Site: Tianjin, China.
Area: 50.000 m2
Status: Nominated WAF 2014
The intelligent city
Today the urban development has separated city and nature. The city of tomorrow is an evolution of the old city – just better and more intelligent. It provides better life conditions for its citizens. The buildings are more beautiful. The microclimate and environment are more attractive. The city of tomorrow is a process and designed with intelligent solutions.
A generous city
Both the situation for nature and the situation for people should be better after this project than before. It produces more electricity than it consumes, it should give something back to the city in form of parks, promenades, it should give cultural and social life, it should improve people’s possibilities, it should improve possibilities for the wildlife, and there should be a vast variety of botanical species, even the river will gradually be cleaner through the water cleansing system . It has to be a generous city that welcomes its citizens with new sensations and feelings.
The foundation of the eco valley is green.
Green is the foundation for the new eco city valley; it ensures the quality of living and an attractive environment for the visitors and the citizens in this town. The green qualities of this area ensures that we achieve a more clean town, that rainwater stays on the area, that people get impressions and emotions that makes them want to return, it provides wind shield, it provides shadow, it provides a botanical diversity that exceeds the situation today. It provides a generous and welcoming feeling for the people that visit the area.
The eco axis brings nature to the town – it is a green plug in.
Every where it is possible nature will manifest itself and create the image of a new way of living in a city and on the same time in the nature. The central axis brings nature inside the city as a part of the city. The nature and the city merge together for the benefit of both.
Imagine standing in a flowering meadow in the middle of the town, or a forest of cherry trees enjoying the view to the buildings. You are in the city as well as in nature, and you can benefit both from the convenience of the city and the smell and feeling of the nature – one doesn´t out rule the other. You can have a cup of coffee and on the same time enjoy a flowering meadow of yellow flowers in a large area; it will be a spectacular sight. It is green in a new and more intelligent way.
The green square connects the city with the culture buildings, and works as a plug in for the rest of the city. It nourishes from the city and collects the learning and wisdom about what we are able to do with green technology and green urban development. This wisdom and learning is collected in the 5 prestigious culture buildings.
The nature and the city merge together to one unit. Buildings, park, culture, nature is mixed within a green foundation. It evolves from each other and provides benefits for both. The city provides new possibilities for nature, new sites for green and the nature provides possibilities for the citizen in form of shadow, it breaks the wind and creates a nice microclimate, scenery and variations throughout the season.
A square as a painting for resting and connectivity
The square has two main functions – it has to connect the 5 culture buildings with the city, create a good flow for people and on the same time it has to be a pleasant place to stay. We have integrated different themes on the square that flows in and out between each other, so you can move from a deep forest, to an open meadow with a field of flowers, to an area with grass fields, to an area with flowering cherry trees. Since it is a deck and therefore a roof garden, the technology and plants has to be selected to this specific situation. The plants can develop from one area to another in a natural process, much like the New York Highline. The characteristic is much alike the open meadow – developing into shrubs and areas with smaller trees. In this way we get soft translations from one area to another: A soft transition between flowers, grasses and trees, so we have a full seasonal painting. A painting with different colors, different smells different heights that develop all through the year. The deck is paved where it is necessary and provides larger areas for gathering or urban activities. The culture buildings, the nearby restaurants, the cafés, the business area can benefit from this rich painting, which provides different sceneries throughout the year.
An intelligent park for both people and nature
The park is a romantic park with curved paths and areas for individual programs/themes for each building. The different areas/themes, are connected and separated by a extensive system of paths that extends to the river shore and the river promenade. The themes are flexible, which also means that future needs and changes can be integrated in the park.
The park has different themes, urban farms, water cleansing system of rainwater before it reaches the river, a library park as a peaceful setting for contemplation and quietness, an area with sports and activities, an area with a amphitheater with 5.000 seatings, an area with solar cells, an area with urban farming experiments - utilizing the energy and water collected from the area.
The trees are planted in groups of various species and shields from the wind and provide shadow. The park has both super cultivated fields as well as more natural biotopes that provide different habitats for wildlife. The extensive system of paths both connects the different subthemes, and makes it possible for a lot of people to stay in the park at the same time. It is not only a green area, the park has dual functions, it combines aesthetics with functions. The water feature is not only visual, it also purifies the water and provides a nice walk and setting for the cultural building. The path is also a bench and resting place, the nearby restaurants can use the urban farm to grow herbs and vegetables. It is not only technical solutions, but solutions that integrate aesthetic and function in an intelligent way.