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SOM conceive Xiong’an, China’s city of the future, with wellbeing as its focus

by Andrew Manns | 20 Jun 2019
Our design creates innovative, new typologies in planning, landscape, and architecture for new ways of urban living and working in nature
– Thomas Hussey

Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and TLS Landscape Architecture (TLS) have teamed up to masterplan a wellness-focused city in a recently incorporated district of Hebei, China, 100km south-west of Beijing.

Called Xiong’an, the 3,800-hectare development will be constructed in phases and serve as an exemplar of nature-centred urbanism, with forests and wetlands, as well as Baiyangdian, the largest freshwater lake in Northern China.

The site will also be home to walking and hiking trails, nature observatories, watersports facilities, spas and a skating rink.

A government-run competition for the new city – conducted earlier this year – saw 213 proposals submitted.

SOM and TLS were chosen from 12 finalists from 10 countries.

“The principles of livability, resiliency, and the preservation of local culture and heritage are at the core of our approach to urban planning and design,” said Thomas Hussey, SOM's director of urban design and planning. “Our design creates innovative typologies in planning, landscape, and architecture, for new ways of urban living and working in nature.”

“The urban design vision centres on quality of life, while providing the foundation for an ever-evolving city,” said the SOM design team.

“By integrating architecture with nature and the landscape, the urban design prioritises residents' health and wellbeing.”

In a description of the project, TLS elaborated: “We all depend on nature, but modern urban life has, in some ways, been preoccupied with technology, the internet, and social media, increasing our distance from the nature of reality.

“Our vision for Xiong’an is to have a city that will make people’s daily life more intertwined with natural changes in flowers, birds, insects, the sun, the moon, and the stars."

China  SOM  TLS  Hebei  wellbeing 
Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and TLS Landscape Architecture (TLS) have teamed up to masterplan a wellness-focused city in a recently incorporated district of Hebei, China, 100km south-west of Beijing. Called Xiong’an, the 3,800-hectare development will be constructed in phases and serve as an exemplar of nature-centred urbanism, with forests and wetlands, as well as Baiyangdian, the largest freshwater lake in Northern China. The site will also be home to
CLD,SAB,ARC,DES
The expansive metropolis, which will be situated amidst forests and wetlands, will include a variety of parks, trails, and sports facilities / SOM/TLS
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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