This master plan was developed in collaboration with Prof Xu Lei and Wang Ka of ZheJiang University. As part of an invited competition, the local government asked three teams to develop proposals for a master plan of a newly developed CBD. As the winning entry, our team proposed creating a design which met both the programmatic needs for high density development, while working with an understanding of the site’s natural attributes.
Zhou Shan is an island close to Ningbo, China. As part of an archipelago bordering the East China Sea, it is developing in importance as the archipelago’s islands are being strung together by bridges and infrastructure, one day linking Shanghai and Ningbo.
Located in a relatively flat basin spilling out into the harbor, the basin is surrounded by hills. Small mounds and hills punctuate the relatively flat terrain. The local development patterns have in the past, removed all traces of the original mounds and landscape.
Instead this design embraced the variations in the topography, building around and with the qualities of the landscape. Where the landscape needed to be altered and changed, it was re-constituted in profile and shape.
The program called for multiple towers, housing hotels, and offices. The ground floors accommodated commercial uses and parking spaces. These uses were “carved” into existing or new “mounds” ““ thus preserving the profile of the site’s topography while also providing an urban experience for visitors and patrons.
As is customary in the region, all towers were oriented to the south (to allow for maximum light exposure.) The towers are punctuated with public spaces at intermediate floors, creating an elevated pedestrian network between towers.
Towers are located on the site’s west perimeter, defining the street edge. These glass towers are paired so that they function as single user towers, while appearing thinner in their aggregate. The tower on the south west corner marks the entrance to the street. The North tower terminates the view, and axis (good Feng Shui).
Internal courtyards pierce the landform and provide light for the building uses. They are connected by series of internal streets and paths.