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Baoshan Long Beach Complex

New Water-Front Complex is a Gateway to Mainland China


Ruitai Development Co., Ltd.

Project Location

Shanghai, China


1,217,500 SF


Master planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, interiors

Poised at the gateway to Shanghai and mainland China, the Baoshan Long Beach Complex transforms an aging maritime dock into a vibrant lifestyle hub. Located at a key international port, the site has been a catalyst in the area’s renewal.

Encompassing over 1.2 million SF across 6.9 acres, the complex will include a tower, museum, concert hall, office building, retail space, and hotel. In addition to creating an iconic landmark tower on the shoreline, the Baoshan Long Beach Complex will serve a variety of functions – amenities for unforgettable events, breathtaking views of the waterfront and nearby cruise terminal, and unique dining experiences.




Literary Inspiration

Given its vital link between the waterfront paseo and extensive green belt to the South, the plan intricately ties together open spaces and architecture, providing a seamless connection to the urban functions of this vibrant development. The design draws inspiration from the story Journey to the West, one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, and one of the protagonists, Sun Wukong’s, encounter with the Dragon King of the East China Sea. The complex’s creation symbolizes the future of the Baoshan community: the birth of a future concept and the opening of a new chapter.

Literary Inspiration

Mixed-Use Tower

The Tidal Control Staff

For the design, we borrowed from the Dragon King’s magical staff that fights off evil, as Sun Wukong does in the original story. Seen as a protector of Shanghai’s ports, the staff is echoed in the design, with the 590-foot viewing tower divided into three sections by golden bands. The chimney stops at 473 feet, leaving plenty of space for the sky wedding venue, a restaurant above the clouds, facilities for the Shanghai Football Club and the 578-foot-high sightseeing platform with 360° views. To reinforce the concept of tidal control staff, the building seems to rise from the water, sitting in a pool with an aquarium under the viewing tower. The bottom is designed as transparent glass, connecting with the underground aquarium, so visitors seem to dive into the sea itself. The facilities include a vertical garden, rock climbing, and skydiving.

a new river front development with one high rise tower three mid rise towers and two low rise buildings with faceted roofs

Due to site requirements, a 490-foot chimney was required on the site for the adjacent cross-river tunnel. We used our imagination to turn a potential eyesore into a magical destination.

looking up at a glass building with light metal mullions and sun glare reflections against a bright sky with flying birds

The design elevates a requisite ventilation structure to align with the complex’s commercial positioning, transforming a chimney into a new landmark that provides sightseeing and leisure activities for the general public.

Concert Hall

The Crystal Palace

Reminiscent of the legendary undersea palace of the Dragon King of the East China Sea, the Baoshan Long Beach Concert Hall shines like a diamond, setting the stage not only for performances, but for visitors to enjoy art and culture.
In the daytime, the concert hall glistens in the sunlight; at night the Crystal Palace Concert Hall dazzles through an integrated design effort. Different perforation rates for each panel and specialized lighting design simulate the refraction effect of diamonds under light. In effect, the concert hall glitters and shines like the legendary Crystal Palace of the Dragon King of the East Sea.

Mixed use campus seen from the water. Tower at left, with angled metallic building in front of 2 glass buildings

At the forefront of the development sits a 1200-seat concert hall positioned at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

An elevated walkway above a plaza facing the concert hall, an angular, pointed building with iridescent, diamond shaped glass

To create the diamond shape while meeting the technical needs of a concert hall, the building takes on an asymmetric design, comprised of 59 perforated triangular aluminum panels.

The combination of the Tide Control Staff mixed-use tower and the Crystal Palace concert hall serve as a new landmark for Shanghai East Gate. This new world-class waterfront development will bring urban renewal to Shanghai, symbolizing hope for the Baoshan community: a marker of ideas to come and the start of a new story.



Elevating Design

CEO and Managing Principal Steven McKay, AIA, RIBA


CEO Steven McKay Shares a Passion for Design with designboom

This exclusive interview reveals McKay’s commitment to employee-ownership, the thrill of the design challenge, and the future of our firm. In the interview, the Baoshan Long Beach Mixed-Use Tower is shared as an example of how we are leading with design.

Read More

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