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Sasaki Wins International Competition to Define Landscape Strategies for Shenzhen Bay Plaza

Sasaki was awarded the first prize in the “International Competition for Landscape Design of Shenzhen Bay Plaza.” Located on the waterfront of the central Houhai area in Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, the Plaza will take center stage in China’s design and cultural scene and is poised to become the latest addition to the creative industries already embedded in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Combining aesthetic and technological efforts, the project is representative of the strength and potential of Shenzhen to showcase a unique blend of local wisdom and global perspectives on innovation.

The 97,000 m2 site will see landscape strategies like roof greening and ground-level landscaping employed, as well as the addition of an underground public exhibition space. The museum complex anchoring this plaza, the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum + Shenzhen Creative Design Hall, designed by MAD, has a footprint of 51,000 m2 and a gross floor area (GFA) of 182,000 m2. Shenzhen Bay Plaza is scheduled for opening in July 2024.

Imagined as a destination where people and nature coexists in harmony, the Plaza presents itself as a long-overdue urban oasis for the surrounding community. Visitors are able to enjoy moments of tranquillity and reflection. The design itself translates the core values of Shenzhen – diversity, inclusion, and daring to be a pioneer – mirroring how Shenzheners are approaching the enlivening of their city.

Extending from the heart of the city, the Central Scenic Axis celebrates the beauty of life and time, channelling the vibrancy of urban living on the open waterfront. A multi-functional lawn and a water plaza provide venues for intimate community events and large-scale activities, alike.

South Pavilion (Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum): Undulating topographic and landscape features evoke serendipitous encounters and dialogues. It is a design underpinned by human connection and exchange of ideas.

North Pavilion (Shenzhen Creative Design Hall): Landscape details and abundant habitats are integrated to inspire reflection on the origin of life. As visitors wander in this sunken space, the beauty of nature is at once rediscovered.

Key design strategies:

  1. Strengthening spatial connections: close connections are built between the site and adjoining neighbourhoods to create a seamless and accessible slow traffic experience.
  2. Enhancing stormwater management and microclimates: capitalizing on the topographic characteristics of the site, stormwater management systems and natural habitats are designed to regulate microclimates.
  3. Enriching the ecological functions of a public green space: an invaluable oasis is created among high-density developments, mirroring the native ecosystem in innovative and value-adding ways.
  4. Incorporating iconic visual features: capitalizing on the topographic characteristics of the site, a wide range of spatial experiences are created; undisrupted views and special visual features are designed using multiple design techniques.
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