Danish firm Henning Larsen, along with two Chinese firms, has won the international competition to design the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City in Houhai. Selected from 15 participants, the team will collaborate on the 5.5 million square meter district that is touted as being the future of Shenzhen’s modern development.
Henning Larsen envisioned a masterplan that “shifts paradigms of Chinese urban planning and sets the standard for a green, sustainable and livable city of the future,” according to an official statement.
The firm’s design aims to create a pedestrian urban realm where cars are relegated to an extensive underground network of highways, roads and parking. In lieu of the massive shopping malls traditionally sitting beneath the tall buildings, Henning Larsenproposes a porous urban fabric composed of smaller buildings sitting in between the towers. At eye level, this urban typology offers a human scale with narrow alleys and small piazzas.
Large-scale art installations seek to attract attention from afar, while the seafront will house larger cultural venues for performing arts and exhibitions. Furthermore, an ambitious plan to impose public and cultural venues at the pinnacle of the tallest towers will create a ‘skyline of art’ — defining the overall image of the entire district.