Urban/ Architecture Design for Jiaomen River

Project Location:Nansha Guangzhou            Site Area:165 ha

Design Period: 2013    Status: Competition   Category: Urban Design

The Nansha Cultural District is located at a prominent location along the Jiaomen Waterway. Its site, sitting at the inlet of the Jiaomen River, marks a new urban edge of Nansha with the river providing a natural boundary. Cultivating this tenuous edge condition- with culture, nature and history-motivates our projects. The site’s rich agricultural history generates its new landscape and establishes the urban pattern. Its history is exploited in its future- one that advocates a necessary synergy between urban development and sustainability.

Urban Design

To fully exploit the waterfront, our project reconsiders the original master plan and locates the cultural district along the length of the shoreline. To guarantee maximum access to the waterfront, the existing access road is submerged below grade to create a continuous landscape. The Cultural District is separated from the mixed-use district by a new east-west road that connects the district with the residential area across the canal. Each of the five cultural buildings is located along this new connector. Once organized, the buildings“shift”north-to-south to fully obtain maximum views to the river and to create public clusters between them.

Architecture Design

The architecture of each of the cultural buildings derives from its connection to the landscape. The landscape, deriving from the traditional grid system of the local agricultural and canal systems, provides the basic spatial and structural unit for each building. Each building’s massing is cubic in form and rectilinear in planning. Each building, however, is spatially unique and volumetrically complex. The cubic and rectilinear’ outline” of each building provides formal similarity yet allows for unique expression through its volumes.

In addition to providing the spatial and structural unit for each building, the landscape also provides the primary terrain for public interface with each building. And, like the morphology of each building, the way the landscape integrates into each building as public space is unique. It defines the territory between public and private and, because the cultural buildings are public institutions, provides the primary space for public interaction.