stretching, squeezing, bending, trimming: Chengdu Huanglong Xigu Masterplan
The site is located in Muma Town, Pengshan County, Sichuan, adjacent to Huanglongxi Town in Chengdu Shuangliu District. It’s about 42 km to Chengdu main city, 25km to the south of Tianfu New District, 20km to Meishan Mountain, and 12km to Pengshan County.
Huanglong Eco & Livable City will be Chengdu’s southern satellite town, connecting closely with Shuangliu’s & Xinjin’s Qiaotoubao and other leading demonstration areas. Muma Town is the center of Huanglong Eco & Livable City satellite towns.
The project site is connected with Chengdu Huanglongxi Town and is adjacent to National 4A scenic location, Huanglongxi Old Town.
an exciting and challenging site
The site consists of an upper level plateau at 505m, a steep 65m high plateau face, and a lower south-facing river valley adjacent to the mountains. The highest point is Mumashan Mountain, but there are other highpoints in the site’s north. This dramatic topography creates the potential for unobstructed views of the river to the south.
The site is also rich in both natural and cultural features. In addition to the existing topography, the site also includes substantial natural vegetation, water bodies and waterways, existing built fabric, and an existing road network.
not breaking the networks
The existing topography, the consequent shape of the golf course, and the areas of land too steep to be built on, means that our networks will need to be stretched, squeezed, bent and trimmed like never before.
The client requested an 18-hole golf course on the major ridge of the plateau and this gesture forms the main thread to our green preservation-network, which runs over the entire site. This network links all the existing natural and cultural elements we wish to retain – significant vegetation, water bodies, existing waterways. It also provides every resident with access to green public open space for recreation, sports, or to bike or walk to the next POD or neighborhood. Because the green space is continuous over the entire site and potentially beyond, it also provides an excellent habitat for the local fauna.
networks, urban form, land-use zoning, and program
Having located the preservation-networks, our Pedestrian Oriented District (POD) boundaries are the next to be organised. These are generally 800m x 800m to one square kilometer in size and roads carrying through traffic form these boundaries. Public transport and commercial networks (ensuring communities based on comfortable walking distances to public transport) are the next to be located, then the secondary streets, and finally our fractal open space and sites for public buildings.
These robust networks provide a community structure ranging from the PODs themselves (generally 800m x 800m), to neighbourhoods (generally 400m x 400m), to the smaller community mosaics of subculture (generally 200m x 200m).
Urban form is driven by two design criteria: firstly by allowing solar access to the public spaces, including our streets and; secondly by the perceived scale of buildings adjacent to existing natural or cultural elements. These urban form criteria give rise to the emergence of villa and duplex dwellings in the northern part of the site, the plateau dominated by the golf course; and garden apartments and apartment buildings in the southern part of the site, the river valley dominated by the 65 metre high plateau edge.
Land use zoning and programing follow the locations of the networks within the PODS – commercial in the centre, smart clean industry and R+D on the edge, and housing in between. Because the networks run in both directions, so does the land-use zoning and the consequent intersections of the zones provides us with pure and hybrid land-uses.
community, diversity, employment, robustness
This is a community oriented, pedestrian friendly project which places every resident within a 5 minute walk to public transport, local shopping and commerce, community facilities, green public open spaces, dedicated pedestrian and bicycle networks, and a hierarchical vehicular network that keeps through traffic out of the heart of communities.
Attaching different land-use zoning and programing to the different road functions also provides employment opportunities within the local community.
This project provides a robust urban framework that is adaptable over time and allows future changes. It also ensures a high quality urban environment, independent of architectural outcomes – a big advantage for a project that will grow over time using many and varied procurement methods.