more than just a technopolis:
BAU206 Hangzhou Xiasha New City Centre

Hangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China

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Discipline

Planning

Typology

Urban planning

City

Hangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China

Date

2003

Status

First prize, invited competition

Client

Hangzhou Xiasha Government

Program

New city centre

China’s eleventh five-year plan stipulates the promotion of technological innovation as a primary objective for the country. Hall and Castelles (1994) speak of four essential criteria for cities and districts to be highly technically innovative: proximity to universities; proximity to industry; the support of a proactive government; and a location in a country of rapid change. They refer to such a place as a technopole.

Technopole
The Xiasha new city centre project has all the essential criteria to become such a technopole. Can urban planning be applied at a fine scale to enable the potential success of this district as a technopole? Can this industrial backwater become a place of creative potential, with an environment capable of attracting the smartest research personnel to work and live?

Cross-fertilization
The best ideas are often born in unexpected situations, not in the laboratory. Opposing the trend of large isolated research facilities, we proposed a fine scale network of R+D (research +development) passing through all parts of the new core district. By maximizing the interface of R+D facilities with other city programs and contexts, such as residential, recreation and commercial environments, the potential for increasing unpredictable relationships is maximized. Linked by a continuous public space, sometimes in the form of a lane, other times in the form of a public galleria, the R+D network can be a place of great potential for information exchange, inspiration and cross-fertilization.

Situated on the R+D network at highly visible locations are centres of teaching and research, joint ventures between universities and private enterprise. These types of initiatives are common in leading scientific research countries but are rare in China. The sites are an opportunity for architecture to re-enforce the identity of the city as a technopole and university town.

University Town
Adjacent to the new city centre is a new university district with thirteen newly built campuses. This provides the potential for the new centre to become a university town, infused with the energy, optimism, and freedom of youth. Students introduce alternative culture in the form of social, hospitality, retail, intellectual, and leisure programs. Unpredictable events occur at different times of day and night and throughout the year according to university calendars.

In an attempt to undo the isolation of the university super-zone we propose the construction of carefully threaded physical and programmatic links between the two districts. These links are an extension of the green network and commercial networks of the new city centre. They provide active commercial pedestrian paths and green bicycle and pedestrian paths between the city centre and the university district.

Escape
Xiasha’s “mother-city”, Hangzhou, is the home of the most famous lake in China, West Lake. Built over 1000 years ago, the lake includes an array of liesure-oriented features including a two-kilometer long causeway, water-filled islands and hilly promontories. Learning from the West Lake, we have proposed the excavation of ex-swampland in the central part of the site to create an extensive lake with islands, an escape from the city.

Hybrid Zones
The Xiaha Networks City project creates a range of hybrid zones. Each is a combination of two standard land use categorisations. Developers of these hybrid sites are required to include minimum amounts of each of the two designated land uses on their site, irrespective of the size of their land-holding. For example some sites are required to have minimum of 25% of their total floor area as residential and a minimum 25% commercial. The remaining 50% is free to be either residential or commercial. This guarantees a minimum degree of diversity in each district. It also creates a workable degree of freedom, enabling developers to satisfy the market demand. Although simple, this refinement of zoning is not yet common in China.

Networks
The combining of networks of residential, commercial, R+D and green creates a city of programmatic and formal diversity. Each programmatic network acts upon the other, either along their boundaries, or in an overlapping, hybrid, zone situation. Each network is also continuous, connecting to other parts of the city. Together, the diverse programs of the networks enable the sustainability of positive activity in the city at different times of the day, both midweek and at weekends. Each network contributes to the creation of a place of cross-fertilisation and innovation. The network of housing ensures that people have the option of living within a walking distance to their work; an attractive alternative to the super-zoned metropolises nearby. The sports-filled park network, the lake and the university town characteristics can make this technopole an excellent place, not only to work, but also to live.

2005-2010

Retail

Shanghai

Sports

2000-2005

Melbourne

Public

Residential

Urban Design

Kyneton

Mixed Use

Office

2015

Culture

Healthcare

Nanjing

Playgrounds

Public Landscapes

Urban Landscapes

Hotel

Suzhou

Education

2014

Hangzhou

Jiangyin

Structures & Pavillions

Wuxi

Planning

2013

2012

Fuding

Shaoxing

Chongqing

Hospitality

Kunshan

Office

Wuhan

Hotel

Healthcare

Cixi

Ningbo

Meishan

Canberra

2011

Jingzhou

Private Landscapes

Chengdu

Hospitality

Culture

1990-2000

Xiamen

Residential

Hopetoun

Caofeidian

Huai’an

Xi'an

Xinyu

Mixed Use

Retail

Sports

no longer but not only:
BAU213-3 Jindi Yunhu Market

actualizing the virtual:
BAU 213-2 Jindi Yunhu Sports and Activity Center

geometry, history, art, craft, iconography, and pragmatics: an exploration of intention, coding, narrative, and meaning
BAU021 Olinda Green + Public WC

there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in:
BAU015 Jan Juc House, Victoria, Australia

BAU009 house in the sky

surreal adjacencies:
BAU019 Marymount Residence, Guest Accommodation, Stable + Office

mini-city of culture:
BAU590 Nanjing Pukou Haiqiao Community Service Center

keeping a low profile:
BAU 214 Suzhou Qingshan Hotel Phase I

positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
BAU 213-1 Jindi Yunhu Housing

dis-integrated guest houses :
BAU495 Pine Pillow Retreat

don’t look at me, don’t look at me:
BAU436 Nanjing Jiangning Demonstration Kindergarten

new buildings, old topography:
BAU424 Suzhou Qingshan Hotel Phase 2

don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
BAU310-1 Hangzhou Changbanxiang Housing

defining the perimeter, programming the centre, inhabiting them both:
BAU238 Town Plaza, Xinqiao, Jiangyin

turning outside-in:
BAU199-2 Wuxi Fudi Forte Parktown Sales Pavilion

beyond PODS, networks, and nodes:
BAU552 Chengbei Urban Design project, Nanjing

podium and bill(ding)board:
BAU547 Nanjing Yaxi Town Central Hospital

inner sanctuary, outer crust:
BAU546 Nanjing Gaochun Qiqiao Hospital

an excessive minimalism:
BAU478-A U-Park Incubator, Shang Qing Huai, Nanjing

a plane of reference:
BAU474 Nanjing Zijin Gaochun Science and Technology City

rips in the fabric by place:
BAU461 Nanjing Tangshan Tourist Resort South District

other ideas of hospital:
BAU446 Fuding Hospital

architecture AND terrain:
BAU445 Suzhou Hi-tech District Cultural Center

crust: in-between and on the edge
BAU426 Shaoxing Jianhu Keyan Tourist Resort Planning

eco urbanism:
BAU425 Chongqing Eco Valley City

microcosm:
BAU348 Kunshan Hyper Complex

beyond the picturesque:
BAU347 Kunshan White Pagoda Park

don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
BAU310 Hangzhou Changbanxiang Housing

building a community not just housing:
BAU302 Shanghai Ludi Baoshan

upside down program – ‘private’ circulation becoming ‘public’ circulation:
BAU254 Shanghai Wai Gao Qiao Culture Centre

extra-large private space as public space:
BAU199 Parktown, Housing, Fudi Forte, Wuxi

mini-me:
BAU197 Jindi Sanlin Pavilion

staggering:
BAU191 Wuhan Cuiwei Housing

urban camouflage:
BAU227 Hangzhou Sports Centre

positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
BAU213_1 Jindi Yunhu Housing

the resort at the end of the yellow dirt road:
BAU543 Emerald Village at Soul Bay

critical regionalism and abstraction:
BAU487 Nanjing Yaxi Citta-Slow

hospital for the ill, health care for the healthy, aged care for the elderly: BAU469 Zhaoxiang Hospital

communities as schools and schools as communities:
BAU408 Networks School Zhangjiang

tear open the package: BAU247 Qingpu NGS Supermarket

urban sponge:
BAU324 Cixi Commercial and Culture Center

lyrical islands in pragmatic seas:
BAU530_1 Nanjing Gaochun Su-Wan Interchange Hub

fractured enormity:
BAU281 Chongqing Huarun

ring roads AND peripheral parks:
BAU243 Shanghai Ring Park

simple box OR 3 points in space – you choose:
BAU204-2 Ningbo Wanda Office

many utopias:
BAU129 Xinhu Pearl City Housing Development

a close family:
BAU125 Zhejiang Power Company HQ

stretching, squeezing, bending, trimming:
BAU550 Huanglong Xigu Urban Design

BOTH networks AND objects:
BAU497 Wyndham Cove Eco Sub-urb

ethics, democracy, difference:
BAU470 towards a socially sustainable Canberra

warp and woof:
BAU460 Jingzhou Museum

sustainable technologies for clean living:
BAU396 Nanjing Residential

network of learning:
BAU341 Yushanwan School

not in galleries, but a way of seeing:
BAU338 Jingqiao Ramp Restaurant

shopping sandwich:
BAU321 Jiangyin Wuxing Commercial Centre

celebrating the collective, the intimate, the sustainable, and the local:
BAU312 Suzhou School

21st century Ponte Vecchio:
BAU287 Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bridge

antidote: not another ghetto city:
BAU285 Chengdu North Central

at last …finally …some diversity:
BAU282 Jindi Sanlin Office

recycling and beyond
BAU264 Jiashan Lu Apartment Block

an assemblage of difference:
BAU256 Shanghai Hongqiao Performing Arts Center

streets as shelters, bars as amphitheaters, landscapes as playgrounds:
BAU235 Jinqiao Community Bars

reduce, reuse, recycle:
BAU220 Shanghai Sculpture Space

binary oppositions defining a field of operation – all we wanted was a park:
BAU122 Xiamen International Exhibition Centre

the hotel as microcosm of the city:
BAU018 Marque Hotel

…very strange:
BAU016 Penny Lane

the beautiful and the extraordinary:
BAU013 Hopetoun Bush Resort

a dynamic yet stable vehicle:
BAU510 Suzhou Tram Co. Headquarters

palimpsest:
BAU486A Jiangyin Docklands Park

innovation both inside and out:
BAU433 Zhangjing Nobel Lake Park & Network

exquisite corpse
BAU416 Genetic City Caofeidian

landscape becomes urban design becomes architecture:
BAU390 Duolan Dong Dong Mixed Use Complex

BAU386 Symbiotic City

repetition and difference:
BAU384 Kunshan Pavilions

no longer drowning – waving:
BAU339-2&3 Suzhou Creek Promenade

yet another point of view:
BAU339-1 Suzhou Creek Serpentine Park

ordinary not heroic, symbolic not monumental:
BAU318 Hangzhou Xiaoshan Government Headquarters

woven threads:
BAU234 Jiangyin Arbour Park

private precincts, public networks:
BAU226 Pudong Yangjing

creative networks:
BAU224 Chengdu Fenghuangshan

maximize commuication and cross fertilization:
BAU208 Linping New City Centre

more than just a technopolis:
BAU206 Hangzhou Xiasha New City Centre

a second network embracing history, smalllness, and complexity:
BAU193 Chengdu West New District

a park for everyone and everyone in their park:
BAU189 Hongqiao Park

disorder – not randonmness but beyond order:
BAU182 Chengdu East Village

mosaics of teaching, networks of learning:
BAU149 Huai’an Tertiary Education District

walled cities within a walled city:
BAU147 Xi’an High-Tech Precinct CBD

co-existence without incompatibility:
BAU138 Jiangxi Xinyu Networks City

clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
BAU119 Jinqiao Sports & Leisure Centre

space-time conflict:
BAU544 Shanghai University Campus

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