Lead8, an international firm of architects, master planners, interior and graphic designers has been awarded The S.ARCH International Architecture Award for the ‘Best Conceptual Design Category Urban’ for its design of the Qianhai Guanze mixed-use development in Shenzhen, China.

The S.ARCH Award recognises excellence in architecture and urbanism, architectural diversity, and sustainable architecture. Particular attention is given to building/design schemes that use local resources and innovative design solutions.

“This award is such an honour for us, especially given the focus is on sustainable architecture. This is something very close to our hearts and our design philosophy at Lead8. Accepting this award for a project in Shenzhen, China, here in the heart of beautiful Havana, is also gratifying,” says co-founder and executive director, Claude Touikan, who accepted the award on behalf of all of Lead8 in Havana, Cuba.

Located in a new financial district in Shenzhen, China, Qianhai Guanze is a 420,000 sqm mixed-use development overlooking the Shenzhen River waterfront, integrating two Class A office towers, a five-star hotel, 50,000 sqm of retail mall and two serviced apartment buildings. Lead8 helmed the project masterplanning, retail architecture, interior design and serviced apartments’ facade, in collaboration with developer Horoy Holdings. Goetssch Partners (GP), is directing the architectural design for the two office towers and the hotel.

Embracing the city’s commitment to green design, Qianhai Guanze mixed-use development is driven by the concept of ‘Town-within-a-Garden’, and manifests in the form of a public urban park that helps to reconnect people with nature, while functioning as a green community asset. Green roofs and walkways, garden spaces and landscaped plazas connect pedestrians with the outdoor environment and to the public transportation system, as well as to adjacent sites and neighbouring developments. The five-level retail podium, connecting the office and residential towers, acts to anchor the development.

“Qianhai Guanze mixed-use development creates a forward-looking identity for this new financial district,” says David Buffonge, co-founder and executive director of Lead8.

“Its prominent location along Qianhai’s green belt makes the development an inspiring urban environment for living, entertaining and work in Shenzhen. We are pleased to play a part in creating this unique development that will encourage interaction between people across different spaces.”