Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have been selected along with Tom Leader Studio to design the urban core for the Xiong’an New Area, China’s model city of the future. The winning scheme was selected from 12 finalists representing 10 countries, resulting from an international competition of 200 entries. The SOM and TLS scheme ultimately prevailed for its “global vision, world-class standards, sensitivity to Chinese heritage and culture, and innovative approach to urban design.”
Located 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing, the new economic zone is home to important wetland ecosystems such as Baiyangdian, the largest freshwater lake in Northern China. The first phase in the region’s economic transformation will cover 38 square kilometers, with 26 square kilometers designated for urban development.
The principles of livability, resiliency, and the preservation of local culture and heritage are at the core of our approach to urban planning and design. Our design creates innovative, new typologies in planning, landscape, and architecture, for new ways of urban living and working in nature.
-Thomas Hussey, SOM Director of Urban Design and Planning
The SOM and TLS scheme prioritizes ecology and the human experience through several urban design principles, from respecting the natural environment and creating a holistic sustainable system, to introducing green infrastructure and a multi-modal transit system. The urban vision centers on quality of life in an ever-evolving city, restoring and protecting the natural environment such as native forests and wetlands, and creating open space systems surrounding waterways.
The landscaping, headed by TLS, creates a natural framework to define the urban form of Xiong’an, with the team asking fundamental questions such as “How will people live here in a new way? How can their lives integrate with nature and Baiyangdian? How will the new residents establish their social fabric? What cultural legacy will inform these new social spaces?”
News via: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill