Dutch practice OMA has been selected, alongside GMP, as the winner of the Chengdu Future Science and Technology City Launch Area Masterplan and Architecture Design Competition in China. The 4.6-square-kilometre masterplan, newly designed for the innovation industry, will be a pilot project to drive the development of the city around the new airport east of Chengdu. Upon winning this competition, the practices will develop the first phase of the overall masterplan, which will include an International Educational Park in the west, and a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the southeast led by GMP.
“With this project, we hope to provide an alternative to the typical masterplan, which is based on the traditional car-oriented road network,” says OMA Partner Chris van Duijn. “We intend to create a design rooted in the geography of the site. We hope that connection between architecture and landscape will result in a dynamic environment for education that will inspire innovative ideas.”
Located on a site characterised by green hills, the 460,000-square-metre International Education Park will include education program for multiple universities, as well as dormitories, public program, national laboratories and innovation offices. The masterplan and the buildings will follow the site’s topography and spatial structure. The buildings will feature landscaped terraces and become an extension of the natural landform of the site.
The center of the campus will be formed by a valley, and include a landmark complex building. The valley will connect the International Education Park to the Futian metro station and the Aviation College to the northwest. The 80,000-square-metre building will form the heart of the education life and include a university library, student center, auditoriums, laboratories and offices.
“Inspired by the Lin Pan villages in Chengdu—traditional rural settlements that practice small scale farming and deploy ancient irrigation systems—the masterplan will be divided into six clusters, each highlighting a specific architectural typology defined by its program, as well as its relationship with the topography and local water systems,” explains Chris van Dujin. These zones include: the living cluster, the university cluster, the laboratory cluster, the market cluster, the public cluster, and the government cluster.
“All the clusters will be car free, with a scale to ensure that all places within can be reached within ten minutes,” continues van Dujin. “They will be connected with the train station and surrounding urban developments through a smart mobility network for automated vehicles. Defined by clusters integrating architecture and landscape, the masterplan will result in a dynamic environment that will inspire innovative ideas.”