• International competition 1st prize 2008
  • MIPIM Asia Awards’ Bronze winner in the Category ‘Best Urban Regeneration Project’ 2013
  • International ‘ICONIC Awards’, Winner in the Category ‘Best Urban Planning Concept’, awarded by German Design Council 2013

RhineScheme’s conceptual design for the main cultural buildings surrounding Tianjin’s new Culture Park formed the basis and guideline for the subsequent architectural competitions.

Tianjin / China
Tianjin Planning Bureau
Design / close of construction
2008 / 2012
Site area
90.2 ha
Planned GFA
160,000 m² cultural buildings + 442,000 m² Youth Centre and Mall
Tianjin Museum 50,000m²/ Grand Theatre 45,000m² / Tianjin Library 40,000 m² / New Art Centre 25,000m² / Youth Centre 82,000m² / Multifunctional Mall 360,000m²
The underlying master plan of the Cultural Centre ̵ …

The underlying master plan of the Cultural Centre – first prize of an international urban planning competition in 2008 – focused on the Park itself.
The site encompasses an area measuring about 1 km² with a 10 ha newly created lake at the centre. The vast territory offered the possibility to create something like a representative ‘garden salon’ for the whole city.
To fulfill its public function, a core area with the dimensions of about 400 x 1200 meters has been kept free of any buildings, a generous, grand open space commensurate with the scale of the city, able to accommodate a variety of public events.

A large lake is core feature and major attraction offering a lot of amenity potential, as well as being a major ecological anchor for the site. Walking on the lakeside delight the senses as does the contrast between different areas where the lake has an architectural edge with promenade spaces, or soft, naturalistic, contoured shorelines where nature takes center stage.

The “Central Park” is framed by a pearl necklace of outstanding cultural buildings to the south and east, and by a commercial building spine to the north.
The encompassing buildings – consciously kept at a human scale – make up for an adequate, modest and low-rise architectural ‘stage setting’ of the park area, supported only in the background by the inevitable high-rises in the skyline of Chinese cities.

The lake in its heart is accompanied by elevated terraces, on the north side following a huge arc-shaped promenade covering a shopping mall and facilities for the youth, in the south forming a more formal public boulevard lined by museums, library, and theatres.
The Eastern edge creates the potential for spatial drama: A vast flight of steps in line with the glazed building front of the Grand Theatre is closing the frame of a park with almost rectangular contours.

The urban layout creates a cultural district of international esteem, integrating existing cultural and administrative buildings, and incorporating a whole series of new facilities -cultural, public, commercial ones – as well a complex public transportation hub.
A dynamic set of cultural spaces (indoor and outdoor) have been created that are interconnected and unified through the artful use of water as the core design element.
A vast urban promenade winds through the site, with its unique focal point and simultaneously the most dramatic viewing point along the lakeshore front of the Grand Theatre that is embracing the entire park composition.

Scope of services
Conceptual building design, building guidelines for subsequent architectural competitions
Project team
Local architects: Ran Li, Wolf Loebel, Jingping Li, Lei Yang, Jingting Yuan, Andreas Bittis, Lukasz Piasta, Marta Niedbalec | External Partners: Christian Schaller, Joachim Koob (3Pass), Stefan Schmitz