Biophilic Retail Experience by Lead8 Opens

Lead8, the international award-winning design firm, has celebrated the opening of The Ring in Chongqing; a ground-breaking ecological retail destination featuring one of China’s largest indoor botanic gardens.

The development is a first-of-its-kind for the city – a place that intertwines retail, nature, culture and experience. Coming to life with a 42-metre-tall botanical garden, interactive sports and culture, and a creative tenant mix, The Ring provides attractions not yet seen before in Chongqing.

Simon Chua, Co Founder & Executive Director at Lead8 said:

“Lead8 is incredibly proud to be a part of this project that is setting a new benchmark for experiential destinations in Chongqing and China. Truly innovative, the vision seeks to deliver a new-generation social destination, an urban natural community, and a landmark regional commercial centre. The power of biophilia and our desire to be close to nature is front and centre, pushing the agenda forward for future commercial developments.”

Experience-First Spaces
The development is the first to be completed within Hongkong Land’s ‘The Ring’ retail series. Located in the Jinzhou Business District, the scheme is set within the Chongqing’s residential centre, next to the picturesque Zhaomushan Forest Park.

The development occupies 430,000 m² with approximately 154,000 m² dedicated to the seven-level mall, 14,000 m² to the retail street, 111,000 m² to the super grade A office building and 6,000 m² to the indoor botanical garden. Direct connections to Chongqing Metro Line 5 (completed) and Line 15 (in planning) bring a transit-oriented approach to deliver convenient access across the city.

The innovative interior design centres on a ‘Mountain City’ concept; bringing together natural environments with enriched engagement and experiential opportunities to create a diversified lifestyle offer. Cutting-edge and environmental protection technologies were used to construct the green ecological experience, producing an oasis for the city.

Complementing the indoor gardens, specialty activity hubs such as the ‘Free+’ dynamic sporting facility and ‘Open Lab’, a calm public space for reading and gathering, help meet the diverse demands of changing consumer preferences.

Retail Ecology and Biophilia
The biophilic design for The Ring showcases the indoor botanical garden as the centrepiece of the interiors. With thousands of plants covering a wide range of species, the garden offers a living environment to enhance the interior experience.

Allowing visitors to feel as though they have walked into a rainforest, the indoor botanical garden features three distinct themes – the Soul Tree, the Aerial Forest and the Riverside Hills. The garden has a 24-metre airborne waterfall and also features a changing and innovative light show designed as a further spectacle to engage visitors.

The multi-level garden connects with each of the mall’s seven levels, with the interior design blending in the natural atmosphere by way of the material palette and open-space planning. Elevated walkways, public seating and hanging fixtures create intimacy with nature and help to extend the gardens upwards. The design creates nodal spaces for rest, events and social opportunity, while immersing the surrounding retail activities in an ecological setting.

David Buffonge, Co Founder & Executive Director at Lead8 said:

“The botanical garden is not a stand-alone feature but an integrated experience which brings the benefits of biophilia, exploration, natural beauty and healthy indoor environments to The Ring. As many discuss the effects of COVID-19, one strong demand as we advance is the integration of nature into our daily lives. The Ring has placed itself ahead of the curve.”

Feature Design Areas
Botanical Garden (B1-L6): The 6,000 m², 42m-tall indoor garden offers a multi-level experience interlaced with surrounding retail, dining and entertainment spaces.

Oasis Walk: A series of connected, elevated ramps that allow visitors to immerse themselves and take a journey of discovery through the botanical garden’s multiple levels.

Free+ Sports Zone (L3-5): The multi-sports events area brings a new attraction to the development. Digital integration, e-gaming and an iconic staircase for audience seating aim to entice a new generation of customers.

Open Lab Cultural Forum (L3-5): This calm public space for reading and gathering has ample seating and open views, which allow visitors to relax, enjoy, share and socialise within the development.

Children’s Zone (L2): The themed playground envisions a cardboard city to engage young visitors and capture the family entertainment market. A children-related trade and entertainment mix, including Hongkong Land’s Kidsplorer STEAM play centre, surrounds the space.

Commune Village (L4-5): Configured as an internal street with interlocking and double storey shopfronts, this is a hub for specialty F&B tenants to offer a new dining culture on the upper floors.

Transport Hub: The development is conveniently located with direct connections to the Chongqing Metro Line 5 (complete) and future Line 15 (in planning) to deliver a transit-enhanced destination.

The opening of The Ring marks the first Hongkong Land completion for Lead8. The design firm is now working towards its next Hongkong Land scheme with the recent appointment to JL Central; a development set to transform the retail environment of one of China’s most prominent business districts, Xinjiekou in Nanjing.