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Sasaki Wins Luohu District Design Competition in China

Sasaki took the first place in the international competition of Luohu Streetscape, Luohu Railway Station & 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. Being impacted by the traffic volume increase, human and natural factors for years, Luohu District encounters multiple challenges, such as the low traffic capacity and efficiency of the old transportation system, the low spatial quality and out of state infrastructures on parts of the streets, and the land use changes in some areas caused by the urban planning and population expansion. This project aims at systematically improving the city image, in order to align the urban renewal effort with the positioning of Luohu district, to improve the spatial quality and experience of public realm, and to celebrate Shenzhen’s identity as the first special economic zone.

The concept of Sasaki’s design scheme is From Luohu Bridge to Artery of Life: Use public open spaces and transportation hub as the catalyst for the transformation of the district; release industrial land in the city for uses more pertinent to urban life and interconnecting the urban fabric; introduce surgical redevelopment at strategic locations to improve the overall city structure; embrace unique character of each public street while improving the overall experiences for pedestrians and bike riders; promote infill projects to systematically improve the city image.

In the long-term scope, the north-south direction 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 for providing a safe and charming slow traffic experience on street. 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 the 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.

The design of station’s front plaza enhances its function as the extension of the railway station building, creating a sense of “the city living room”, and simultaneously serving more users. The basement below the building and plaza are 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 by the client, we further developed design guidelines that further codify the street concepts and summarize the design approaches for typical sections throughout the site.

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