Heller Manus Architects’ masterplan design to transform Guangzhou
Having recently completed the design of the Northern Axis of China’s third largest city, Heller Manus Architects has been awarded the contract to design Guangzhou’s Southern Axis as well. Selected from entrants by both a jury of 9 experts and the general public, Heller Manus will now develop their plans for 14.78 sq km of the city incorporating waterfront and transit oriented development with a ferry terminal, central government districts, and a variety of urban land uses.
The project design is expected to take a further year to complete with ten years to implement and once complete, the two combined axes will provide a new urban centre for Guangzhou. The overall project is a collaboration led by Heller Manus with SWA Group and AECOM for the Southern Axis and Callison and Simon & Associates for the Northern Axis project. The Chinese associate team is from Shanghai Concept Engineering Consulting.
The Heller Manus concept was chosen for its balance of growth with sustainability and preservation, while promoting amenities for better livability. In addition, attention was given to the plan’s integration of traditional Lingnan culture, prevalent throughout Guangzhou and parts of Southern China, in the design.
“Lingnan culture encourages the harmonious integration of nature with the city environment along with innovative garden design,” said Taylor Manus, Marketing co-ordinator at Heller Manus. “The key concept of our master plan is organized around a major greenbelt axis, creating an Eco-corridor between the TV tower on the north end and the Pearl River on the south end.
“ This major public green space will give those living in the city the opportunity to connect with nature and provide a variety of recreational uses. Located in the center of the South Axis, Haizhu Lake will be completely re-designed, combining both traditional and contemporary Chinese garden design. In addition, we have created an overall design concept organizing buildings around landscaped courtyards.”
The Southern Axis project is comprehensive, replacing low density housing schemes with high density schemes, adding commercial, government and civic offices, mixed-use premises, embassies, education and research spaces, retail, entertainment, hospitals, municipal utilities, and transportation facilities. Special features include a TV tower, government district, sports parks, aquarium, hotel, ferry terminal, and transit oriented development with a light rail system.