Urban expansion in Changsha kicks off with unveiling of Meixi Urban Helix
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has been announced as the winning architecture practice in a competition to design a pedestrianised channel at the start of a new urban axis in Changsha. Located in the southwest of the city on the banks of Lake Mexi, the site will blossom into a multifunctional public hub.
As Managing Director of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International Johannes Reinsch explains: “The spiral-shaped Meixi Urban Helix marks the start of the new urban expansion in the southwest of Changsha and is destined to become its landmark. The wide range of facilities in different public spaces represents high value added for visitors to the Meixi Urban Helix.”
The cavernous swirling structure of the Helix is formed by two curved walkways using a hollow steel-beam resting on 40cm-wide columns. The generous proportions and daring concept of the project make this a memorable architectural gesture, even in the architecturally-expressive city of Changsha.
A 6m-wide pedestrian ramp leads upwards to a height of 30m to provide stunning views across the 40 hectare Lake Mexi. Along this winding route users will find a range of amenities including play areas for young children and food and beverage outlets where they may purchase refreshments. There are also plans to include sun decks and leafy foliage throughout the 1km walkway.
The project was won through an invited two-stage competition and the team plans to complete construction in 2015.