Shanghai Baosteel Pioneer Park

The start-up area has been divided into three key nodes along the main city artery, TongJi Road.
The new development, ‘Wusongkou Pioneer Park’, will play an important and demonstrative role in major innovative industries such as science & technology, cultural and creative industry, modern services with new materials, smart manufacturing, 3D printing and energy and environmental protection. To enhance the comprehensive urban quality, it will offer large spaces for start-up businesses, workshops, educational programs and social activities as well as leisure and shopping possibilities.

Node 1, the ‘Art creative cultural area’, is located at the northern edge of the industrial transformation site and its interface with the city outskirts. This site will become an indispensable link between the center and the periphery, not only because of its location, but for the historical meaning and value for Baosteel Group Corporation and Shanghai. It was here, in 1978, where the first pile of the iron and steel factory was driven into the earth.

Considering the historical value and the charm of the first factory building, the architectural proposal preserves the precious buildings and elements and merges them with new innovative materials and functions.

The functions of this plot are focused on cultural and high-standard creative developments. Office towers with commercial podiums rise along TongJi road to serve the whole neighborhood and act as a noise barrier between the elevated highway and the low-rise cultural heart of the node. The center of the plot then becomes a cultural hub, with a steel museum, library, entertainment hall, workshop ateliers and co-working spaces for creative minds. The scenery towards the west river bank is an open plaza with cafes and restaurants for relaxation and leisure.

To emphasize not only the urban but historical and cultural importance of this node, the project proposes a super high-rise as a symbol of the growth and sustainability of the Baosteel Group Corporation. The super high-rise offers space for high level commercial functions, finance, offices and a 5 star hotel. A restaurant/lounge-bar with a 360 degree view over the area is planned to serve at the 71st floor.

Node 2, the ‘Casting urban life area’ is located at the intersection of TongJi Road in the east and Shuichan Road, in the north. This node is divided in two, the east part and the west part.

The plot in the east is next to the subway and bus station, which makes this area very active and a perfect spot for the new growth of high and middle-rise office and Soho towers, with commercial podiums for shopping, entertainment and dining as well as kindergarten, children’s playground, language school and dance school to serve the residents.

The west part has another scale, more quiet, with charming existing buildings and an amazing outdoor scenery, which gives the node the character of a small hidden place that perfectly suits for an escape from the urban hustle to enjoy diverse cultural exhibitions and small restaurants and café & bars.

Node 3, the ‘Technical creative office area’, is located at the south edge of the Wusongkou Pioneer Park, which contains the old steel pipe factory, and has a closer connection with the surrounding districts, such as large residential and commercial areas. As the southernmost point of the Park, it is the south gate to the area and is welcoming the visitor with a solid and elegant representative image.

The existing layout of the factory buildings spreads out perpendicular to the avenue and lets them align to each other closely with a strong character. Based on the linear array footprint of the existing buildings, the new volumes develop upward, and become an image of stacked steel plates with an east west orientation. The skin of the new architecture is covered with corten steel and square windows with convex-concave shading elements, to emphasize the industrial character.

Nanning Five Star Resort Hotel

Additionally, the buildings were raised 8 meters so the entire public level has an adequate perspective view of the river and the landscaped private gardens of the hotel, also allowing for underground parking, service and back-of-house areas with at-level access to the service street. The conference and banquet halls have their own area with a private garden for events, and a shared entrance canopy.
For the overall façade design, our ‘Zhuang Palace‘ proposal, with a unique approach to the local architecture of the Zhuang minority and a touch of rich detail treatment was chosen by Wanda from among more than four design options.
The hotel was to convey a sense of pertinence to its location, becoming an interpretation of the local architectural and cultural resources. The research led to determine the Zhuang tradition as a rich source of inspiration both in its architectural features as well as some cultural traditions and artifacts.

On the other hand, the function of the building and the sense of service provided by a hotel to its guests prompted us to search for a way to elevate the local tradition to the appearance of a palace. Therefore, the main concept was expressed as a Zhuang Palace, with a strong supporting base elevating local architecture and culture to elegance and refinement.
Typical architectural elements such as the distinctive stacked roof structures and consecutive roofs, overhanging balconies and the elaborate wooden paneling, fenestration and lattice work in facades, were the source for what we called the “noble wooden mantle”, expression of the served area, whereas the serving area was expressed as a solid stone base that supports the wooden elements.
The light, delicate and noble wooden mantle that hangs from the roofs is mainly composed by the guestroom angled balconies to provide the best views of the river, corridors and the wooden paneling that articulates the facades. The stone-clad covered walls of the lower floors constitute a modern, elegant and solid base, containing the public functions and administrative areas of the hotel. This juxtaposition is the massing concept of the building, a perfect combination of heavy and light, solid and void. The roof design is an extension of the facade design and breaks the volume into parts that work together, with a clear central volume and end towers.

One single main entrance canopy, connecting the entrances of the hotel and the banquet hall, gives character with dimensions that express the high standard of the hotel. The hotel lobby is a flow-through transparent space, with a continuous axis from entrance canopy, main doors, lobby and exit to the garden terrace, bringing the landscape into the noble spaces in a relaxing atmosphere.
The end towers emphasize the vertical dimension in the vicinity of the access avenue while displaying the large traditional drum pattern as a branding motif for the resort. The design of the drums was taken from local culture and applied as a pattern for the large scale stone decorations on the facades and as a frieze that highlights the Piano Nobile of the building. The main design features of the hotel, noble stone columns and a floating wooden roof, conform the welcoming street side gatehouse.
In addition, the main design motif of the banquet hall is the traditional repetitive roof, to highlight the importance of the building as seen from above from the neighboring high-rises.

Tianjin Culture Park

Beside overall Urban and Traffic Planning, the commissioned services included Landscape & Open Space Design of the entire Culture Park, integration of subterranean traffic and retail areas, Water Management and guidelines for Lighting Design.
The project is core, focal point and “heart and soul” of the entire city. The area comprises Opera House & Chinese Theatre, 5 museums, Library, Youth Centre and a vast shopping mall, with totally 1 million m²GFA (85% newly constructed).

A core area of about 400x1200m forms a generous open space, able to accommodate a variety of large-scale public open air events. A dynamic set of cultural spaces are interconnected and unified through the artful use of water as core design element.

Continue reading “Tianjin Culture Park”

Jinan Hotel Complex

The “Wanda Vista” 6 star hotel (including Main Lobby Building, Spa building, 3 types of luxurious villas, as well as one presidential villa); the “Wanda Realm” 5 star hotel; furthermore a Conference Center and a “Confucius” theme hotel; finally a Bar Street overlooking the Hancang River.

Jinan has beautiful natural scenery, where many spring waters converge, with unique views many poets wrote about. Based on a specific historical and cultural environment, Jinan’s residential architecture has both the simplicity and weight of the Northern building style and the lightness and transparency of the Canal Towns south of the Yangtze River. RhineScheme’s design is based on these bivalent features.
Typical Northern-Chinese traditional buildings have been taken as reference, whose main architectural features are the ‘XieShan’ type of double-pitched roofs, heavy stone walls and a lively wooden façade design. These features have been adequately translated into the design of a mountain hotel. On the other hand, lightness is achieved in the treatment of architectural details.
The site itself is 10 meters below street level, which posed a challenge in the master planning stage.
Visitors will approach the resort area through a mountain road, where the scenery changes step by step. The master plan necessarily involved the landscape design, due to the pronounced level difference between the site and the surrounding planned streets. Also the slope of the site itself had to be considered (which is in fact the mountain piedmont), in order to achieve favourable unblocked views towards the east.
The topography of the site led to the placement of the higher and larger buildings on the top line close to the mountain skirt. The smaller buildings, i.e. the villas, descend towards the lower levels, with the conference center on the lowest. Across the street, the Bar Street area and Hancang River valley are limiting the complex.

The design of the hotel complex reflects Confucian culture in a refined and clear manner.
Both the main lobby building of the 6 star hotel and the 5 star hotel are aligned on the west side, creating an articulated and charming image, echoing itself the profile of Lianhua Mountain behind them.
Between the two hotels, the spa building serves as connector. Towards the east, the villas are arranged in parallel rows, organized along two artificial valleys that create open views: one in the axis of the hotel lobby, the other one leading down from the 5 star hotel building.
The overall design is like an epitome of the old city; it creates a unique and meaningful resort by following terrain and culture.

6* hotel
The lobby of the Six Star Hotel is a two-storey building that stretches horizontally across the natural water level. Combined with the infinity pool and the falling water feature, it achieves the effect of a wonderland – outdoor and indoor – like in an old Chinese painting. The building is kept in a so-called ‘new Chinese style’. The stretched flat-topped building is dotted with five different antique slope roofs. The top of the lobby adopts the traditional form of the ‘XieShan’ type double-pitched roof, thick but elegant. The falling water forms a contrast between vertical height difference and horizontal architectural form, and a contrast between vividness and tranquility. The combination of flat roof and sloped roof pays a direct tribute to the classic architecture of China during the 1950s and 1960s, at the same time gaining economic advantages.
Moving down the road there is a group of totally 75 villas, planned in accordance with the rich topography of the sloping terrain. Each villa has a broad view, while being hidden between green hills and trees.
The elegance of the entrance lobbies is in harmony with the general flexibility of the villas.

5* hotel
The “Wanda Realm” 5 star hotel consists of 250 suites. The entrance canopy forms a building interspersed among two wooden blocks. Together with the first floor colonnade and a ‘Xieshan’ type of roof it creates an atmosphere of classic Chinese culture.
The public area stands above the first valley. The valley falls suddenly and the height of the building rises sharply. In order to avoid the impression of an excessive building volume, the higher levels’ rooms are made of light-coloured wooden blocks, whereas the ground level rooms have a white coloured base. Finally, dark-coloured wooden areas and glass railings connect the two surfaces in order to create a light, almost floating building volume.
The “Wanda Realm” hotel – facing the street and with its backside close to the valley – expresses an elaborated architectural momentum, at the same time creating the required holiday atmosphere of a mountain hotel.

4* theme hotel
Still under development

Bar Street
Jinan Bar Street, along with the unique historical culture and humanist spirit of the city, echoes the city’s natural landscape system with “four sides of lotus and three willowy sides, of a city of mountains with a half city lake”.
The design takes the “spring” as the main topic and by that highlights the characteristics of the city. The bar street adopts traditional Chinese architectural style, extending the traditional vocabulary of old Jinan architecture and folk custom, creating a culture style bar street with the integration of spring and water, and the blending of history and contemporary habits.

Jinan Bar Street is designed for business, tourism and culture at the same time. By integrating different situational blocks, four main themes related with spring water have been developed: watching and tasting water, playing with water and listening to the sound of water.
The uses are: folk culture experience, high-end catering, entertainment and leisure, public facilities, exhibition, scenic or stage settings, and other formats.
The buildings’ elevations have been designed according to the geographical location of the project and the inherent cultural connotations. The bar street adopts the ancient architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. At the same time, it integrates local and traditional cultural symbols of Jinan and contemporary facade techniques.

‘Love Island’ Changde

The business concept aims at a vivid inner-city district with multifunctional 24/7 uses in all floor levels – the mere opposite of any sort of Potemkin village that is dead after 6pm and above ground floor.
In contrast to the neighbouring ‘German Street’, the ‘Love’ theme suggested a more Latin inspired architecture with the warm atmosphere of the Mediterranean in the language of buildings, in colours, materials, open space design and landscape.

Size and location of the site inspired the proposal of a distinct urban structure of South-European character. European architecture from different epochs creates the atmosphere of a Mediterranean town, with small streets and alleys and a central plaza, and an overall flexible structure that can adequately host different functions.

The site with the Chuanzi River running in the south provides a unique and very valuable landscape with outstanding views toward the river, and also views from the river to the site. This feature is advantageous for restaurants and hotels, for water events and sport activities. For the opposite riverside and neighbouring residential areas it provides high-quality living adjacent to the water and to recreational areas. Last not least, the riverside park is extremely valuable for photo-shooting and hosting special events, here with a special focus on wedding or engagement celebrations.

A user-oriented concept: People and love

The project’s success lies on attracting the biggest possible variety of users: Young and old families, couples and singles, well educated & culturally interested people, or simply curious visitors with the wish to immerge into a foreign world to find distraction.
Why will people come? Who will come, and what will they do?
• People meeting people: Whether coming alone or with some friends, this is the right place to meet a special someone and fall in love.
• Couples in love: Young couples or older ones can enjoy a variety of activities while getting the chance to know each other even better or re-kindle their love
• Engagement: To propose to a loved person, ‘Love Island’ can guarantee the most romantic sceneries and events for a great surprise.
• Getting married: For a special and planned wedding the area provides various options for each couple and their families, for the preparations and for the day of marriage. Last not least by having ceremonies in opulent and exotic banquet halls with splendid river views and romantic Renaissance gardens in front.
• Families, neighbours and residents: Everyone in the surrounding areas will feel very welcomed to come and spend a nice day in family due to the countless fun activities available

The aim is to have non-stop day & night use during all seasons (24/7/365)
• Eating & drinking (catering): With facilities for day & night use, with close connection to European culture, theme restaurants, specialties restaurants from different countries, gourmet and typical (fast) food restaurants, bars, cafés, ice-cream parlours and juice shops.
• Outdoor activities: Renting shops for roller skaters, segways, tandem bicycles, paddle boats, canoes. Relaxing in the park, photo shooting. Seasonal markets like Christmas market, fish market, autumn fruit market, Easter market, flower market. European (national) festivals or events, like French wine festival. Cultural events like annual open air concerts (pop music in spring, classical music in autumn), shows, theatre, dancing or acrobatic festivals. All kinds of water sports or activities combined with water
• Indoor activities: Museum, cinema, speed-dating place, KTV, amusement arcades. Roman bath, wellness, spa, beauty salons. Wedding-related services like ceremony facilities, dancing school, photography studios, travel agencies.
• Shopping: All kinds of shops related with weddings (fashion, jewelry), food specialties shops (wines, bakery, chocolates). Wedding related arts and crafts from European countries.
• Hotels: Honeymoon hotel; small boutique hotels with at least 5 star standard

Urban and landscape structure

The masterplan proposes a playful arrangement with denser and less dense structures. The urban pattern develops different kinds of open spaces, yards and atriums, public squares and enclosed garden courtyards, with different degree of privacy, furthermore landscape-like gardens towards the river. The area features winding alleys with an intimate village-like atmosphere, and a big central plaza with the most representative buildings, suitable for hosting the main events and celebrations.
The church is the core and focal point of the development and its campanile is the outstanding landmark that can be seen from almost any location surrounding.

The overall urban character is romantic, elegant and relaxing.
Since one of the most important commercial concepts is wedding photography, all buildings and open spaces have been designed to serve as outstanding sets for outdoor photo-shooting.
All buildings have 2-4 levels, and towards the river, elegant and eye-catching facades.

The structural arrangement ensures that density, volume and fragmentation of the buildings are diversified according to the different functions that they occupy.
The circulation system of the site is a dense net of walkways with different hierarchies. The structure is highly permeable. Many passages run through the site in north-south-direction. With an additional landscape-axis, the waterfront and the park are connected with the urban hinterland.
A main walkway runs through the area from west to east, ending in the main plaza and focusing on the Bell Tower.
The main square also contains the main gate towards the complex, thus becoming the main articulator of all circulations.

The church is the iconic building in the main plaza and is, with its apse, directly related to the river landscape. A large lawn (with small groups of trees) surrounds the church and opens towards the river for outside activities.
With a long flight of steps the green area gently slopes down to the water and provides nice views over the riverside park, which includes groups of palm trees reminding of the Mediterranean.
In the other direction the open lawn allows good views to the church and the preeminent Bell Tower.

The required parking lots are mostly arranged under the elevated platform of the lawn. Additional surface parking space is available near the main entrance and the hotels.

Architecture

The design style is Mediterranean and Southern European, comprising stylistic and typological references from Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.
The aim was to achieve a charming mixture of simple and elegant buildings in a combination of different styles and epochs, which also inspire the thematic flavour of the private gardens. One of the rare instructions from the investor and operator was to focus on styles predating the 20th century; nonetheless some modernist or clearly contemporary buildings are included to create a more authentic and less artificial atmosphere.

The materials used for facades are mainly plaster, in Mediterranean pastel colours and textures, mixed with grey or beige colour natural stones and red clay roof tiles.
Facades are symmetrical, hierarchical, repetitive surrounding the main plaza and facing the river; they are more random along the smaller alleys, imitating a quasi naturally grown town quarter.
Main architectural design elements are arcades, balconies with metal railings, stone window frames, friezes and roof mouldings, columns and arches, terraces, pergolas and garden colonnades, as well as pavements and vaulted arcade ceilings.
Additionally, the overall lighting design and signage complete the comprehensive European style, as well as the careful and sensitive landscape design by LML, Berlin.

The secularized church – hosting a theatre-like multi-functional event space and named “Florentine Hall” – is the central element of ‘Love Island’, in architecture and in its immediate creation of urbanity. Its transitional location creates two totally different aspects. On one side we find the typical urban arrangement with a regular church-square and the irregular “village” behind. On the other (back-) side is the church surrounded by a vast lawn which gives an almost rural, countryside-like character.

Areas and typologies

• The  “S p a n i s h   v i l l a g e” (A10-A15): Inspired in traditional Spanish or Italian small towns, this area creates a small village with main and secondary alleys, passages, bridges connecting buildings over the street, with enchanted roof terraces and a small intimate plaza, ‘Piazza Cupido’.
• The  “I t a l i a n  P i a z z a” (A4-A9, A16): Inspired in the main squares of notable Italian cities such as Venice and Florence, the ‘Piazza del Primo Bacio’ hosts buildings for high class restaurants, shops and hotels.
The buildings are inspired in a mix of civic Italian and Spanish renaissance palaces, the church – in its main façade – by ‘Santa Maria della Croce’ in Florence, the Bell Tower by that in Rovinj in Croatia. Furthermore two expressions of modern architecture (A4, A8) can be found, the latter inspired in the ‘Palazzo da Civilità Italiana’ of the early modern movement in Rome. An urban colonnade flanks the sides of the plaza and includes the main gate to the compound, in the shape of a colonnade with fountain.
• The  “R u r a l  P a l a c e s” (A1, A2, A3): This group of three buildings meant to host wedding banquets and celebrations, are inspired in traditional rural palace architecture from France, Italy and Portugal. Each has its own private garden for outdoor celebrations, with richly ornamented landscape, enclosed and protected by a colonnade.
• The  “L o v e  M u s e u m” (A0): Finally, this piece of contemporary architectural design is meant to be a landmark on the river, visible from all adjoining waterfronts. It establishes an axial relation with the bell tower of the church, in close relation with the water and harmonious integration into the landscape of the park.
The architecture is modern, with light coloured steel and transparent glass as main materials. The building’s shape is a composition of two intertwined wedding rings, with a sculptural diamond in the center. Both rings create a continuous exhibition space, a linear exhibition that becomes a loop. The rings are interconnected to create continuity between inside and outside, indoor exhibition, outdoor exhibition and riverside terrace.
In the center: the Diamond, a glass-clad sculptural platform for multimedia exhibition.

Dujiangyan Hotel Complex

A mere 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel group is Duwen Expressway (S9), the link between Sichuan and Tibet tourist attractions, such as Wolong Nature Reserve, Wenchuan County and Mount Siguniang. The project is the last upscale hotel group on the route to Tibet.
The project is located in the south of Dujiangyan, the famous town of longevity and a well-known tourist destination, especially famous for its over 2,200 years old irrigation system. The hotel complex borders the big Min River, the longest tributary of the Yangtze in the east and Zhaogong Mountain in the west. ‘Black Rock River’ in the east of the site divides the site into two blocks from north to south. In addition to these existing water bodies, the Client plans to excavate 7.5 hectares of artificial lakes inside the site to further improve the environmental level.

The building blocks of the hotel group are developed along the perimeter of the site with artificial lakes inside. The lobby of the Six Star Hotel is located in the southeastern corner. Visitors standing in the lobby can see the lake and overlook the Zhaogong Mountain.
The villas are extended northward. Using the terrain and the lake, all the villas have good views. The five-star hotel and theme hotel are located at the southwest corner of the site, using the boundaries of the Black Rock River to enclose their respective interior landscapes.

6 Star Hotel
The Six Star Hotel covers an area of about 11 hectares with a total of 90 villas. The inspiration for the hotel design is the West Sichuan Palace hidden in a bamboo forest by the river. The building materials in western Sichuan are mainly wood, limestone, gray brick and gray tile, presenting a simple texture and natural beauty. Traditional materials and structures have been incorporated into the design of the hotel lobby, and have been changed, reorganized and renewed to the greatest extent, retaining the shape and meaning of the traditional local architecture. Furthermore, we fell back on the skills of gardening in Western Sichuan, and used the methods of “suppressing” and “leaking” to expand the space experience of the guests.
The villas all have outdoor hot springs. Taking advantage of the height difference of the terrain, guests can enjoy the view of the artificial lake or the Minjiang River from the outdoor pool, while ensuring the privacy of the villa.

Spa Complex
The Spa is located between the five-star hotel and the theme hotel, with a separate external entrance and access from both hotels through a corridor. The total area is 1,800 square meters, and it is equipped with 7 outdoor pools of 2,000 square meters.
In the façade design, the spa takes reference of the traditional forms and materials of Western Sichuan. But in order to create a more relaxed atmosphere, more civilian structures have been adopted, such as the “ChuanDou” structure or the “supporting arch”.

5 Star Hotel
The five star hotel with 300 guestrooms has a privileged situation with its proximity to Heishi River on the East and its location right beside the big lake.
Based on traditional Sichuan architecture (‘Chuanxi’ style), the base of the building – which usually is the noble one, hence accommodates the public functions of the hotel – is clad with stone with carvings that resemble flowing water – as reference to the local culture with its millenniums of history of water management.
The main body – where the guest rooms are located – is designed to convey a town-like atmosphere where several buildings are attached to each other with different heights, in order to break the horizontality of the building and create a certain random rhythm.
The balconies combine white plaster and wooden details in order to create a local feeling but in a rather modern way. The grey clay-tile roofs seem to be floating from above the building and then hold by the elaborated wooden structure.
The main entrance of the hotel is emphasized by placing two vast, abstract interpretations of traditional Chinese lanterns on both sides. During the night there will be a special effect created by a perforated brick wall that will cast distinct patterns on the street when lit from behind.
The five star hotel is characterized by simple and elegant details. Different combinations of the same materials are used to obtain ‘unity in diversity’, as the key for consistency and excellence.

4 Star Theme Hotel
The building is neighbouring the five star hotel on its north side, Heishi River to the east and the huge ‘Wanda Entertainment Park’ on the opposite side of the road, towards south.
Due to the existence of several panda research and preservation parks in the city of Chengdu (which is only 55 km away), the ‘world of pandas’ was chosen as a theme for the hotel. The design approach had families with small children as main target. As common feature with theme hotels, the main goal is to achieve an immediate feeling from the building and façade itself suggesting a certain level of playfulness. Guests will be able to feel the ‘world of pandas’ not only from the elements of the landscape but from the building as well, which stands out as the icon of panda life.
As we approach the hotel from the road, a 6-storey, organic-shaped building features a composition that reminds us of several pandas standing or laying down. Panda faces and bodies defined by a white background with dark grey spots and shapes, and those hanging from the bamboo base and hiding between the bamboo forests of the vertical cores, give us the feeling of a natural panda habitat welcoming the guests.
On the ground floor large framed windows step out from the façade to define the main public areas of the Hotel.
The building has four main parts with an undulating façade that open towards the river and the lake behind in ordered to optimize the views from the guest rooms. The undulating gesture allows enclosing a garden that gives privacy and distance from the road. The 461 guestrooms have balconies that project towards the water side or to the mountain side making the hotel special not only for its theme, but also for its splendid views of a great location.

Bar Street
Dujiangyan has not only a long history, but also colourful architectural forms and styles.
In the design of the ‘Bar Street’, the architectural concept was to blend Chinese and Western traditions and to blend the ancient and the modern: Traditional Sichuan architecture (offering traditional Chinese food or accommodating classical tea houses) is mixed with Republican style (1912-1949) and modern architecture (offering Western food and bars) as well as “new Chinese style” (offering modern Chinese food) in a harmonious way. Blending the different styles brings a whole new urban experience.
In the landscape design, local traditions have been adapted, myths and legends are combined with landscape elements and with the architectural design, further blurring the boundaries between time and space and function.

Begonia Bay Resort Village

  • ‘Darentang Resort Village’ (Plots A+B): The two biggest plots stretching along the beach host a five star resort village with two hotel buildings ( tot. 416 keys) and 161 holiday villas in five different sizes from 99 to 476 m². The two plots are separated along a green promenade leading to the beach.
  • Commercial Service Centre (plot C): It takes the remaining part of the beach, with outdoor covered public facilities that also serve the seaside resort, including the functions of swimming, diving, and other water activities, restaurants, bars, shops, and parking facilities.
  • ‘Houhai Fisher Area’ (plot D): The existing fisher area along the mouth of ‘Tielugang’ side-bay is providing convenience for fishing business, typhoon shelter, and floating seafood restaurants, but currently in a mass and in bad conditions. After planning and design, the plot will become a scenic spot for tourists to experience life and work of fishermen; tourists are planned to have original, ecological seafood in rows of typical local fishermen’s boats, meanwhile the Houhai villagers have the opportunity to get a catering business with independent property right. They can rent out or transfer their houses/boats.
  • ‘Houhai Fascinating Town’ (plot E): A resettlement area for the locally removed residents called has been planned, with tot. 362 houses, educational facilities and commercial areas to provide an additional source of income for the residents.

As opposed to the busier ‘Yalong Bay’, ‘Begonia Bay’ has been reserved as an alternate land for urban development, featuring beautiful scenery, the absence of urban noise, and an excellent location regarding overall resources and environment.
Located at the main point of Haitang Bay, the so-called “Houhai Golden Bay”, the planned resort’s health program has been selected by the municipal government from worldwide top Chinese medicine health-preserving resort projects.
As seaside tourist city, Sanya has a large concentration of leisure resorts, but few health-themed ones. The planning concept makes use of the advantageous environmental resources in order to create a competitive property with healthy leisure experience for people.

The five star hotels will be managed by a professional Chinese Medicine team of the investing Tianjin Medicine Group. Hotel functions include guest rooms mainly for high-end customers to spend vacations, providing medical baths, healthy sleep, etc., Chinese restaurants serving herbal cuisine etc., and a spacious SPA including health diagnosis and treatment area, acupuncture moxibustion, medication area, and massage area.

Both in East and West, humans have always been committed to the pursuit of harmonious relations between themselves and their natural environment and developed their distinct theories about the connection between both. China has a long cultural history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice and health treatments. This Eastern wisdom is unique, broad and profound. Chinese medicine stresses the concept of the whole, with a dialectical attitude towards the human body itself and the balance between man and nature. Chinese medical scientists are working to find the link between body and nature. Whether in the medical or in the architectural field, ancient peoples have developed vast experience in research and practice.
Chinese medicine theories of “organic naturalism” have developed a concept of “Heaven and Man” that fits well with the desire of people to pursuit a healthy life-style.

Combining the existing environmental advantages with an overall planning strategy, the design considers health and leisure together, and combines human activities with natural scenery. Two guidelines have been developed: The functional planning proposes an integrated industry with vacation, leisure, wellness and medical treatment functions. Secondly, regarding the landscape planning, TCM health elements have been integrated, whereas the landscape fully serves recreational functions and uses the splendid natural scenery.

Fuzhou Hengjie Heritage Intervention

Today, Wenchangli District is the most complete cultural area in the city of Fuzhou. In Song dynasty, Hengjie Street was the main road leading from Wenchang Bridge to Zhengjue Temple. It was the starting point for the development of the whole riverside district, north and south. During the Minguo period it incorporated the Catholic church and other notable landmark buildings. After 1949, its urban situation experienced a fracture with the development of new large scale residential buildings.

The central concept of this intervention project is the protection of the built and unbuilt heritage, and its gradual improvement, preserving the cultural and architectural values while organically incorporating business and commercial functions related to tourism.
The protection of the existing buildings and cultural experiences has the purpose of maintaining the existing sense of history, time and way of life. A step-by-step development improves the heritage in phases recovering the original culture and gradually increasing the content of experiences, according to the growth of demand in a reasonable combination.
The working background is formed by three main sources: The intervention level of the preservation planning done by CAUPD with historical and cultural background study; the architectural measurements, on-site discussion, technical exploration and analysis; and the commercial strategy and product definition.

The three main elements are combined to create a “New Hengjie Street”, based on: The physical heritage (i.e. the preserved and restored architecture and landscape); the cultural heritage (with the high culture of Linchuan and the local historical functions of the past); and the new touristic vision (with commercial functions necessary to attract and serve visitors).
The plaza at the main crossing is the heart of Hengjie Street. It embodies the most important values of the district in a warm and lively, elegant outdoor space: Mudanting Plaza.
The noblest Minguo and Gan style facades are restored and brought to view, linking them to Linchuan high culture – as elegant Hotel and Library.
All the historical functions are recovered, the bank and traditional craft workshops as exhibit spaces mixed with restaurant or cafés.

To the east we encounter the fabric arts and crafts area, marked by the Fabric Arts Plaza at the crossing of Dongxiangcang Street, where the Gan style façade buildings on both sides of the plaza are restored and repurposed as restaurant, boutique hotel and fabric arts workshops.
The main research and analysis was focused on finding an identity for Hengjie Street and covered the history of the Wenchangli district, its urban character and potential, its architecture and landscape heritage, and its own function of commercial history.
The urban role of the Hengjie Street sector is to create connections between the areas north and south to form a complete Wenchangli historic cultural district, incorporating all existing resources, serving as a “Linchuan cultural window”.

The existing situation reveals different conditions and architectural styles of different value. The preservation strategy will guide the intervention with the goal to highlight these values.
The architectural heritage is mainly expressed in the facades. The facade analysis revealed 42% Gan style, 36% mixed or damaged, 4% Minguo style, and 18% post 1949 modern.
In order to strengthen and highlight the architectural values, facades are restored, repaired and rebuilt, eliminating those with no value, reinforcing the historical character of Hengjie Street. Some modern elements are added to achieve a diverse, realistic town atmosphere. After the intervention, 80% is related to historical style, 7% is Minguo style, 6% is demolished for public spaces and 10% are modern elements.
Another source of identity is the original mix of commercial functions of Hengjie Street, which still rests in the memory of its oldest inhabitants. These functions are recovered and integrated as tourist resource, as exhibition spaces and workshops in combination with cafés and restaurants.

In the first stage of development and intervention, nodes 1 and 2 can demonstrate the strategy.

Node 1

The first operation is the creation of new urban connections required to improve connectivity and cultural synergy from north to south.
A new plaza marks the main crossing of Hengjie Street with this new north south connection. Both plaza and new alleys also reveal Ming walls, previously hidden to view.
The existing functions are recovered and restored as exhibition spaces with art workshops related to the traditional crafts sold on these properties.
The buildings with strong architectural value are preserved as relic houses.
A new boutique hotel is proposed, restoring the important Minguo and Gan style facades and preserving interior layouts, whereas in the deteriorated areas only the original spatial layout is preserved for new guestroom functions.

Node 2

On the crossing of Hengjie Street and Dongxiangcang Street, another plaza is proposed, demolishing modern buildings of limited value.
The existing craft shops are restored into the memory of visitors by repairing and rebuilding two fabric workshops.
A sculptural setting is created in the plaza.
Other buildings are restored as cafés, restaurants and youth hostel, in an alley which – in the future – will connect to the Central Plaza of the whole Wenchangli District.

Wuhan Smart City & Eco City

Amidst a varied range of water bodies, the Smart City accompanies the Yangtze River bank, whereas the Eco City is located between the inner Dongjing River and Phoenix Road, a major city road leading to downtown Wuhan.

About ¾ of the overall planning area (84.7 km²) is made of abundant natural landscapes surrounding the two cities, composed of mountains, rivers, flood lands and artificial water ponds.

According to RhineScheme’s urban planning concept, both new towns are divided into themed districts with corresponding land uses. Within a coherent overall design, each of the districts receives its own architectural identity and individual urban structure based on its land use and theme. This is achieved through carefully knitting together the urban structure with the existing landscape and infrastructure, and by selecting appropriate architectural typologies and styles.

Smart City: Features

A new city district is going to be created in which advanced facilities and modern technologies provide energy-efficiency, environmental sustainability and – last not least – highest liveability.

The site-related official planning document “Smart City – Analysis of Development Ideas” has been setting up important basic guidelines to be followed, namely:

  • Low-density, low F.A.R.
  • Taking advantage of natural landscape resources to highlight the regional culture features of the area
  • To realize the characteristics of “smart city” initially, connecting public city resources (water, power, oil, gas, mobility and public services) and to monitor, analyze and integrate various data in order to create intelligent living standards.

In general, the concept of ‘SMART City’ has been introduced as a strategic device to highlight the growing importance of social and environmental capital within a framework of Information and Communication Technologies, in profiling the competitiveness of cities.

In particular, a city can be defined ‘SMART’ when investments in human and social capital, traditional transport and modern communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources.

The philosophy of RhineScheme’s proposal is based on the existing landscape as a foundation principle. Eight objectives have been identified and defined as follows:

  1. Create new spatial experiences and new fruitions founded on the idea of natural landscape and urban landscape.
  2. Facilitate the communication between people and nature.
  3. Set up a new model of economic district that relies on knowledge, tourism and education besides business.
  4. Propose a new traffic model that combines fast mobility with slow mobility.
  5. Define a new multifunctional ‘micro-centre’ that enables a lifestyle combining culture and education, living, working, leisure and sports at the same time.
  6. Create an urban space at human scale, rich of publicly accessible spaces and urban landmarks.
  7. Enhance the residents’/users’ feeling of identity and belonging to their place.
  8. Propose a new urban model for sustainable energy production and consumption.

The predefined road network is connecting the North-Western wetlands and the Eco City to the Yangtze River in the South-East, crossing the Smart City. An essential and necessary consideration has been to create a new Green Corridor following the roads infrastructure and connecting the wetland system with the Yangtze River basin.

This Green Corridor is at the same time an environmental connection, sustaining biodiversity and ecological flows, and an infrastructural channel that reorganizes the main public systems: water drainage, public transportation, auto mobility, etc.

 

Smart City is divided into 8 districts interconnected by a network of regional highways and major roads. These districts respond to the major connections with a protective wall of higher buildings both shielding the inner areas and creating an urban atmosphere along the roads.

Towards the extensive water landscape and the Yangtze River front, the urban structure becomes dispersed and natural. The height of the buildings is reduced to minimize the visual impact on the landscape and to create a suburban appearance.

From a functional aspect, the Smart City consists of administrative areas, a commercial core, some R&D areas housing innovative industries which are synonymous for the district, as well as some high-level housing areas.

Eco City

The Eco City consists mainly of residential areas with close connection to natural green areas.

It is settled between an industrial district in the north and the winding waterscape of Dongjing River. Most of the public and commercial facilities are oriented towards Phoenix Road in order to provide a strong spine and main artery. Towards the river the building heights decrease, and the urban structure becomes less dense and plays with the existing boundaries of water and land.

Strategically placed at the heart of the urban tissue, the Eco city core defines a town center and will provide services for the surrounding residential areas. It will include the administrative headquarters of the Eco City and various public use functions such as cultural, hospitality and commercial facilities.

Smart City: Core Area

 The design for the Smart City’s core area aims for an urban scale which is restrained in size and density; water and irrigation canals as structuring elements have been kept and re-used as landscape features for retail, working or living areas.

The district planning was deepened for an area of 4.78 km² strategically located to take maximum advantage of the most attractive features of the territory: On one hand it is surrounding an existing lake, offering a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, ideal for reconciliation with nature and for a realm of slowing-down. On the other hand it stretches towards the Yangtze River, showing a denser and taller built environment able to serve as business card of the whole development. These apparently opposing functions are bound together by a Green Corridor running west to east, the ecological backbone of the Smart City and its main landscape feature.

Key method and strategy was to re-use the existing land structure to a maximum, which follows a complex geometry of canals and water ponds, in order to minimize disruptions and to make the planning efficient in terms of time, subdivision of land, and construction costs.

Main roads are therefore located on top of current banks dividing water ponds; existing canals are kept, improved and becoming elements of the landscape design; lower land areas of existing water ponds will become sunken courtyards or parking garages or other underground facilities, by that saving excavation costs.

Moreover, the existing water system becomes the distinctive structure of the overall development, with intended reference and similarity to ancient Chinese water towns. Existing water ponds are re-used and revived in order to create a unique and contemporary waterscape, dedicated to people and leisure.

A Water Park is created around an existing lake, with a new and unique water experience, taking advantage of the existing water ponds, water streams and the prevailing topography. A new urban experience will emerge based on the found structure of ponds and canals, with urban surroundings facing the new water axis and benefitting from unique and inspiring landscape resources.

Finally, a rich network of pedestrian connections and public transportation is designed around and across the whole area to facilitate an alternative mobility to replace or reduce private car traffic.

Smart City Core: Quarters

 Different functional quarters have been shaped with unique character and distinct identity. They define the character and living features of the Smart City Core, as there are:

The Water Park / Smart Living / Public Service Area / Shopping Water Town & SOHO / Living & Working Water Town / The Green Corridor / The Yangtze Waterfront / Urban Mansions along the Canal / Residential SOHO.

The start-up area measuring 1.65 km² and located around Chanjiang Lake will host the planning headquarters from which the city generates and also the first constructed area that will attract investors and future citizens. Both official and representative projects are placed here: The ‘Smart City Enterprise Centre’ will provide the necessary logistic support, while the ‘Smart City Exhibition Centre’ will host exhibitions and all kinds of information related to the planned city. A broader introduction to the envisioned cityscape will be given by samples of high-standard apartments and commercial areas that will be built there.

A cultural area is shaped on the south-west side of the lake, where a set of low-rise buildings, all with public functions such as museum and concert hall, will be integrated into the park’s landscape design.

The very center is shaped by a low-rise shopping area, which will take advantage of existing water and canals to create a human-scale environment with car-free areas dedicated to leisure, restaurants and meeting places.

Close to the highway crossing the plot in north-south direction, a modern SOHO development will show vibrant, dynamic facades to the cars passing by, benefitting from its good visibility.

On the east side of the plot, the skyline will gradually rise both in height and density. Finally, by the river bank, a group of landscape office towers will create an image of modernity and efficiency, carefully balancing between the low scale of the smart city and the size required by the wide Yangtze river which they are facing and from which they will be seen.

Meishan Shengshou Village

In Dongpo District with its rich cultural resources and supply of healthcare and leisure facilities, the existing, traditional Shengshou residential area has become an important tourist node. Min River, a touristic treasure in itself, is offering an ideal place for holiday life.
RhineScheme’s design approach embodies a new development model of urban and rural integration with the aim of creating a “new water town, natural village, and renewed old town” for the regional tourist resort and leisure market.
The most important guideline for the design has been to combine the three main layers: residence, forest & field and water area. Creating a harmonious symbiosis between nature and human settlement has become the main strategy.

“One corridor, two cores, three zones”: Keeping the original rural texture and retaining the original activity corridor has been one motif, keeping the traditional village core and creating a new cultural core to become the catalyst for the whole district has been the other. Final aim was linking the 3 distinct zones, the eco-hydrological area, the ancient town tour area and the culture and activity-driven new development into one vibrant entity.
To ensure comfortable access to the traditional settlement in Shengshou, the Binjiang walk is designed to create the east-west connection between site and Min River, and the north-to-south urban greenway along the river. The pedestrian streets are based on the original road design, but integrate a more pleasant residential environment to achieve a smooth transition between city and nature. Also the ecological waterfront axis provides the bivalent experience of urbanity and nature, ecology and human settlement.

In total there are seven thematic areas:
1. Traditional settlements: The traditional residences will be upgraded and renovated, the facades will be renovated, the new industry will be perfectly integrated into the old houses, and the spirit of the place will be reinvented to retain the village’s memory.
2. Interactive experience of agriculture and forestry: Rural leisure hotels are created based on the site resources to develop agricultural tourism, organic farming, and other activities to enrich the leisure life of citizens and be compatible with nature.
3. Folk handcraft experience: Preserving the culture of traditional materials, passing on intangible cultural heritage and developing traditional craft cultures such as bamboo weaving, clay sculpture, and painting.
4. “Dongpo Flavour Garden”: Using the border areas to host supporting facilities that cover: Local cuisine, Meishan Bazaar, international catering, convenience supermarkets and so on, connecting the city and the countryside.
5. Culture and art exhibition: Located beside of the main road and adjacent to the city, it has the potential to become a cultural and artistic center that serves beyond the district borders. It includes an art museum, a library and a civic cultural center. It will use green and high technology to form a new landmark in the city.
6. Wetland Park: The rich water resources on site allow building an Urban Wetland Park. Furthermore a terraced landscape can be created by the existing topography and height difference. A small island in the wetland is an ideal place for camping and picnics for young people, and its rich ecological environment is ideal life-science exhibit for children.
7. Bamboo theme park: Located independently on the north part of the site, it features and takes advantage of a large number of bamboo forests in the area. Bamboo is the obvious theme for the site. The quiet and private environment hosts a resort hotel with restaurant and a nice place for weddings. An additional sports park attracts people who love both nature and sports.

The design respects the site’s current topography and landforms and maintains the traditional residential style. According to the functional requirements the low-lying southeast part of the plot forms a lake, with the undulating riverside avenue as interesting spatial experience, while actively building features of a ‘sponge city’.
The architectural design of the Culture and Art Centre falls back on the natural and cultural elements of the area: bamboo shapes are used for its façade elements, and the building flows organically towards the lower side of the landscape like a terraced field.