Henn Architekten shared with us their proposal for the international competition to design the new ‘Nano-Polis Masterplan’ in Suzhou, China where they won the first prize. The proposal was designed by HENN ARCHITEKTEN’s Design & Research Studio HENN StudioB who drew their inspiration from both traditional Chinese urban planning and modern science for their concept on the research and development park for Nanotech. The use of innovative technologies and environmental strategies help to make their design a more comfortable place for its users while decreasing its energy consumption. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Since nanotechnology is the primary focus of the development, the arrangement and planning of the building mass was done with consideration to scale and fractal logic. The programmatic needs of the site are divided into sizes S, M, L, and XL, which are further subdivided and arranged according to specific functions. This scalar logic integrates various scales from urban to nano and provides opportunities for the buildings to interact with the users at an intimate human scale as well as creating large iconic landmarks within the site. Like most traditional Chinese cities, Nano-Polis assumes a rectilinear shape with a clearly defined border and staggered internal connections. Also the Idea of the fractal can be found in traditional Chinese cities that are assembled in a recursive logic by blocks, areas, districts, quarters and boroughs, from S to XL respectively.
The overall development includes a cluster of high and medium-rise buildings surrounding a central plaza. This area houses most of the administrative, exhibition, conference and public areas as well as temporary housing facilities. This iconic centre is surrounded by a transitional “green belt” which references the traditional Chinese gardens that Suzhou is known for. A natural river flows east to west through the site which feeds a series of ponds, canals, and water features throughout this zone. This green buffer zone connects by a series of shared roofscapes, courtyards and galleries to the outer ring: The entire complex is defined by a dense belt of research and production facilities that create a defined urban edge to the surrounding context.
The design of Nano-Polis employs a variety of environmentally responsible systems into its planning. Innovative technologies such as solar harvesting and rainwater collection work together with simple strategies of pedestrian access and public transportation to decrease energy consumption while creating a comfortable place to live and work.
Architect: Henn Architekten / Henn StudioB Location: Suzhou, China Client: Suzhou Nanotech Develop Ltd. Program: R&D, Production, Office, Conference Center, Exhibition Center, Hotel, Restaurants, Shopping, Housing, Sports Facilities Area: 1,650,000 sqm Competition 2010: 1st Prize Local Partner: Suzhou Institute of Architectural Design (SIAD) Design Team: Henn Architects & HENNStudioB: Christian Bechtle, Daniel da Rocha, Martin Henn, Markus Jacobi, Alejandro Konrad, Paul Langley, Klaus Ransmayr, Max Schwitalla, Fredrik Werner