The MixC World is the most popular retail area in Shenzhen, with a vibrant atmosphere in the streets and changing events and programs in the plazas. On the 4th floor of MixC World, there is a public rooftop garden connecting the office tower and the shopping mall.

Catering to the diverse user groups and ever-changing usage scenarios, landscape architects offered a flexible design solution to the rooftop garden. Inspired by the nature of waterdrop, which is tangible as well as flexible, the garden is designed to accommodate different commercial programs as well as people’s daily recreational needs. This idea is later adopted by the clients, who name the garden the Waterdrop Garden.

The Form

The Waterdrop Garden is designed with an enclosed layout. A central sunken plaza is designed to accommodate event space and commercial programs. The four edges are terraced with different height and planting conditions, which provide rich spatial quality for the four sides.

The “Waterdrop” is an art installation designed by landscape architects, as a visual anchor point of the plaza. During the daytime, the fog interaction from the installation attracts kids to play. In the evening, the spotted lights float on the dark pavement, blending with the fogs and creating a sense of romance, which brings young people to interact.

The Formless

The central plaza is surrounded by various scales of pocket spaces, which are designed to offer “customized” moments for everyone who comes to the garden. To the north is the “Urban overlook”, where people enjoy the best view of the city skyline. To the east is the “Garden Tatami”, where floating wood decks under trees offer shaded social spaces.

With the strongest sunshine to the south are several pocket gardens with dense planting, creating a more enclosed environment. To the west are a series of furniture spaces that are adjacent to the office towers.

During different times of the day, the relationship between the central plaza and surrounding pocket spaces changes. The distribution and density of people also change, like water.

The Jazz of Sitting

Instead of choosing outdoor furnishings from product lists, landscape architects embrace site impromptu where furniture design is integrated with site features such as grade change. With a more relaxed environment, people have more freedom to decide how they want to sit.

A wooden cap is given to the low retaining wall, welcoming people to rest and take off their shoes. A super-wide benchtop with storage space beneath offers a mini-playground for toddlers, while a raised “tatami” wooden deck provides an area for casual chats. Movable chairs bring even more choices for people.

Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape: Hongrui Shenzhen (Local Design Institute)

Architecture offices involved in the design (if any): Foster+Partner

Project location: Shenzhen, China

Design year: 2018

Year Built: 2020




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