Chengdu Future Science and Technology City by OMA

Future Science and Technology City

The brief for this international design competition asks for a new masterplan for the innovation industry in Chengdu in Western China. Should masterplans developed for the industry also be novel enough to challenge the generic urban planning model, offering new forms of living, working, and social spaces that meet our ever-changing needs? This project is driven by the core question: how a masterplan for the innovation industry is innovative in itself?

Different than the generic urban planning model, our design is not driven by the road network or maximisation of GFA. Inspired by the Lin Pan villages in Chengdu—traditional rural settlements that practice small scale farming and deploy ancient irrigation systems—the masterplan will be divided into six clusters, each highlighting a specific architectural typology defined by its program, as well as its relationship with the topography and local water systems.

The Living cluster, with commercial program on the ground level and residential developments above, will feature a reservoir at its centre to evoke the water elements on site. The University cluster will feature buildings with landscaped terraces that resemble hills. These terraces will offer outdoor, dynamic spaces for academic activities. This cluster will also include a biofiltration system, where the large roof areas of the buildings will become rain gardens, filtrating water and collecting it in underground storage tanks and detention ponds.

This cluster will be connected through a network of walkways and cycle paths to the Laboratory cluster. Located in a wetland area, it will provide research gardens taking advantage of the site’s conditions. Farming systems will be installed on roofs of the buildings, which will house facilities for innovative experiments. Also situated in a wetland area, the Market cluster will be an elevated grid structure with commercial and public facilities at the ground level, and residential developments and offices above. This cluster will be characterised by its use of hydropower.

The Public cluster will be a Transport Oriented Development (TOD) with public spaces and support research, exhibition and production program. It will reinforce the identity of the masterplan by integrating nature and architecture: an existing water basin will be built into a science and technology park. The central area of this cluster will be an elevated, circular volume where all trains and transportation facilities will connect. Below will be a space for landscape and greenery. The Government cluster will sit on top of a hill along a river.

Five office buildings will surround a central block—all connected by walkways extending into the landscape. The central volume will feature a public plaza, and the surrounding ones will include plant incubators alongside wetland incubators. All the clusters will be car free, with a scale to ensure that all places within can be reached within ten minutes. They will be connected with the train station and surrounding urban developments through a smart mobility network for automated vehicles. Source by OMA.

  • Location: Chengdu, China
  • Architect: OMA
  • Partner: Chris van Duijn
  • Associate: Ravi Kamisetti
  • Project Architect: John Thurtle
  • Project Team: Giuseppe Bandieramonte, Charlotte Chan, Joanna Gu, Meng Huang, Napat Kiat-Arpadej, Anthony Ko, Connor Sullivan, Yangqi Yang
  • Local Architect: CAUPD and Swooding
  • Traffic: MIC
  • Engineering: Ramboll
  • Animation: Loom on the Moon
  • Multimedia: Loom on the Moon, Nog Harder
  • Model: Shenzhen Fangze Art Design Co.
  • Year: 2021
  • Images: Renders: Negativ, K2, Tegmark, ATCHAIN, Courtesy of OMA

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