Bao’an Central Green Axis Competition

Bao’an Central Green Axis Competition

Location: Shenzhen, China

Client: OCT

Architect: Chapman Taylor

Size: 28 hectares

Status: completed 2019 (Runner Up)


Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has become an important part of China’s national strategy, connecting the Pearl River Delta urban agglomeration into the Greater Bay Area. In this context, MSP’s “Celebrate Shenzhen!” proposal presents itself as a sustainable 21st century vibrant park space with the vision to provide seamless integration of landscape and architecture from city scale to human scale.

Our guiding principles are described under three main concepts: embracing and celebrating Shenzhen’s culture and lifestyle; improving the environment and providing connectivity.

In our design language we were inspired by landscape formations which occur where land meets the sea. The interaction of sea and land processes inform the way the we conceptually shape the topography in order to soften the rigidity of the urban fabric, blurring the boundaries between architecture and landscape and creating a human scale environment. The park will form a network of programmatic elements that will attract people from the city districts, other important destinations and the surrounding neighbourhoods and connect them back to the waterfront.

The northern portion of the public park facing the government building is designed as more formal and civic space. The central canopy structure strengthens the central axis of the park, creates a visual connection between the government building and the waterfront and creates crucial shade for visitors to enjoy the park and events. Iconic, sculptural mounds create topography with elevated view points and a un unique sculptural quality, defines the park spatially and protects it against the streets. An immersive, lush environment with a variety of different program areas are introduced. As one moves from north to south mounds dissolve and soften further forming smaller intimate spaces directly responding to and working with the adjacent building programs: Library, Youth Palace and Performing Arts Centre. It also responds directly to the existing Youth Center and Library with the canopy structure and the integration of the existing water features. At the city scale, the park acts as a permeable porous drainage element, tying itself back into the Sponge Cities Strategy: capturing, retaining, cleaning and recycling rain water.

A microclimate is created by the rectangular perforated canopy structure and a grid of trees which emphasize on the central green axis from the Government Building, drawing people from the urban fabric to the waterfront. Water creates the central spine of the park, changing its character from canals to rivers to a wetland delta. During dry seasons, the water canals become part of the event plaza. Water channels accompany people and provide a cooling effect and battling the heat island effect as they meander through the diverse programmatic elements of the park. The mounds are vegetated with lush native species giving the sensation of being in a forest, introducing biodiversity and enhancing the site’s ecology.

The overall park design connects to the city’s larger networks such as James Corner’s linear park and SWA’s waterfront park. The design assures that the linkages to the existing transport networks are seamless, inviting and attractive: entrances to the underground shopping mall and subway network as well as openings for the tunnel entrances for the sunken cross-roads. The cut-off mounds also provide a spatial definition of the streetscape. The porous edges of the park allows for many entrance situations, connecting the park with the urban fabric and provide access to the metro station entrances, parking underneath and the retail spaces belo. They also filter people into the park. Continuity of landscape into below ground spaces visually ties everything together, forming a unified space.