London-based firm will create a 660,000m² urban district

London-based PLP Architecture has unveiled plans for a 660,000 sq m “fashion city” in the Chinese city of Ningbo.

The development, dubbed N+, is a creative hub designed to attract major luxury European fashion houses to the area, which is one of China’s largest clothing manufacturing bases.

PLP intends N+ to cater for every stage of product evolution, and says it will provide a curated environment, design school, R&D incubator, and cultural venue.

The scheme will feature a dense high-rise district, and a cultural district with a theatre, museum and yacht club along the waterfront. The 256,565 sq m Hutong district will offer boutique hotels, designer concept stores and fashion villas designed as a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional Chinese Hutong buildings. The east of the hub will form the fourth and final area – known as the campus district.

N+ will encourage brands to curate a series of events, activities and experiences using strategic spaces within the masterplan known as ‘Contentboxes’. The ultimate Contentbox is a continuous 24,000m2 catwalk (The Ring) which floats above street level and connects each of the masterplan’s four distinct districts. 

Lee Polisano, partner at PLP Architecture, said: “As an entire urban district designed specifically for the fashion industry, this is a project of unprecedented scale and ambition and addresses the challenge of designing a city, something that is relatively permanent, for fashion, which is quintessentially ephemeral.

“For European brands seeking to realize the unique opportunities that Ningbo presents, the four N+ districts will enable direct engagement with consumers in a way that has never before existed. It’s hugely satisfying to design a city where education and creativity can foster business success in a tangible and modern way.”

Jamil Dada, chairman of The Fashion Hub which is delivering the project, said: “This is a very important project that can only exist in China, at this crucial moment as it transitions from a manufacturing base to a design power house.”