Populus X A new epicentre for Pinghu


Location : Pinghu, Longgang District, Shenzhen PRC

Area : 80,000sqm

Client : Gang Hong Group

Architecture Design QUAD Studio

QUAD Studio Design Team : Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Landy Liu, Andrea Sze, Yolanda Xian, Yuanping Qian, Sinyee Wong, Yauhing Cheung

LDI : New Land Tool

Façade Consultant : CBS Façade

Lighting Consultant : RDI Lighting

All images by SAN and QUAD


Ronghu Phase 4 is a commercial development consisting of a 4.5 storey commercial podium, a 5-storey cultural sports centre and a 15 storey Office Tower with a total GFA of 85,000m2.

Pinghu located in the centre Shenzhen and the site is in the centre of Pinghu  
Populus X is located adjacent to Pinghu Station, one of the largest transport interchange in Shenzhen 

Based on our site analysis, the location of our site is in the juxtaposition between many large-scale developments in the city of Pinghu including Pinghu Station, a large integrated transportation hub second only to the one developed in the heart of Qianhai District. Being the commercial epicentre of Pinghu, we analysed other commercial complexes surrounding the site. Research concludes that most of the areas around Populus X are old renovation projects. Although there will be more large-scale businesses in the future, the area is in the need for a proper commercial development.

Aerial Top View 

The Heart of Pinghu

With the introduction of the integrated high-speed rail hub, the old epicentre of Pinghu has shifted and Ronghu that resides in the directly on the new epicentre of Pinghu adjacent to Pinghu Integrated Transportation Hub, an epicentre we call Populus X. Populus meaning a space that appeases people of all ages and X marking its centre.

Master Layout Plan 

This was our opportunity for place making, an opportunity to create a public realm for the people of Pinghu, an epicentre where anyone can come and socially interact with friends and social events. 

Our design target was as follows:

1. Creating a city living room that is permeable, fully connected to the surrounding plots and welcoming to everyone living, working or just visiting Pinghu.

2. The new town centre that is an extension of their living and working environment that seamlessly straddles between nature and culture

3.  Indoor/outdoor activities and public realms that appeases people of all ages

Massing consist of 3 major elements; a mini mall, retail street and cultural centre
Porosity from the street allows visitors to penetrate deep into the development
A series of public realms stiches forms enacts a sequential journey from an external environment, to semi external, leading to the internal atrium

It was imperative that we utilise this development to stitch together adjacent sites by linking pedestrian foot bridges that in turn penetrates into the development. The porosity of the podium welcomes and attracts visitor into the heart of the development where we have created an Urban Oasis and an Urban Green Enclave.

Our design logic was as follows:

1. The overall massing consists of 3 major elements: a mini mall, retail street and a sports cultural centre.

2. The porosity from the street allows visitors to penetrate deep into the development.

3. A series of public realms stiches forms enacts a sequential journey from an external environment, to semi external leading to the internal atrium.

Future pedestrian footbridge allows seamless connection for visitors from Pinghu Station making Populus X a true Transport Oriented Development
On top of the podium, a running track stitches the three podium components together.

In the design development of this commercial podium, many small retail malls were explored. Inspired by malls located in South East Asia, the development took on a concept of a commercial development with vertical open air public space. Starting from the ground which is a landscape of steps and ramps integrated with platforms seating, planting. The landscape courtyard vertically opens through large voids on the upper floors connecting to open public spaces on the upper floors. 

Using the sports centre as the focus landmark of the development we designed a running track on the roof of the connecting all three podium elements together. Bridge connection will extend and seamlessly connect to the future Pinghu Integrated Transportation Hub.


From the basic form, we enhance the penetration creating multiple green pockets, cut surfaces on the façade making a fluid flow of interconnecting forms creating a holistic composition signifying the heart of Pinghu

The space flows vertically and horizontally in and out the entire commercial podium and allows natural ventilation at the retail street and courtyard spaces. This airy semi-outdoor space is well incorporated with gardens on all levels. It becomes an active vertical urban living area. It is a place for strolling and relaxing at any time and any seasons.

Populus X Main Entrance Plaza  - Dusk View 
Populus X Main Entrance Plaza  - Night View 

View of Cultural Centre Xinde Road
View of Cultural Centre Xinde Road
View from Pinghu Road

Façade Detail – Roof Feature



Façade Detail – Typical Tower Façade



Public Realm


Mall Atrium

Façade Detail – Cultural Centre Façade


Façade Detail – Cultural Centre Bridge Connection



Level B1 Plan 


Level 1 Plan




Level 2 Plan


Level 3 Plan


Level 4 Plan


Level 5 Plan


Main Section


North Elevation


West Elevation


South Part Elevation


Inner Courtyard Elevation


East Elevation