Fangcaodi – In plain English it is called Park View Green but if you want the cab driver to take you, you will need to master its Chinese name Fangcaodi. In a city chockfull of oversized, shiny, luxury shopping malls this is the new new destination in Beijing. Barely a year old and already going on so strong it has made the others feel, well a bit passé. It will be featured prominently in the first issue of the LV City Guide of Beijing coming in 2014, and not for nothing.
Park View Green was a huge bet, and last August when the 800,000 square foot space timidly opened its doors and presented its modern art pieces the bet was far from convincing. Back then plenty of vacant space, the odd sculpture, and possibly the ugliest statue ever unveiled (the farting bull) was not impressive. Yet despite an underwhelming first performance the space had an undeniable lure to shoppers and investors alike. Billed as a LEED Platinum certified project, Park View Green is a collaboration between Integrated Design Projects and ARUP. It is currently one of the largest sustainable projects in Beijing. Enveloped by a glass pyramid that act as natural temperature regulator, the two eighteen-story and two nine-story towers that comprise the buildings are forward leap in sustainable architecture.
Questionable art choices aside, shopping is indeed the number one draw of Park View Green. With the introduction of COS-the first one in Beijing-then The Gap for casual chic, the space became more relatable. Young relevance also came last June when Stella McCartney visited during her whirlwind tour of Asia to inaugurate her two-story shop. Coterie, the coolest destination for luxury eyewear soon followed. Shortly after, Dunhill opened “Alfred” its British deluxe pub right under the tailor shop, no doubt hoping to lure the high rollers.
Door after door, step by step, the vast beautiful architecture filled up with people, offices, an exciting hotel, the best restaurants, and even a luxurious cinema. It became alive; the fine modern art and shops mingling and morphing into an exciting, vibrant, dare we say it different shopping experience. Traffic is growing everyday and the once cavernous mall is now hopping (for Beijing). The new hotel addition “Eclat” is even rumored to have bedrooms with private pools in the room. And then there is the art, art dominates Park View Green, constantly presenting the public with the exciting Chinese modern art scene. Currently a few spectacular Dalí sculptures and contemporary Chinese art stars are on display for all to see. While a few galleries do sell, there is still a balance between fashion, fine dining, art, and high end accessories; all conveniently under one beautiful roof. This is one Beijing experience not to be missed.