Design International - Live, work, and enjoy life: the masterplan Tunis Garden City
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Live, work, and enjoy life: the masterplan Tunis Garden City

Design International

Mixed Use  /  Future
Design International
Located in a strategic position between Tunis city centre and Tunis Carthage International Airport, Tunis Garden City will be the first development of a larger masterplan that will change the face of Tunis. The new neighbourhood will be born on three artificial islands on the lake of Tunis, and it is designed following the guidelines of a smart city, encouraging reduction in energy consumption, public and pedestrian transport integration, and the maximisation of green and walkable avenues. Terraces, green spaces, indoor and outdoor squares are the elements on which the project is based. As a real "city within the city", Tunis Garden City is designed to give back to the city of Tunis an urban space where people can live, work, and enjoy life. The project includes a shopping centre with a strong component dedicated to leisure and a unique food experience, a "green boulevard" of over 10,000 square meters, a business leisure hotel, offices and, in three separate blocks facing the green park, serviced apartments, more offices tailored to local businesses, and a residential building. The architectural concept takes inspiration from the city of Tunis, its lagoon, the historic medina, and its Parisian alike boulevards. The shopping centre itself offers an innovative experience: the transition between exterior and interior dissolves in a series of garden terraces dedicated to food and beverage offerings. The interior spaces are designed as a series of urban plazas and boulevards, where the visitor can walk and relax in the shade of a tree and yet enjoy a vibrant shopping, wellness, and leisure experience. The mall walk is covered by a large scale skylight built with a glulam timber structure that covers almost 90% of the public circulation area. A sort of ‘urban pergola’ that allows natural light to filter into the building and shape its interiors. The mall is porous like the new city of Tunis. Everything is connected together. It features 150 retail outlets, distributed across two floors, with a mix of shops and restaurants that face both the indoor galleria and the outdoor boulevard. The entire North side of the mall is occupied by a Food Village, a unique food experience that embraces multiple cultural events and yet focuses on traditional recipes reinterpreted with a modern twist. The food journey expands onto generous outdoor terraces facing the main streets and the pedestrian artery that cross the site North to South yet inviting visitors to walk and enjoy all the outdoor and indoor experiences. Two large glass canopies protruding out and 20 meters full height glazing facades on the West and East side accommodate multiple entrances inviting families and the community to enter and live this unique city within a city experience in Tunisia. The three separate buildings opposite the green boulevard complete the scheme helping to scale down the volume impact of the mall and giving a dynamic urban feel to the entire development. A biophilic design incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, natural views, and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment. Drawing on vernacular traditions of courtyards and open terraces, the buildings are designed to promote natural ventilation, control solar gain, privacy and shading, using screens as a modern reinterpretation of mashrabiya. Inspired by local materials and construction techniques, the external finishes of the buildings are bright and warm, with bronzed aluminium screens, carved plaster wall finishing, local limestone flooring and an organic colour palette. To complete the aesthetics of the buildings, artisanal elements are integrated into the interior design, delivering a contemporary homage to Tunisian craftsmanship. The design bases its values on ESG principles, supporting the client by applying non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks, circular economy, and growth opportunities. It is our moral responsibility to look at the surrounded environment and use sustainable resources, encourage biodiversity, energy, water, and waste efficiency; give the opportunity to the local community to be part of this development and support the local market and local employment, increasing both direct and indirect employment with over 5,000 new jobs. Ultimately, Tunis Garden City will be a new post-covid city, symbolising a new Tunisian renaissance.


 SPLT (Société de Promotion du Lac de Tunis) and Indigo Properties
 206.000 mq
 Design International
 Davide Padoa, Stefano Fragola, Chiara Braida, Loredana Aru, Elena Confalonieri, Paola Cesino, Simone Girgenti, Giulia Montagnani, Irene Botta, Nick Hart-Woods, Anthony Any, Grant Milne, Adolfo Moccia, Giorgia Borrelli, Alessandra Sassone, Benedetta Spagnoli
 (Cinema component) Atelier Architecture Lalo; (Structure, Civil defense, MEP) Studi Iternational; (Steelwork and skylight) Bost Ingenierie; (Skylight and Facades) Loft4; (Traffic) MIC Mobility in Chain; (Acoustic) Acoustica.
 Design International


Founded in 1965 in Toronto, Design International has built a solid reputation over the years in the world of design, particularly in the field of retail architecture. In fact, it pioneered some of the most innovative concepts in architecture, such as the construction of malls with glass roofs that promote the use of natural light (Bugis Junction, Singapore). Thanks to an in-depth knowledge of the retail field, the studio now works on projects that span multiple sectors, including mixed-use, residential, hotels, hospitality, stations and transport hubs. Design International is currently developing major projects in Europe, India and the Middle East, and is overseeing the construction of new mixed-use structures in China. In addition to its London headquarters, Design International boasts offices in Milan and Dubai.

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