Huafa Century City

A planned waterfront community that celebrates the luxury of green living within an urban context


Zhuhai, China


470,000 square meter site


Huafa Century City is a planned, urban community in Zhuhai, China. The development is within close proximity to Macao and enjoys a prime river front setting. The site is surrounded by lush greenery, water, and mountains the goal of this residential, mixed-use project was to celebrate the luxury of living with nature within an urban context. Luxury waterfront villas, canal townhouses, apartments, hotels, offices, and high-end retail, are designed to peacefully coexist with parks, walkways, and a network of waterways—all of which seamlessly integrate into the site’s natural landscape.

After winning the commission in an international competition, the WATG team developed a multi-layered masterplan that builds upon the site’s existing conditions. This integrative approach to design puts man-made water features next to a large natural park; adds landscaping that encourages the growth of indigenous flora and fauna; introduces a walkable multi-level podium with garden and plaza spaces for its residents; inserts greenery and gardens that climb buildings; and alines a set of apartment blocks—known as “The Dragon’s Back”—to echo the development’s mountainous backdrop.

Drawing on WATG’s 75 years of expertise in urban planning and design, in addition to many years working in the region, the team incorporated Wuxing, the Chinese Philosophy of the Five Elements, into the overall design inserting direct references to wood, fire, earth, metal, and water throughout. The result is a vibrant, nature-filled community designed for upscale, urban living that appeals to a multi-generational market. Huafa Century City’s residents can enjoy a busy outdoor lifestyle with paths for walking, jogging, and cycling; outdoor Tai Chi, fitness stations, and stone-filled reflexology paths. There are schools and playgrounds; cafes and retail services; as well as easy access to major international business centers—in a planned waterfront community that conveniently has it all.