Shaanxi Xian New District Dev. Group
Commencement | Completion
To study, live, and shop in European grandeur
In collaboration with AULa and Inbo, we have designed an urban masterplan for an International Cultural Education district. We worked closely with the government of Xixian China, a city located in the mountainous Shanxi province. Their ambition was to create an educational center with the grandeur and atmosphere of a European city.
The university campus is a hub for interaction and exchange. It resembles a city center where student and public activities, as well as cultural events can take place and grow. In the core of the plan their are shops, restaurants and terraces situated across from the entrances of the university buildings. A central spine runs through this heart offering access to the parks and river banks. It also connects busy and lively areas and the educational facilities with one another.
Our concept is based on the integration of landscaped parks with campus life. A continuos north south access is formed along the banks of the Chengchuan river. This is where balance and relaxation from the city can be found. Along the more quite park bands are numerous east-west paths that serve as shortcuts for pedestrians and students. Flowing with the river, circulation paths and functions have been dignified with separate elevations. This enhances the sense of removal and independence of each space while maintaining the visual connections. The design has proved to be a strong platform to promote further development, in which we have been heavily involved. We have since designed a library, theater, and research center for the district.
The design includes and efficient traffic system in which cars have access to all zones without becoming a dominating force. In the neighborhoods and smaller divisions cars must share the roads with pedestrians and cyclists. The central spine and heart can be reached by car, bicycle, foot, or public transit. This makes crossing the river a special moment to enjoy the scenery at all speeds.
The plan is divided into three zones, each modeled after a European city. Along the waterfront we find Zone A modeled after Bologna, Italy. The architecture here is based on the classical concepts of rhythm and order. A wide boulevard provides space to stroll between buildings or gather with peers, enhanced by its connection to the water.
Across the Chengchuan is the campus park, modeled after the Dutch city of Amsterdam. The architecture is characterized by autonomous buildings nestled between greenery and the river bank. Here you can find the main university facilities and public spaces where the students and citizens can exchange ideas.
Bounding the campus park is Zone C modeled after Copenhagen, Denmark. A long plinth runs through its center providing the framework for a mainstreet. This zone is where the more busy commercial functions take place. The buildings are elevated to provide mix use shops and a more diverse urban street on ground level.