Lanzhou Int’l Trade Center
International Urban Planning & Architecture Competition
If one draws a circle on a map of China trying to include all of China in it, one will find that the centre of this circle is Lanzhou. It is not only the geometrical centre of China, but also a centre in terms of transportation. Lanzhou was an important strategic town along the ancient Silk Road, and has become a key link on the present Eurasia Bridge.
The planned International Trade Centre is located in the Western part of the city, where the new city centre will be developed.
It is directly located along the main city road connecting the Eastern and Western part and is surrounded by residential and commercial areas.The provincial Gansu Museum is located opposite of the plot, and on the plot itself the existing Friendship Hotel had to find its new and significantly increased location.
Apart from these institutions, both existing pedestrian shopping street (west of the plot) as well as a long-time established farmers’ market (in its North) is witnessing the dense urban atmosphere of the area.
The new program wants to even boost this density by adapting a floor area ratio of more than 5.5 and by adapting an attractive mix of functions, from residential, SOHO, office and large-scale shopping to the already mentioned new Friendship Hotel.
Although the required density would seem to suggest a pure high-rise development, the design respects the existing urban and building structure and continues the existing regular pattern of streets, small plazas and axes.
The shopping mall which occupies big part of the land area is divided into smaller volumes of varying height, creating a vivid roofscape partly as terraces for leisure facilities, partly as roof gardens which compensate for the green that is taken from the ground. The streets in-between widen up to smaller or bigger squares and provide green areas and sunken gardens.
In the northern part of the plot residential towers together with commercial podium buildings form two attractive green courtyards of intimate scale.
Finally, in the most representative south-east corner of the plot and close to the main road, the new Friendship Hotel Tower with its discreet architecture is perfectly visible from distance as a landmark of the plot.
Last not least the colouring of the façades refers to their particular location. One of the first things to notice in Lanzhou is its specific colours; the city is perfectly connected with its natural surrounding. All kinds of yellow, brown and light red are mixed together, reflecting the feeling of desert and the warm colours of the surrounding mountains. These unique colours are quoted in the planned facades and are fixed part of the architectural design.
(Functions: Residential & SOHO incl. ground floor commerce, partly office: 211,000 m² / Shopping mall: 118,000 m² / hotel incl. conference centre: 64,000 m² / underground shopping town: 42,000 m² / underground parking: 64,000 m².)