MLA+ and Felixx combine in Shenzhen

Nick Myall
Monday 15 Aug 2016

A collaborative plan is set to transform an area of Shenzhen in China

MLA+ in collaboration with Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners and Chinese partners China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute has won the first prize in the design competition for the regeneration of the area along the G107 highway in Bao’an district in Shenzhen, China.

The other competing teams consisted of Nikken Sekkei, KCAP, OMA and ISA- Internationales Stadtbauatelier.

The 1-2 km piece of land on both aspects of the G107 forms the 53 sq km area of the competition.  The G107 highway used to be the main entrance road from Hong Kong to ‘Factory of the World’ city Shenzhen. Consequently, a fragmented industrial landscape emerged along the highway. In the past few years this landscape was further complicated by pieces of residential areas and independent developed commercial functions. Besides direct problems like regular flooding and traffic problems, the area is vulnerable in view of Shenzhen’s transition from an industry-based economy to an economy based on innovation.   

Therefore, the main challenge was to come up with a future-proof design that carefully integrates and addresses the complexity of the existing urban fabric.

In MLA+’s design the G107 highway is still the driving force of the area to connecting different areas, but its function changes from an utilitarian infrastructure to a key driver for urban regeneration. Within this main structure hubs are created for different urban functions. Besides that, the public spaces are used to connect different elements of the existing city. 

In the time to come, the consortium of MLA+ will refine the plan resulting in an implementation plan that will be executed in the coming three years.

Markus Appenzeller – partner MLA+ commented: “An important element of our plan is that we try to connect the bigger regional scale with the local design scale. This ‘in-between-scale’ is in our view the most important driver for quality, but still unseen as such in China. Therefore, as European experts we can make an important contribution in this area in Chinese cities.”

Martin Probst – project leader Bao’an MLA+ added: “Cooperation with local parties proved to be great value in this project. Looking at the complexity of the project I would go as far as to say that it was absolutely necessary. Winning this project is for us a confirmation that the collaborative approach of MLA+ and our expertise in urban redevelopment is valued. We are delighted to continue to be part of the transformation process of Shenzhen through realized projects.”

Brechtje Spreeuwers – China Director MLA+ also said: “The issue of urban regeneration is a very topical issue in China. Where the focus used to be on building new cities, at the moment the necessity of transforming the existing urban fabric starts to pervade. In our plan we address this issue by carefully studying what we can (re)use and how we can turn this into a quality for the future.”

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Nick Myall

News editor

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