OMA´s new landmark for Shenzhen: Crystal Island competition


Crystal Island @ OMA / Ole Scheeren

Shenzhen is one of the most active cities in China, and was recently appointed “City of Design” by the UNESCO (2008).  A recent competition for Crystal Island, located in the center of the city, envisions the Shenzhen Creative Center, an iconic project in front of the city hall.

The project, won by OMA in collaboration with chinese firm Urbanus, includes  a major new cultural center, transport hub, and public landmark. The Shenzhen Creative Center takes advantage of such a central location, and disaggregate the program over a 20-hectare landscape of parks and gardens, on which clusters of pavilions and small buildings form “Design Villages” creating a micro urban system which includes buildings for Design Administration, Tourism Center, buildings for design retail and expo and a design campus. It also includes a big open space, the Ceremonial Plaza.

All these buildings and open spaces are connected by an elevated pedestrian system, the “Ring Connector”, which also connects to existing and future train and subway stations.

At the center of this circular project, a spherical void becomes a landmark for the city: the Shenzhen Eye.

The disaggregation of the program on such an active area has the potential to mix the creative industry with the rest of the city’s activities, potentiating  multiplicity, permeability, and openness towards creative activity.

The project collaboration between OMA and includes the young Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas, and partner Meng Yan, with a team lead by OMA Associates Dongmei Yao and Anu Leinonen.

After the break, a schematic model of the program relations and another rendering.


Shenzhen Crystal Island @ OMA / Ole Scheeren


Shenzhen Crystal Island @ OMA / Ole Scheeren

Cite: Basulto, David. "OMA´s new landmark for Shenzhen: Crystal Island competition" 17 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=25450>

25 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The circle is a chineese symbol of the sky, and with the skysphere it is inverted but in the symbolic shape of sky. OMA stop this… You are really embaresing yourselves!

    – that or: I don’t get it…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I was reading the other day the fantastic article/conference that Rafael Money wrote about Koolhaas. When you see that incredible set of projects that OMA did from the end of the eighties to mid nineties you can’t avoid to marvel at how they redefined the architectonic field and everything that was being done at the time: Agadir, ZKM, the biblioteque de France, Jussieu, la Villette. In the following 15 – 20 years many people have been developing, re reading and badly copying that incredible set of ideas. How sad is comparing those seminal projects with almost anything that OMA is doing nowadays. Compare the lyrical poetry of the interstial space of Agadir to the RAK convention centre… compare the sophistication of Nexus World housing with any one liner they are doing in China… too much success equaling to a slow intellectual decadence. OMA will keep building, publishing, lecturing… but they stop being relevant some time ago.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    AS A MATTER OF FACT, BEAUTIFUL DRAWING.. BUT UNREADABLE SOMEHOW. WHERE’S THE ARCHITECUTRE?

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    medusa,

    why not put your comparison on blog and we could take a look? maybe you did, so share your address.pls.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hi…

    You can find the article in Rafael Moneo’s (Not money, it was one of those word auto correction that I didn’t see) book “Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects”. I think is based on a series of lectures Moneo gave when he was Harvard’s dean.
    I will think about putting the comparison on the blog. For the time being, there are only some articles in Spanish I wrote some years ago. Some English version coming soon!

    http://studioackt.blogspot.com/

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    just another oma nothing new !……..21 century!!! its time to get something realy new but the clone themselves

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    … I agree with Medusa i have read the book…

    and lets start over : I don’t get it

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    OMA? who was that again?
    oh yes, the office from the guy who one day decided to travel the whole world, talk a lot but say nothing, publish thick books with lots of random shit and no content?
    yes, ok, he had some nice ideas – in the beginning – but then either lost his mind or just decided to make lots of money with bullshitting…

    take it easy guys

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It´s a very schematic concept, but I think that in that way it highlights what is important: separating the program into several pieces on a busy context potentiates interactions between the design buildings and the rest of the activities on the city center, instead of a closed campus completely focused on itself.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Medusa,

    I haven’t read the article but I think the points you listed hits the nail on the head. If shown this kind of work to an architecture public in the 1990′s, nobody would believe it to be the same OMA! I guess it isn’t…

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “despite all my logic and my theory i throw a motherfu*ker in, so you ignorant nigga’s hear me”… quote from ms hill

    a little respect, please….

  12. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    My apartment is 3 blocks from here. In addition to saying you could basically drop a bomb here and not help but improve the area… Not to defend this particular project but I’d like to say that I think we really shouldn’t try and claim that this is an empty concept when we get 3 images and little else.

    Secondly, to argue that OMA has embarrassed it’s legacy in the years after 1995 is pretty insulting, and demonstrably false. I think, of all the contemporary “name” architects, you’d be hard pressed to find many firms that find such startlingly inventive solutions to each new project.

    Souterrian, CCTV, the Dutch Embassy, Casa Musica, Seattle Library, I think they stand up pretty well compared to the theoretical and competition projects of the 80′s and early 90′s.

Share your thoughts