Lingnan Tiandi (LNTD) Lot 1, 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence Winner

© Shui On Land

Location: Foshan, Guangdong, China
Developer: Shui On Land
Designers: Ben Wood Studio Shanghai; Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP
Site Size: 13.8 acres (5.6 ha)

Jury Statement: Through careful preservation, meticulous restoration, skillful adaptive reuse, and creative placemaking, LNTD Lot 1 created a modern, pedestrian-friendly city center steeped in authenticity.  An inspiring example of how history and culture can serve as amenities to drive successful development.

Located in Foshan, Guangdong, China, LNTD Lot 1 is the largest city-core historic preservation project in China. Lot 1 is a 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) project at the center of a larger 128-acre (52 ha) development that has revitalized the historic Chancheng District. Historic preservation was a priority in the redevelopment of this area. The developers retained the twisting streets and alleyways, preserved eight buildings on historic lists, and saved 40 others through adaptive use. What has made the historic preservation of this neighborhood so successful is that the neighborhood is not treated like a museum but perpetuates its history through new and creative uses. Modern technologies were incorporated into the historic site through measures such as insulating preserved roofing tiles and collecting rainwater for irrigation. The development has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold in multiple categories, along with other recognitions for energy efficiency and low carbon emissions.

LNTD Lot 1 Site Plan. © Shui On Land
Many aspects of the neighborhood, including the narrow and winding alleys, were preserved. © Shui On Land



Architectural details like the decorative eaves were preserved. © Shui On Land
LNTD hosts cultural events, such as this group marriage in the restored Marriage House. © Shui On Land













The district is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern China, attracting 12.5 million visitors in 2018. Part of what has made it such a popular attraction is the incorporation of local culture into the everyday life of the project. The retail tenants have been carefully curated to reinvigorate Lingnan culture by bringing back local businesses from overseas, and the neighborhood hosts over 100 cultural events each year. LNTD Lot 1 is financially successful in addition to being popular, fetching rents 50 to 100 percent higher than those in the surrounding area, earning the highest retail revenue per square meter in the city. The development of LNTD Lot 1 serves as a model for historic preservation and adaptive use in China and proves that investment and careful curation can reinvigorate a dormant culture.



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