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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Interview with DeStefano and Partners on Yinzhou Fantasy Island Master Plan by Asia Architecture Review


architect/artist: DeStefano and Partners, Scott Sarver
interview title: Interview with DeStefano and Partners on Yinzhou Fantasy Island Master Plan, Ningbo
interviews compilation no: T-41
interview format: Text
date: August 24, 2009
appeared in: Asia Architecture Review
photo by:


Interview Details:

(as appeared in their web page)

Prominent Architecture firm DeStefano and Partners has recently create a new retail hub in the heart of Ningbo, China. The proposal introduces a dynamic shopping concept of Eight International Shopping Streets with a 200 meter tall landmark tower, giving rise to a new image of Yinzhou marked with a hybridization of cultural and ecogical friendly spaces. We are therefore proud to interview Mr Scott Sarver,  Chairman and Design Principal for the Yinzhou island project.

1) Ningbo was one of China’s oldest cities, and was known as a trade city on the silk road at least 2000 years ago.It was also a major  ancient trading port. How has the history of Ningbo influenced you in concepting a masterplan for the island of Yinzhou?

Ningbo is located at the confluence of three rivers—The Yao and Feng Hua Rivers meet to become the Yong River which then flows out to the sea.  The  inspiration for this project and for the tower was to draw on the City’s history with foreign trade and create a retail/shopping complex modeled after the eight great shopping centers around the world—Paris, London, Madrid, Dubai, Milan, Tokyo and New York.

2)What do you think is the most unique feature of the masterplan? 

The master plan draws on the concept of using the geometry of the land and the project, for example, the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower.  In this instance, the site’s triangular shape created by the three rivers influences the strong geometry of the master plan and is reflected in the design of the tower.

There is a concentration of activity all in one place; most master plans are based on diversity of use.  The Ningbo master plan concentrates activity and works because it helps to support a more regional destination rather than neighborhood retail opportunities.

3)How have environmental elements affect the design?

Environmental elements affect the design.  Outside the island, there is a natural ecofriendly park that accepts the different water levels; the island has a hard edge with its vertical wall.  The soft edge opposite the island accepts seasonal rains, natural flora and fauna.

Through the master plan, it is intended that all buildings be developed with the highest levels of sustainability.

4)What is your take on the direction of China in term of Urban design and architecture?

China is incredibly dynamic because of the rate of economic change that is underway, yet there also are very traditional and highly social urban planning needs to respect.  It is important to understand the culture and these unique characteristics and not  look to other places in the world to duplicate those in China.

5)Would you like to tell us more about your firm ?

DeStefano Partners (DP) proudly brings a high level of design and professional expertise to a wide variety of architectural, and planning projects.  From high-profile institutional and office buildings to neighborhood-defining streetscape elements, DP designs express the firm’s commitment to creating vibrant, livable and functional spaces through the delicate process of realizing goals that are unique to each client.  Our design practice is collaborative, detail-oriented, and dedicated to creative problem solving.

Based in Chicago, Illinois USA, DP serves clients in the U.S., Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to meet varied design and planning needs.  DP is committed to sustainable building technology, emphasizing transit-oriented development and design elements that respond to local climate, culture and context.

In the best Chicago tradition, we respect “the way things go together” and are proud of our high standards of craftsmanship, detailing and documentation.  Inspired by the cultural, geographic and organizational diversity of our clientele, our mission is to realize environments that are conducive to daily living, supportive of commercial enterprise and engaging to the human spirit.


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