MVRDV has revealed the first images of Chengdu Sky Valley, the firm’s competition entry for the Future Science and Technology City in Southwest China. Fusing technology with nature, urban with rural, and modernity with tradition, the proposal introduces “a liveable city into the Linpan Landscape”. Located in one of China’s emerging cities, the project balances the competing needs of the area, through a computational workflow developed by in-house tech taskforce MVRDV NEXT.
Home to the Future Science and Technology City, part of Chengdu’s Eastward Development Strategy, the site, although well connected, is resolutely rural, with agricultural fields and scattered villages in between. According to MVRDV, “the dichotomy between the existing rural landscape and the future science and technology campus demands a solution that balances tradition and innovation, past and future, young and old, East and West, technology and agriculture”.
Preserving the agricultural valleys, and incorporating this activity as a key component of the Future Science and Technology City, the new imagined design follows the natural topography and enhances the Linpan landscape. Focusing on cross-industrial research and innovation in food and agriculture, the proposal is unique to Chengdu. Through this approach, MVRDV has created “a more diverse community with a wider choice of lifestyles”.
How can we transport the current qualities of this site in the future? What sort of city should we create here? These were the questions that drove us in this design process […] we envisage Chengdu Sky Valley as a welcoming place that connects people across industries, cultures, and professions. By enlarging the hills, we dramatize the existing landscape, creating a city that works in concert with nature – where you can reach for the sky while being down to earth. -- Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV.
Working with MVRDV’s tech taskforce, MVRDV NEXT, the team was able to develop a series of digital scripts to analyze and add to the existing landscape. In fact, “by taking this parametric design approach, the result is not a fixed design but a system, which invites the input of the client and other local stakeholders […] adjusting the parameters can result in different infrastructure layouts, different building heights, and shapes, and more”. Through this scripting process, the design was developed around three main valleys: the Knowledge Valley, the Experience Valley, and the Venture Valley surrounded by 7 mixed-use clusters of distinct characters, with a transit-oriented development hub.
Illustrating MVRDV’s conception of the city of the future, the project generates two distinct atmospheres in Chengdu Sky Valley: “the “earth” environment on the slopes of the hills, where traditional materials integrate into the existing landscape; and on the peaks, the “sky” environment, where modern materials and technologies create a high-tech feel”. Resulting from the parametric process, the shapes and visual appearance of individual buildings are flexible.
Chengdu Sky Valley – Future Science and Technology City
- Location: Chengdu, China
- Year: 2020
- Client: Chengdu high-tech investment construction development Co., Ltd
- Size and Programme: ca. 460 ha, mixed-use (residential, campus, labs, r&d, offices, culture, innovation center, outlet, gastronomy)
- Sustainability certifications: Green Star certificate intended
- Architect: MVRDV
- Founding Partner in charge: Winy Maas
- Director: Enno Zuidema
- Design Team: Kristina Knauf, Yunxi Guo, Chun Hoi Hui, Laura Huerga, Ming Jiang, Kevin Loftus, Fatemeh Mahmoudyar, Peter Mensinga, Vanessa Mitteldorf, Isabella Suppa, Halina Zarate
- MVRDV NEXT: Leo Stuckardt, Yayun Liu
- Visualisations: Kirill Emelianov
- Co-Architect: CSWADI
- Programming: Drees & Sommer, Max Makers
- Mobility: Mobility in Chain, Chengdu Branch of SiChuan DECHEN Urban Planning And Design Co., Ltd