OMA has been announced as one of four firms to win an international competition for the design of Unicorn Island in Chengdu, an “innovative masterplan specifically designed for New Economy companies.”
As China moves from a production-orientated economy to a knowledge and service-based economy, the masterplan seeks to provide a variety of working and living conditions for both start-up firms and “Unicorn” companies, those with a value of over one billion US dollars. Along with OMA, the four winners also included Morphosis, who were recognized for their walkable scheme integrating business, green infrastructure, and lifestyle.
The OMA scheme organizes the island into three rings. At its heart, a “Living Lab’ will offer visitors the opportunity to observe the New Economy in action, while also functioning as an “Innovation Engine” for resident companies. The “Weave Zone” village development branches out from this core, offering a mixed-use program of housing, offices, and amenities. The island’s perimeter hosts the headquarters of Unicorn companies, intended to “blossom at the outer circle of the weave along the waterfront.”
In the competition commissioned by the Chengdu Government, OMA collaborated with traffic consultants MIC and climate engineers Transsolar. The scheme represents a step forward in OMA’s engagement with workspaces for the digital industry with previous schemes including the Axel Springer Headquarters in Berlin.
The scheme also represents the latest statement of intent by Chengdu to become a technological hub, announced only weeks after Aedas unveiled a mixed-use “Cloud City” masterplan for the development area.
News via: OMA
Correction update: This article originally stated that OMA were the only winners of the competition. It has since been changed to clarify that OMA was one of four firms to be selected as winners.