Three major schemes mark first foray into China for successful London-based practice
London-based architecture office Hawkins\Brown is expanding into China with three mammoth new projects: a 7-hectare masterplan in Xindu with 300,000 sq m of retail, residential and commercial space; a gateway bridge crossing the River Pi; and a 100-hectare strategic masterplan for the area surrounding the Sanhe Metro Station in Xindu.
This third project is aimed at China’s emerging middle classes and will offer residences for 15-20,000 people and work for up to 22,000 people. Centred on the Sanhe Metro Station in North Chengdu, the 99-hectare masterplan was commissioned by the local authority and will be used as a means of facilitating and regulating the land sale to generate local government financial revenue.
Focused on the primary needs of local workers and their families, Hawkins\Brown’s design is presented as ‘an opportunity to think about the future form of the Chinese city’. Harnessing the natural dynamics of the site at the confluence of two rivers, the masterplan is intersected by major transportation channels.
The design team explains: “The masterplan contains a suite of pragmatic design moves that argue for sensible alterations to standard planning and development practice in China.
"These include subdivision of the inherited parcelization plan into smaller block sizes; activation of street frontages; interim public uses for corridors of safeguarded infrastructure land; the integration of rail infrastructure to benefit adjacent plots; the active programming of landscaped areas to provide collective benefit (including community farming and sports); and clustering community infrastructure around neighbourhood hub public spaces.”