Special Focus on North Asia: SJ Global Architecture’s Three Focus Areas – Yangtze River, Hainan FTZ and the Greater Bay Area

With the establishment of SJ Global Architecture, covering SEA and North Asia, Surbana Jurong is in a good position to increase our core capabilities to meet market demand. 

Although the pandemic has slowed China’s construction development, the market has shown signs of a gradual slow recovery since May 2020, according to the US Commerce Department. China has big plans for the future, having launched a New Infrastructure program to mitigate the damage brought about by the pandemic.   

Its urbanization rate is the highest in the world, with a focus on the young in local communities and culture-related projects. The use of BIM and other smart city tech solutions including AI has become a key focus in architecture and building design.  

SJ Global Architecture CEO Yeo Siew Haip said in an interview: “We believe we can tap into our combined expertise, learn from each other, broaden and deepen our design and sector strengths and raise our practice standards – all to better serve our clients in architecture design and delivery.” Mr Yeo is also the CEO of SAA Architects, a member of the SJ Group. 

North Asia Business Leaders

(From left) SJ Global Architecture CEO Yeo Siew Haip, SJ North Asia CEO Lim Hong Kian and Ms Karen Cvornyek, Principal – President Asia for B+H Architects

SJ North Asia CEO Lim Hong Kian believes strong collaboration across member companies will enhance SJ’s capabilities in smart city and sustainability development. “SJ’s active participation in China’s urban renewal and development will ultimately increase the profile of the Group,” he told SJ Bulletin. “Our team will collaborate with state-owned enterprises in China three core areas: the Yangtze River Delta, the Hainan free trade zone and the Greater Bay Area (GBA).” The GBA covers Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macau and consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions in South China.

Equally bullish on the GBA is Ms Karen Cvornyek, Principal – President Asia for B+H Architects, a member of the SJ Group which has seen huge growth across the APAC region since it first set up its Shanghai studio in 1992. “The GBA is poised to be China’s most economically important region and one of the most exciting markets in the world,” she told SJ Bulletin. “B+H is well-positioned to tap into the pipeline of public and private sector opportunities we are seeing across the healthcare, corporate workplace, education, commercial, hospitality, and mixed-use sectors.”

SJ Bulletin shines the spotlight on nine exciting architectural projects in China in this special.

Project Completion
A Park in a mall in Shenzhen (Greater Bay Area)


A view of QPlex in Shenzhen. 

Designed by SJ North Asia and Formwerkz, Building12 is a standalone retail mall in the huge Qplex commercial development in Shenzhen. 

Building12 is a communal centre surrounded by a ring of 11 towers. The project covering 20,000 sqm is not just another shopping mall as designers sought to reimagine a commercially focused building typology into one that is also community-driven, according to ArchDaily

Timbered and turfed roofs blend into one another in line with multiple entries into the mall across various “ground levels”. With architectural and landscape elements extending into the interior, the mall is the park and the park is the mall. Building 12 was completed in 2019. ArchDaily reported that, relative to a typical shopping mall, Building12 is seeing a bigger diversity of users, spending greater amounts of time and engaging in a wider range of activities. 

Project Completion
A new cultural centre in Hangzhou (Yangtze River Delta)

Hangzhou Canal Grand Theater

The site of the Hangzhou Great Canal Theatre

SJ North Asia provided architectural concept design consultancy services for the Hangzhou Great Canal Theatre, a vital cultural development in the historical city. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province, and is home to West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba. This project clinched the International Property Awards – Asia Pacific “Best in Leisure Architecture-China” category. The architectural and landscape design took about one-and-half years, starting August 2015. Construction is ongoing and will be completed by this year. 

Project Update
An innovation city in Yangtze River Delta


The Nantong Science and Innovation Centre in the Yangtze River Delta.

The construction for the Nantong Science and Innovation Centre project, which began in 2017, was completed in 2020. The centre aims to be the innovation demonstration city in Yangtze River Delta.

SJ North Asia was involved in the planning of the project park which covers 207,267 sqm. The concept is derived through “place making” – the proper creation of spaces to ensure interaction, comfort and enjoyment of users, with a sense of proper flow and connectivity to ensure a vibrant atmosphere for innovation and learning. With over 45 enterprises hubbed there, the tech park handles research as a training base, enterprise research and development, Science & Technology service, and commercial services.

Project Contact:
Guo Yinmei | Deputy Manager (Architecture)
Surbana Jurong North Asia
T: +86-21-68593123
E: [email protected]

Project Win
A school for a free trade zone (Hainan Province)

Yangpu International Sec School

An artist’s impression of the Yangpu Secondary School Project at Yangpu Economic Development Zone (YEDZ).

SJ North Asia team was appointed recently to design the concept for a secondary school at the Yangpu Economic Development Zone (YEDZ), SJ will provide concept architecture design for the project. Yangpu is China’s largest port city in Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone. 

Over the past few years, SJ North Asia team has secured design projects including the Yangpu District 5th Kindergarten, the YangPu District International Kindergarten, and Yangpu’s biggest public housing, Yangpu Shipping Centre, a strong testimony to SJ’s active role in the urban development of Yangpu.

Yangpu is committed to build a business-friendly and environmentally-conscious coastal city.  with a masterplan that envisions the close integration of city and industrial living to attract high-calibre talents to work and live in Yangpu.


Project Contact:
Guo Yinmei | Deputy Manager (Architecture)
Surbana Jurong North Asia
T: +86-21-68593123
E: [email protected]

Project Updates from SAA Architects
The next two projects by SAA Architects demonstrate a sustainable approach to the design of  technology facilities through the use of biophilia, sustainable materials such as wood and renewables, and the deployment of smart sensors. 

Supporting medical innovation in Hainan

Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Healthcare Incubator Hub

A view of the Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Healthcare Incubator Hub

The Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Healthcare Incubator Hub forms the gateway into the Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone. The project covers over 60,000sqm and will boost the positioning of the Pilot Zone as an international destination for medical tourism, anchored by a cutting-edge medical R&D base. It will be completed in late 2021. Designed with plans for long-term rental apartments, retail, F&B and event spaces, together with green spaces that connect occupants with nature, the aim is to make the development a medical tourism destination for the region. More details from SAA Architects

Preparing the semiconductor industry for Industry 4.0

Nanjing Jiangbei

Artist’s impression of the Nanjing Jiangbei New Area Technology Park Semiconductor City Creative Techpark,

The Nanjing Jiangbei New Area Technology Park Semiconductor City Creative Techpark is envisioned as an iconic and innovative R&D precinct that will be the benchmark for future Techpark developments. This masterplan project envisions a connected and conducive tech park that transforms the traditional industrial workplace for Industry 4.0.

The development comprises a main tower with an attached convention centre, one commercial mall, seven standalone commercial buildings, and four semiconductor office towers with an iconic skybridge between the two towers linking both separate plots. It will be completed in 2024. More details from SAA Architects

Nominations for World Architectural Festival Award

Shenzhen Children Hospital

The Shenzhen Children’s Hospital & Science and Education Building project (above) and the Shenzhen Natural History Museum (below) are nominated for Future Project Awards at the WAF this year.

Shenzhen Museum

Two B+H projects are in the running for the 2021 World Architecture Festival (WAF) – Future Projects Award in two categories. The Shenzhen Children’s Hospital & Science and Education Building, was shortlisted for the Health – Future Projects award, and the Shenzhen Natural History Museum was shortlisted for the Culture – Future Projects award. 

The World Architecture Festival and awards is the world’s largest global architectural awards programme and festival. 

Designed by B+H in collaboration with East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI), the Shenzhen Children’s Hospital & Science and Education Building was awarded to B+H and ECADI in an international design competition for team’s innovative vision which emphasises the intersection between research, education and patient care.

Later, B+H partnered with 3XN and Zhubo Design in an international design competition for the Shenzhen Natural History Museum. The winning competition entry, entitled “Delta”, will be the first large-scale comprehensive natural museum in Southern China when complete. 

Results will be announced end-Dec 2021. Special shoutout to the design teams that span Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Singapore and Vietnam and wishing you the best!

Project Contact:
Stephanie Costelloe, Managing Principal, Hong Kong & Shenzhen
E: [email protected]

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About the SJ Connects e-newsletter: SJ Connects is published monthly by the Surbana Jurong Group, a global urban, infrastructure and managed services consulting firm, with over 70 years of track record in successful project delivery. Headquartered in Singapore, the group has a global talent pool of 16,000 across Surbana Jurong and our member companies AETOS, Atelier Ten, B+H, KTP, Prostruct, RBG, SAA, Sino-Sun and SMEC, based in over 40 countries. We provide a full suite of multidisciplinary consultancy services across aviation, healthcare, hospitality, transport, water and environment as well as energy and resources. Our technical teams include architects, designers, planners, engineers and other specialists driven by progressive thinking and creative ideas in our mission of “Building Cities, Shaping Lives”.