The fast-changing skyline of Chengdu will see another transformation with the completion of several iconic projects within the next few years. Envisioned to become a landmark destination for the people of the city, the striking Chengdu IFC in Hong Xing Lu consists of two grade-A office towers, a hotel/serviced-apartment tower, a residential tower and a six-storey above-ground retail centre with two further retail storeys below ground, says developer Wharf China Estates. With target completion in late-2013, Chengdu IFC's gross floor area is 536,000 square metres, excluding the commercial areas below ground. Drawing inspiration from Chengdu's rich history, the project's planning concept complements the surrounding environment, taking pedestrians through multilevels, and paying respect to the neighbouring area and the antiquities preservation zone within the open piazza, which is expected to feature Tang and Song dynasty relics. 'The fa?ade design presents a strong architectural form with a distinctive juxtaposition of solid and glazed areas demonstrated by various positioning of box elements on the podium,' says a spokesman for Benoy, the project's architect. 'The scheme is planned with an 'urban edge' along Hong Xing Lu, where the two grade-A office towers are located, while a 'park edge' is created along the frontage of the quieter Bei Sha Mao Jie, with a pedestrian-friendly street along Da Ci Si Lu, making the development inviting and accessible.' With two 280-metre office towers flanking Dong Da Road, the mixed-use Chengdu International Commerce Centre (ICC) has a total gross floor area of 1.25 million square metres, comprising grade-A offices, a five-star international hotel, retail mall, observation decks on each tower offering 360-degree panoramic views, and deluxe residential accommodation, says a spokesman for developer Sun Hung Kai Development (China). 'The retail mall will be characterised by unique features, including a free-form skynet covering the podium platform; the three-level grand performance atrium; one of the world's tallest green walls and a giant LED TV screen at the main entrance.' While the Ta Zi Shan Forrest Park is just a stone's throw away, the southern boundary of Chengdu ICC runs along the bank of Shahe River. The plan of the towers takes into account these green areas, ensuring pleasant views of the internal and external landscapes to achieve a harmonious and co-ordinated environment, notes the spokesman for the developers. 'The first phase of the project is a deluxe residential development called The Sirius, which will be launched this year,' he says. Developed by Guangzhou-based KWG Property Holdings, and with an architectural team that includes Rocco Design Architects in Hong Kong and Glyph Design Studio in Canada, the Chengdu Cosmos project won the Bloomberg International Property Award for the Best High-rise Residence in Asia-Pacific 2011. The complex consists of residential properties, serviced apartments, offices, five-star hotels and shopping centres. Among its unique architectural features is the innovative design of private swimming pools in selected luxurious apartments. 'A semi-enclosed construction of a 45-degree dislocation layout has been applied to the project to ensure each apartment benefits from natural light and ventilation. Added elements include huge balconies and high ceilings to create a better living environment,' says a KWG spokesman. The company will launch different parts of Chengdu Cosmos in various phases and expects to unveil the apartments in two to three years' time, he adds.