Qipao Town International Design Competition

Location: Suzhou, China 
Year: 2017
Area: 45.000 sqm
Design Studio: WELL Architecture, Shanghai

Qipao Town is situated in Wujiang’s Old Town area next to the Chuihongqiao relic site, and occupies an area of approximately 32 hectares (480 mu). 100 mu has been set aside for development purposes with a planned total investment of RMB 6 billion. The project will be based around a qipao culture theme with a mode of development that adopts the motto of “Traditional Culture + Craftsman’s Spirit.” The end result will feature integrated development of culture, tourism and industry.

Based on the qipao as a central theme, a unique tourism town will be created featuring cultural tours, Shuixiang scenic tours, sinology tours and cultural fashion tours. Cultural Elements 2 centered on the theme of qipao will include traditional Chinese clothing, silk culture, sinology, Zen culture and Chuihong culture, integrated into a single cultural heritage village. Lead by high-end qipao customization, innovative design, masters’ workshops, product launches, and global forums will all be contained within an ingenious industry village.

The concept of the main buildings is inspired by the cocoon structures spun by silk larvae, in an attempt to protect themselves while they evolve. One of the stages of the Qipao dress is determined by a simple insect that is capable of creating a strong and amazing material. Our Idea was to use the cocoon shape in order to highlight the importance of this small creature, by using its principles of silk web design.

There are also main lines that anchor the cocoon, which we used for pedestrian lines and the outer shell which hardens in time and is strong as an outer shell.