Zaha Hadid Architects' Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum shuns linearity
by Anmol AhujaDec 02, 2020
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by Anmol AhujaPublished on : Dec 17, 2020
Following up on the reveal of the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum in Shenzhen earlier this month, Zaha Hadid Architects has now revealed a new masterplan for the Huanggang Port Area, intended to be an important node in the extensive Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Corridor, meant to further the cause of science and technology in China, and to highlight its impact on our lives. Alongside the museum, the new port hub has been designed to serve as an important transportation hub and public avenue, forming an essential and logistical part of the corridor.
Located in the Futian District of Shenzhen, the Huanggang Port serves as a key interchange location within the Shenzhen Bay for nearly 300,000 people crossing over to Hong Kong every day. Furthering its prominence as an essential transit oriented development, the new port area masterplan in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone incorporates direct connections with Shenzhen’s busy metro network. While its sizeable area of nearly 1.67 square kilometres currently comprises only parking lots and cargo inspection areas, ZHA’s masterplan introduces a new land usage definition into the port area to transform it into a hub of scientific research and collaboration in industries such as microelectronics, material development, artificial intelligence, robotics, and medical sciences.
From a macro level viewpoint, the plan borrows its basal definition from Shenzhen’s existing street layout to its west and establishes a central spine: a wide pedestrian boulevard that connects its two primary gathering spaces: the civic plaza at Fulin metro station in the north east and the large public square in the centre of the administrative hub at the Huanggang interchange in the south west. The spine also then serves as an essential linearly traversable transition between the transit facility on land and the port. A secondary radial grid is superimposed over the primary one centred on the two plazas, further sub dividing the urban mass into smaller clusters, while also creating additional circulation routes for functionality.
Centred around these two public plazas and the spine connecting them, the masterplan defines three distinct but interconnected district typologies: the port hub, the collaborative innovation area, and the port living zone. The existing Huanggang Port management area and public transport interchange at the south western end will be redeveloped as the port hub district that will house administrative offices and hotels for visiting scientists and researchers. The port’s former cargo inspection areas and parking lots will be transformed into the collaborative innovation area comprising research centres, laboratories, and a specially designed conference centre to host lectures, talks and events. At the north eastern end of the masterplan next to the Fulin station of Shenzhen’s Metro, the port living district will include residential developments alongside the port, schools, sports and recreational facilities along with shopping and dining amenities for residents. The design also accommodates the future expansion of research studios and laboratories through shared podiums and skywalks bridging these with adjacent buildings.
The clusters of buildings formed along the spine and deeper within are designed to have their own plaza, a “nucleus”, an outdoor communal square that along with the two primary civic plazas located at either end of the pedestrian spine creates an interconnected green belt of parklands and wetlands along the Shenzhen River. Compared to the firm’s previous masterplans, the current one for Huanggang Port Area visually appears to be less flamboyant and more utilitarian in nature. ZHA’s signature disdain of the straight line seems to have given way to a more structured, ordered conglomeration of masses in response to the sizeable existing context, with just enough disruption with respect to the grid followed by the new masterplan and individual elements, like the neon lit skywalks.
Name: Huanggang Port Area Masterplan
Location: Shenzhen, China
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Directors: Charles Walker, Nils Fischer, Simon Yu
ZHA Project Associates: Jakub Klaska, Lei Zheng
ZHA Competition Teams: Chun-Yen Chen, Marina Dimopoulou, Matthew Gabe, Stratis Georgiou, Rupinder Gidar, Charles Harris, Boyan Hristov, Jinqi Huang,Yen-fen Huang, Han Hsun Hsieh, Martha Masli, Xin Swift
Local Design Institute: East China Architecture Design and Research Institute (ECADI), Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute (SZMEDI)
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