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

Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China





Urban planning and design


Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China




Invited competition, 1st prize


Nanjing Jiangning Planning Bureau, Nanjing Tangshan Construction Investment Development Co., LTD


New urbanisation for 160,000p, including significant tourism district

rips in the fabric by place

Tangshan is within one of Nanjing’s new growth corridors, located on the northern periphery of the mega-city. It is famed for its ancient thermal springs and its mountains.

Currently, the site has pockets of urbanization emerging incoherently on a background of agricultural land, while the mountainside is under increasing pressure from hotel and luxury housing development.

escape, yes, but from what?
Cities are the most concentrated forms of what it means to live in a society. If we live on our own, on a tropical island, in a cabin hunting and gathering, we do not live in a society – although we surely be living within a collection of natural systems, some obvious, some not.

So when we say we need to get away for a while, what is it exactly that we want to escape from? For some city dwellers it may be both the good and the not-so-good of the city from which we want to escape: the challenge of living in a culture embedded in nature for long term mutual benefit AND those who are happy to exploit nature for short term gains; the excitement of cultural pluralism (high, pop, and alternative cultural opportunities) AND those that want to create hierarchies and cultural mobility and then a system of judgment; the promise of social independence (the ability be yourself) AND those who would manipulate society and nature in order to oppress those seen as different; the promise of equal opportunity for all (a city of equal opportunity not necessarily a city of equals) AND those who encourage profit for a few at the expense of an impoverished many.

For most city dwellers it is usually the negative aspects of cities we are keen to escape – exploitation of the nature, cultural hierarchies, oppression of difference, and the reward for the selfish.

BAU’s networks cities is the basis of this design proposition. networks cities provide an urban fabric that is based on a self-contained community structure that starts with Pedestrian Oriented Developments (PODs). These PODs are approximately 800m x 800m and have public transport, commercial activity, and highly desirable accommodation at the centre. Lower-cost accommodation is placed on the edge of the PODs. A spectrum from highly desirable to lower cost takes up the in-between areas. These PODs contain four neighbourhoods (approximately 400m x 400m) which themselves contain four mosaics of subculture (approximately 200m x 200m). Sites are allocated for public building locations and a fractal open space system responds to the three different levels of community structure (POD, neighbourhood, mosaic).

It has become useful to think of this fabric as being on a rubber sheet that can be stretched and squeezed horizontally and vertically to respond to existing roads, heavy rail, and water infrastructure, as well as topography. Heavy rail and large roads are located on the edge of the PODs, with smaller scale, more pedestrian friendly infrastructure placed within the PODs. In this way networks cites provide a highly contextual urban fabric.

rips in the fabric
BAU are always looking natural or cultural elements to add to or subtract from the design that will disturb the generic spaces of network cities and make them a specific sense of place, intimately related to the site.

This site is located in the foothills of the mountain range to the north-west. The project engages with a series of spurs and valleys from these foothills. The valleys usually have existing water systems in them, which often connect to an existing canal network running form the north-west to the south-east through the site.

BAU has linked these existing systems of dams, rivers and canals together in a relaxed blue-green net that is then used to rip through and disturb the networks-cities fabric.

Interestingly these rips also align with prevailing winds, which will provide the city with excellent ventilation and cool breezes in the summer.

place and heterotopia
This network-city explores living with and in nature, cultural pluralism, social independence, and equity. This may sound like a utopia, which by definition can’t exit, but BAU believe it is the basis of another type of urbanism – a heterotopia, the co-existence of many utopias.

Consequently, the blue-green net has alternating themes of active sports and passive pastoral programs. This distributes public open space over the entire site, which is accessible to everybody. The PODs have been identified and clearly articulated and explore six different ideas of escape: Mountain Ecology Zone, the largest area that sits within the spurs and valleys of the foothills, for those wanting to get back to basics; Active Health Retreat, the second largest of the retreats, linked directly to the mountains and focused on the blue-green network for those that wanting an activity and exercise; Tanshui River Community, embracing both the river and the largest existing canal on the site for those interested in experiencing a more traditional relationship with water; Traveller Town, the most tourist oriented of the escape options, for those wanting an on-the-move experience; Creative Life Community, for those interested in producing rather than consuming products; Teaching and Learning Retreat, for those interested in teaching and learning about living in harmony with nature; International Retreat, the most corporate of the retreats, well connected but slightly removed from the centre of the city, for those wanting an universal beige, bronze and mirrors escape; and, Spa and Recuperation Retreat; for those wanting a medicinal focus.

Within each POD a number of strategies are used to ensure the experience of this city is different from the contemporary city the visitors are escaping. Urban form is unified – not every-man-for-themselves; hard and soft urban open space of various sizes are evenly distributed and connected to all other open spaces – not too small, in the wrong spot, and isolated; there is a sense of playful dis-order in the architecture – not the randomness of the contemporary city; and the aesthetics of all buildings clearly explore the PODs themes – not just the outcome of a desiccated economic rationalism.

For this project networks cities ensures we have an orderly workable city without noise, congestion and pollution. PODs are generally medium density, but where the POD themes require it, high density and low density are explored intelligently and with high level of urban amenity driving every decision. For example, the International Retreat is a high-density area with the characteristic spatial texture being one of buildings as ground, with open space the figure, cut out of that urban fabric. Alternatively, Mountain Ecology Retreat is very low-density area with the characteristic spatial texture being a ground of ecologically sustainable green space, with a figure of low-density, small-scale buildings.

Based on a sophisticated generic city model that seeks profound links to the sprit of place, Tangshan is a 21st Century heterotopia.

Private Landscapes






Public Landscapes



Structures & Pavillions











Urban Design








Mixed Use









































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

more Piazza Navona than Levittown
BAU618 Tianyou Experimental Primary School and Kindergarten, Suzhou

clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
BAU119 Jinqiao Sports & Leisure Centre

landscape, urbanity, networks, the suitcase, and the paper-bag:
BAU592 Qingpu Zhaoxiang Sports Park, Supermarket + Hotel

more than a frozen moment:
BAU659 ZOOM OASIS, Linkong Perimeter Super Block

look! up in the sky!
BAU210 Shanghai Hongxuan Office Building

Made in China, no question – Invented in China, of course:
BAU588 You-Du R+D Development, Jinqiao, Shanghai

a hybrid infrastructure:
BAU679 Yuandang Bridge

large plains, small grains, and the in-between:
BAU686 Longgang Arts Centre, Shenzhen

on reflection:
BAU674 Qingpu Performing Arts Centre

Place, typologies, programs, and public life:

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

space-time conflict:
BAU544 Shanghai University Campus

clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
BAU119 Jinqiao Sports & Leisure Centre

Journeys AND destination, not just destinations:
BAU569 Nanjing Youfu West Street Primary School

continuous loops and internal courts:
BAU603 Suzhou kindergarten no. 3

weaving and stitching:
BAU616 Jiangyin Greenway Loop (stage 1. Eastern Segment)

a constructed and cultured topography:
BAU269 Jindi Green Land Club

it takes a village to educate a child:
BAU602 Suzhou Sci-tech City Xizhu Kindergarten

city typologies, cultural traditions, contemporary theories, and spaceships:
BAU600 Shanghai Qingpu Newtown 30-class Primary School

artificial plateau:building more site:
BAU599 Shanghai Qingpu Newtown 24-Class Junior High school

it is the least we could do: minimalism in an environment of expressionism
BAU584 Hangzhou Tonglu Office Building

more Piazza Navona than Levittown
BAU618 Tianyou Experimental Primary School and Kindergarten, Suzhou

classrooms AND the in-between: teaching and learning beyond the classroom
BAU610 Taizhou School

other institutions for this new century:
BAU604 Qingpu District People’s Court

building the unfinished:
BAU003M The Victorian Pride Centre

minimal AND maximal:
BAU583 Exhibition Pavilion Gaochun, Nanjing

small in scale large in monumentality:
BAU027 Wyndham Mausoleum

multiple rooms of difference:
BAU253 Shanghai Qingpu Renheng Yunjie Entrance Garden

active cultural edges, passive natural centres:
BAU402 Shanghai Qingpu Qin Yuan Lake Park

intimate, cool, sheltered and lively:
BAU268 Xinqiao Commercial Street + Shop Housing

formal teaching and informal learning:
BAU540 Gaochun New District Kindergaten to Year Nine School

an exercise in robustness:
BAU333 Jiangyin Huifu Office Tower

effortless complexity: learning from water-town:
BAU222-2 Shanghai Qingpu Zhujiajiao Commercial

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:
BAU213-1 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

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

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

BAU197 Jindi Sanlin Pavilion

BAU191 Wuhan Cuiwei Housing

urban camouflage:
BAU227 Hangzhou Sports Centre

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

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 Transport Interchange – Stage One

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 Shanghai Jiashan Market

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

BAU486A Docklands Park, Yangtze River, Jiangyin

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