterfront cities San Diego and Vancouver, and some of the best and most recent planning work done in Seoul. The city is situated just north of the Imagine Aphae resort, spanning from water on the west to water on the east. The city is bifurcated by the main access route that connects the resort to the boat terminal. The future Sinan Gun administration building sits just west of this access. This building is necessarily central to the city, and needs to be surrounded, on its south side by commercial space and residential space. The prime public spaces, however are on the waterfront, both east and west of the administration building. This creates somewhat of a conflict, one that is addressed by surrounding the administration building and the waterfronts in ellipses, and by connecting the ellipse of the primary waterfront to the ellipse of the administration building with a great circle. The waving “line” that connects all three spaces becomes the commercial core of the city. The great circle, and the area just to the east of the circle, form the highest density residential neighborhood. Concentric rings of steadily decreasing density form the remainder of the city. Thus the administration building, commercial core, and two great open spaces form the body of the butterfly, tidal flat observation piers form its antennae, and the residential neighborhoods form its wings. Parks and schools accent those wings, forming the figurative “eyes” common to the wings of many butterflies. Primary vehicular access is from a bridge connecting Aphae-do to nearby Mockbo, which then feeds the above mentioned primary island access road. This access road becomes a major north south artery for the city, and is one of four roads connecting city and resort. Secondary to this is a ring road that creates the city’s great circle, and additional arteries that outline the wings. The streets have been carefully planned to allow for great street trees and landscape strips and islands. In many ways, the quality of a city is the quality of its streets. The streets of BUTTERFLY CITY are patterned off those of some of the world’s cities. Cars are augmented by rail in BUTTERFLY CITY. There is a monorail planned to connect Mockbo, the resort, city and port. Further, the commercial core of the city is defined by a trolley that runs continually from ellipse to ellipse, coast to coast, tying the city together. Every home in the city is within a reasonable walk to this core – the trolley gives residents access to the remainder of the city, while creating a layer of charm and appeal not previously seen. As BUTTERFLY CITY is an island city, water is brought into the city to give greater access to the waterfront. Water wraps around the primary core, and a circular canal connects the county building to the coast, providing a linear park of water, landscape and biking and walking trails for the residents of the highest density area. This carefully constructed network of core, roads, public spaces, canals and parks, as well as the great quality of its streets, commercial center and public spaces result in a standard of living the equal of which will be difficult to find in Asia. Imagine BUTTERFLY CITY – a city as beautiful as its namesake, as livable as any in the world. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.
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Destination Design | One of the fastest growing areas on the planet is China’s Bin Hai New Area. Twenty years ago, China focused its considerable energy on building Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Ten years ago, Shanghai’s Pudong district went through a similar period of growth, and is now home to some of the world’s finest architecture. More recently, China has focused its energies on the Bin Hai New Area. Located on the edge of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, and just a forty-five minute train ride from Beijing, the focus of the area’s development is the TEDA economic development area. In the heart of TEDA a block of towers is under construction, including one that will be the world’s third tallest. Twenty to thirty-thousand people will visit or work on this block each working day. The entry experience most will experience will not be the grand lobbies of the towers, but instead the system of tunnels that lead to the underground parking structures. GDW was contracted by the TEDA government to design the entry canopies and interior skins of those entry tunnels. GDW’s concept has two major features. First, the tunnel entries. GDW designed a light, flowing, cloud like entry canopy evocative of movement and motion. At night, color changing lights give the canopies an altogether different character, and their quality of movement is enhanced. Our design of the tunnels themselves had two primary goals. First, as with the canopies, our design, a series of liquid, flowing bands of color, evokes movement and energy. Second, along with creating an entry experience for towers, our work is intended to help orient people in the two and a half kilometer long system of tunnels. Our concept, the four seasons, which also relate in China to the four points of the compass, are expressed in both the colors of the seasons and a series of two dimensional icons evocative of those seasons. GDW | Destination Design | Expert design studio creating places people love.
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Click to download project Destination Design | Our design for the TEDA Convention Center is a bold reminder of its presence near the sea with a sweeping and optimistic attitude. TEDA, located in the Tianjin province of China, is the rapidly growing home of numerous international companies. This center provides a place for them to meet. Culture is everywhere in China, and culture is central to our work. We believe projects should enjoy the best of what is available internationally, while always remembering, embracing and celebrating the local culture. As a result, the TEDA Convention Center displays bold, international forms and uniquely Chinese elements. The result is a singular architecture that captures the spirit of TEDA. Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Cultural Architect | The growth of Seoul since it hosted the Olympics in 1988 has been phenomenal. It has grown in physical size, population and worldwide prominence. Moreover, the city has become the design, style and cultural center of Asia The growth of this great city has focused its energy on the south side of the Han River. Just a generation ago, this area was relatively rural and undeveloped. Now it is home to the seats of power of many of the world’s largest and most innovative corporations. Ironically, however, the wealth of culture that is so endemic to Seoul’s identity, so much a part of what makes the city unique, did not follow the growth of the city as it crossed the Han and flourished in the south. The Lotte Music Hall will forever change the perception and reality of the area. Designed as a catalyst for cultural growth, this monumental facility is a clarion call to the city, a clear and symbolic announcement that culture has found the south of the Han. Cultural Architect | Cultural architects expert at master planning and architectural design of cultural destinations that delight, places people love.
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Click to download project Entertainment Design | We relied on two metaphors to capture the spirit of TEDA, a new city in the Tianjin province of China. Water fowls taking flight and the geothermal strength of the earth both speak of untold potential transforming into unreal splendor. Stravinsky’s Firebird captures the strength of both metaphors, so we adopted it as the musical score for the Firebird Water Show. These metaphors lead to a series of compelling water features - a stylized volcano of fire and water, a peaceful waterfowl pond that is transformed into an edgy, yet harmless, geyser pool, and the grand nightly Lagoon Show, the Firebirds. These volcano-like towers are wrapped with sweeping water wings, creating an unexpected contrast that is as beautiful as it is startling. Pragmatically, this water show is a free gift calculated to widen appeal, extend stays and encourage repeat visitation. Entertainment Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of entertainment destinations that delight, places people love.
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Urban Design Click to download project The City of Tanggu is the home of the port of Beijing and Tianjin. Under its young and forward looking leadership, Tanggu is emerging from the shadow of those two great cities, creating a presence of its own. The mayor of Tanggu asked us to create a park and a sculptural icon at the city’s entrance that would immediately communicate to all those arriving both the spirit of the city, and the quality of life it provides. The icon, Blossom Tanggu, combines the beauty of a flower blossom and the power of a rising wave. Both are metaphors for surging potential, while the combination of strength and beauty are particularly powerful in China. The park furthers these metaphors, reminds visitors of the city’s seaside presence, and includes a plethora of activities to ensure that it will always be filled with people, thus communicating the city’s quality of life. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at designing places people love, destinations that delight.
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Destination Design | GDW teamed with HOK on a charrette to create a concept for the entirely new King Abdullah University to be located near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our concept made the most of green building techniques, and is evocative of the sands of the peninsula on the exterior, while the interior is redolent of a classic desert oasis. The typical research laboratory buildings address the heat of the sun with solid, windowless walls. On the shaded north, however, the buildings include enough glass to both light the spaces and to allow the inhabitants to enjoy the oasis environment outside. Students walk through the shaded oasis environment as they move around the campus, allowing them to escape the indoor environment while sheltering them from the harsh desert conditions. Destination Design | International design studio expert in master planning and architectural design of destinations that delight, places people love.
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Urban Design | Symbols, icons and metaphors are powerful tools to communicate the importance of a place, and a vision for the future. These sculpture pieces, with references to the work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, were created for the Haihe River South project in the port city of Tanggu, China. They proclaim the project’s importance to the redevelopment of the city, they capture the spirit of the people of Tanggu, and they foreshadow the city’s future. Urban Design | Urban Design studio expert at master planning cities and public places people love, destinations that delight.
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Click to download project Retail Architect | Shenfu, in China’s north, is a completely new city defined by the energy, passion and enthusiasm of the local people. At the core of Shenfu is a shiny new lake, and giving life to lake and city alike is GDW’s leisure, dining and retail center, theWave. Additionally, GDW has designed a major exhibit hall, a visitor and investor center of sorts, on the site. The ultimate goal of the retail is to celebrate the exhibit hall, to create a whirlwind of pedestrian activity around it, and display the best of Shenfu’s lifestyle, leisure and entertainment offerings residents, interested visitors and potential investors alike. theWave is appropriately named. It’s swirling walls of rusted Corten steel and glass ripple, curve and roll as they create a vortex centered on the exhibit hall, move people through the space, focus activity in a central public “square,” and frame scenic views of the lake. The exhibit hall will display Shenfu’s plans for the future. theWave will display Shenfu’s heart. Gary Goddard Entertainment [www.garygoddard.com/] created the "Circle of Life" concept, including the great circle sculpture seen in some of our views, for Shenfu. Retail Architect | Retail design studio expert at master planning retail, mixed-use and town center destinations that delight, places people love.    
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Destination Design | One of the fastest growing areas on the planet is China’s Bin Hai New Area. Twenty years ago, China focused its considerable energy on building Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Ten years ago, Shanghai’s Pudong district went through a similar period of growth, and is now home to some of the world’s finest architecture. More recently, China has focused its energies on the Bin Hai New Area. Located on the edge of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, and just a forty-five minute train ride from Beijing, the focus of the area’s development is the TEDA economic development area. In the heart of TEDA a block of towers is under construction, including one that will be the world’s third tallest. Twenty to thirty-thousand people will visit or work on this block each working day. The entry experience most will experience will not be the grand lobbies of the towers, but instead the system of tunnels that lead to the underground parking structures. GDW was contracted by the TEDA government to design the entry canopies and interior skins of those entry tunnels. GDW’s concept has two major features. First, the tunnel entries. GDW designed a light, flowing, cloud like entry canopy evocative of movement and motion. At night, color changing lights give the canopies an altogether different character, and their quality of movement is enhanced. Our design of the tunnels themselves had two primary goals. First, as with the canopies, our design, a series of liquid, flowing bands of color, evokes movement and energy. Second, along with creating an entry experience for towers, our work is intended to help orient people in the two and a half kilometer long system of tunnels. Our concept, the four seasons, which also relate in China to the four points of the compass, are expressed in both the colors of the seasons and a series of two dimensional icons evocative of those seasons. GDW | Destination Design | Expert design studio creating places people love.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | A metaphorical waterfowl, this train station tells the story of a crane taking flight. In the beginning, it flaps its wings madly, generating a great deal of noise, but little speed. It seems it will never fly. In time, however, it gains speed, and struggles free of the water. As it takes flight, this awkward fowl is transformed into one of nature’s pictures of grace and beauty. This station, wings outstretched, is perched on the edge of the TEDA Promenades lagoon. As the arrival point for most guests visiting the Promenades, it is a remarkably fitting metaphor for TEDA. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | The dragon is the Chinese symbol of strength and dignity. As such, it was an appropriate metaphor for our second concept for the Promenades train station. Bold stone walls serve as the station’s foundation. The dragon-like roof is supported by a line of over-scaled columns, their shape derived from traditional Chinese structural elements. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Transportation Architect Click to download project The Aphae Port Boat Terminal will be the primary point of departure for all guests traveling to the resorts we are designing for the Sinan Diamond area, an archipelago of nearly 1000 islands near the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula. The architecture of the port facilities transitions guests from urban to island. Beyond that, the structures are particularly figurative. Strong forms, crafted of rusted Core-ten steel, are heavily influenced by the work of the internationally acclaimed artist Richard Serra. The buildings suggest boat and ship bows when seen from the water, fish forms when seen from the air. Facilities include the passenger terminal, ferry landing, hotel, marina and support areas. Long-term parking will be centralized at parking structures located in the center of the site, while short term parking will be provided adjacent to the terminal building. Long-term guests will be transported from parking to terminal by a monorail train. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | This monorail station, designed for a major theme park in Japan, is intended to create a transition from the Cartesian modernity and overwhelming vastness of Tokyo to the escape fantasy of the major international theme parks that are the heart of this resort. The station celebrates the resort’s location on the shore of the Tokyo Bay with a series of wave forms and sail forms, each layered against a firm and solid concrete “breakwater”. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.
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Click to download project Transportation Architect | Just inside what is arguably the world’s best and most successful theme park, Tokyo DisneySea, is a train station that connects the magic of Disney with the teutonic geometry of modern day Tokyo. The train station has, therefore, two purposes. The first is to create an arrival hall for people coming to the park. The second is to transition them emotionally from city to theme park. The architecture of all of the buildings surrounding the park’s main entrance is very literally old Italy. During the concept design process, we asked ourselves “What would Carlo Scarpa do?”, Mr. Scarpa being an early modernist Italian architect who worked in a manner both modern and respectful of the beautiful context of the historical Italian cities in which most of his architecture was built. The design we created attempts to answer this question. It is based on his work for the Bank of Verona, and uses the iconic early modern classic train station design of a series of round vaults, exposed black steel structure and steel framed windows, all of which sits on a classic Italian plinth. Research and design, Observe, Analyze, Implement. Transportation Architect | Destination design studio expert at master planning transportation destinations people love, places that delight.