A large, public square at the eastern corner of the site faces towards the Kunshan city centre, addressing the flow of people from the surrounding residential areas and the waterfront promenade. The four header buildings affronting this square hint at the programme beyond, providing a grand, bustling entrance to the site which draws people in and then disperses them throughout the site.
The dense edge acts as both a physical and economic buffer: a localized high floor area ratio reduces the pressure for density and growth throughout the site, which allows for the integration of larger water cleansing systems within the site. In the edge buildings, green roofs and green facades are used to filter and retain rain water, to buffer noise and particles from passing traffic, and to cool and shade the office spaces within. Vegetation-filled loggia spaces and connecting walkways are arranged along the facades to deconstruct the visual mass of the buildings whilst expressing a sense of movement along the urban edge.
Porous ground floors contain commercial programmes, establishing a new commercial strip along the road edge whilst encouraging passage through to the wetland park and interstitial spaces within the site. The geometry of the edge condition is manipulated to create a dialogue with the wetland park and courtyard gardens, establishing a sequence of public squares that snake from the Tinglin park trail to the new marina and to the Kun Opera stage. These interstitial public spaces vary in size and programme, creating a sense of drama at the human scale.