LAGUARDA.LOW Architects has been awarded first prize in an international competition conducted by OCT Group for the design of OCT Bao‘an, a new large-scale planned waterfront development in Shenzhen’s Bao‘an district in China. With stunning views of Qianhai Bay, Laguarda.Low’s master plan and design encompasses a 128-acre site and creates dynamic spaces for business, retail and entertainment.
As both Master Planner and Master Architect for the project, and in collaboration with renowned landscape design firm SWA, the LAGUARDA.LOW Architects’ design integrates nature, recreation and culture into a new urban setting. The site is divided into four primary zones, connected by pedestrian paths, integrated waterscapes, and landscaped promenades. The four zones include a new Urban Business District, a multi-level Retail Park, a Culture Heritage Park and a Book Market.
LAGUARDA.LOW’s plan positions a multi-level retail village at the center of the site, surrounded by four residential towers to the northeast; three office towers to the southeast; a hotel to the south; an indoor mall to the west; and a new performance hall and an exhibition facility to the north, across from the city’s green belt. A central loop connects the various zones and provides access to parking below.
At the south end of the site, the Urban Business District includes seven 13-story office buildings and a 13-story hotel. The tiered glass structures feature landscaped terraces and green roofs that collect rain water and limit solar heat gain. Large domed skylights merge the line between indoor and outdoor spaces. The four-story design elevates the traditional shopping experience with expansive natural light, dynamic circulation and expansive green spaces.
At the north end of the site, the Cultural Heritage Park provides numerous options for leisure and entertainment, including a retail center and pedestrian paths leading to an open-air plaza and a performing arts center next door. Water serves as a key element of the design by separating where visitors can explore the waterfront promenade and excursion boats, as well as a new Cultural Heritage Center, X Sports Park, playground, food and beverage garden, and performance amphitheater.
The Book Market is situated on the eastern parcel of the site, adjacent to a new library and youth center. The subterranean space houses a multi-level bookstore and food hall with direct connections to the subway and the neighboring youth facilities. Above the structure is a landscaped park that surrounds a dramatic skylight and space to appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility of the outdoors. Source and images, courtesy of LAGUARDA.LOW Architects.
Article by Marco Rinaldi