Sasaki took first place in the international competition for Luohu Streetscape, Luohu Railway Station, and Guang-shen Railway Renovation Design in Shenzhen, China. Luohu is the first district developed in the city of Shenzhen, which serves as the gateway connecting Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Multiple human and natural factors have affected the district for years. Poor urban planning and a rapid population boom have created numerous challenges for Luohu—low traffic capacity, an antiquated transit system, poor spatial quality of some streets and inefficient land-use changes in the area. This project aims to systematically improve the city image in order to align the urban renewal effort with the positioning of Luohu district. Additionally, the design improves the spatial quality and experience of the public realm and celebrates Shenzhen’s identity as the first special economic zone.
The concept of Sasaki’s design scheme, “From Luohu Bridge to Artery of Life,” uses public open spaces and a transportation hub as the catalyst for transforming the district. Reimagined industrial parcels become vital spaces within the urban fabric while surgical redevelopment at strategic locations improves the city’s overall image and structure. Care is given to celebrate the unique character of each public street while still improving circulation for pedestrians and bike riders.
In the long-term scope, the north-south corridor along the Guang-Shen Railway and Buji River will be transformed into the “Artery of Life”—traversing the center of the district. This “Artery” will connect the city core areas like the Luohu Port and the new proposed Sungang Area, and will catalyze the urban renewal and industrial upgrading of the adjacent areas. The Artery of Life will become the new gateway from Luohu to Hong Kong, and even the world.
Seven aspects are studied and integrated into the streetscape design: transportation, program, urban façade, storm water management, planting, site furnishing, and signage systems. The renovated streets will provide more efficient urban services and higher-quality spaces.
The streets, based on their positioning, are given individual characters. Dedicated bike lanes and clear right-of-way for the pedestrians are proposed to provide a safe, slow, and charming traffic experience on the street level. Various programs organized in diverse spatial forms will compliment with diverse uses found within the adjacent commercial, office, residential, and civic buildings. With the holistic renovation, the streets will serve as a medium for vital, exciting urban living.
As the major element connecting the pedestrian system, the existing pedestrian overpass is also renovated in this round of design. With the new ADA path, democratic and convenient street crossing chances are created for all the people. With the utilization of the bamboo-made weaving pattern, the new pergola structure design is adapted to the local climate and provides shelter for pedestrians.
The innovative and sustainable façade renovation for the railway station helps ventilate the indoor spaces with a thermo-dynamic design. This system will provide a more comfortable experience for the passengers inside of the station. More service programs are inserted strategically, transferring the railway station from a monotonous transportation node to an energetic life hub.
Design of the station’s front plaza enhances its function as an extension of the railway station building, creating a sense of “the city living room”, while simultaneously serving more users. The basement below the building and plaza is developed integrally. The plaza provides outdoor recreation and communication space with green canopies and landscape surroundings, not only for serving the passengers, but also for creating valuable public open space in this high-dense development area.
After Sasaki’s proposal was selected, a set of design guidelines were developed to further codify the street concepts and summarize the design approaches for typical sections throughout the site.