Mecanoo triumph in competition to design Shenzhen's latest colossal mixed-use district

Dutch architecture studio Mecanoo have been named the winners of an urban design competition to totally transform a business district in Shenzhen, China.

Twelve staggered skyscrapers, an elevated pedestrian network and a vast green urban park form the key elements of the 1.36 million sq m (14 million sq ft) development Mecanoo will now design for the area around Shenzhen North railway and metro station.

Mecanoo’s proposal – featuring retail spaces, leisure facilities, apartments, offices and a hotel – aims to create a strong identity for the neighbourhood by having the pedestrian walkway connect the 12 dramatic towers, creating “a comfortable small-scale atmosphere.”

“Rather than define the exact shape of the towers, the design establishes rules which ensure coherency yet encourage a degree of variation,” said Mecanoo in a design statement.

“A smart facade system of glazed, angled elements offers diversity to support the different programmes and respond to the orientation while ensuring the overall appearance. Setbacks allow for the creation of roof gardens, which – together with interior sky gardens at some of the higher levels – integrate the urban park design into the buildings.”

The buildings will be set around a central urban park and vary in height between 278 and 428 metres (912 and 1,400 feet). Transportation networks will be at a subterranean level, allowing the park above to appear as a completely open green space where people can escape the heat and humidity to socialise and engage in leisure activities – something the area currently lacks.

A two-level plinth will connect the towers, the walkway and the park with the urban setting via an intricate network of overpasses, ramps and landscaped platforms; offering safe and comfortable access routes to the stations.

The development is the latest high-profile project penciled for Shenzhen. Last month, architecture practice Atelier Global won a design competition for Shenzhen Book City – a huge mixed-use district in the metropolis. Several similarly large-scale cultural spaces are also in the pipeline.

Mecanoo also have a number of leisure projects in development, including a new public library in Tainan and the renovation of Perth City Hall in Scotland.

Mecanoo  Shenzhen  China  architecture  design  Shenzhen North 
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