Foster + Partners has just unveiled its winning design scheme for a new urban destination in China, the Guangming Hub located on the high-speed rail connecting Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. In fact, the Transport Oriented Development proposal generates a “smart city that supports the flow of people and goods with robust infrastructure, effective transport networks, reliable public services, and lush greenery”.
Foster + Partners was chosen to design the Guangming Hub, a contemporary urban center with an integrated and sustainable transport hub at its heart. Using the latest technological tools, the team developed a set of key constraints in order to generate the perfect master plan and devise the ideal urban massing. Integrating 3 metro lines in the city and an existing high-speed rail station situated at the center of the site, the winning project for Guangming Hub is “envisaged as an integral part of the city, well connected with the surroundings in the masterplan area”.
While the topography acts as a barrier to movement and two major rail lines intersect at the site, the proposal aims to put in place a network of slow-moving autonomous vehicles with sky bridges and shared surfaces for cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, according to Grant Brooker, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners “the generously landscaped, walkable town center will seamlessly connect to a smart autonomous transportation system, combining both wellbeing and convenience and creating a vibrant urban focus for the surrounding neighborhoods”.
The central idea is to capitalize on the natural beauty of the site, utilizing the lush landscape to create a lively experience for visitors and locals. It will be a forest gateway into Shenzhen. Our proposals link the site with a slow-moving traffic network that provides an efficient and easy connection to the Hub. These shared surfaces ensure better accessibility throughout the whole masterplan area and create a platform ready for innovative transportation solutions for the future. -- Young Wei-Yang Chiu, Partner, Foster + Partners.
On another hand, the winning scheme for Guangming Hub imagined a sunken green spine in the east-west orientation, cutting across the site and through the high-speed rail station at ground level; and a new metro station to the west of the station, overlapping with this green corridor along with shaded walkways. Further west, the intercity link station will connect the project to the city. Characterized by minimum walking distances, the Transport Oriented Development maximizes landscape areas, public amenities, and pedestrian priority. Using sustainable urban drainage systems, the master plan integrates landscape, permeable pavement, and bio-retention water features.
Atop the underground metro and intercity link stations, Foster + Partners designed a large podium with stepped green terraces, in relation to the surrounding forest. Inspired by the traditional Chinese gateway that marks important entryways, the proposal creates a series of office towers, at cardinal points across the site, with openings at the ground level leading towards the high-speed rail station. Finally, a new transport museum on the bridge over the high-speed rail station connects east and west.