Foster + Partners unveils design for Hangzhou centre around "leafy spine"


Architecture studio Foster + Partners has revealed a masterplan for an urban centre near Hangzhou in China, which will be based around a skyscraper-flanked spine.

Based in Yuhang, one of 10 urban districts in Hangzhou, the masterplan will be laid out around a central axis that the studio described as a “leafy spine”. It will be located alongside the “infinity loop” skyscraper being designed by Danish studio BIG for OPPO.

Buildings by Foster + Partners in Hanghzou
Transportation options will include autonomous pods

“The masterplan is organised around a 2.5-kilometre central axis that runs the full length of the site, from north to south,” Foster + Partners head of urban design Bruno Moser said.

“The axis intersects with different bodies of water, generating five distinctive zones with unique characteristics. Each zone celebrates the city’s relationship with water in its various forms, from streams and lakes to canals and wetlands.”

View of Yuhang province plan
The masterplan incorporates bodies of water

The central axis will be flanked by towers and terminate in a series of pavilions extending above a lake.

The masterplan also includes cultural venues such as galleries, an exhibition hall and a public library, which will be located along the axis. Renders also show a new stadium.

The studio aimed to create a “busy urban centre with a dynamic skyline” by increasing the building density around public transport hubs and stepping up the size of buildings towards the central axis.

Transport solutions for the city will include shared micromobility, autonomous pods, shuttles, and water transport options as well as more traditional infrastructure.

Skyline in Hangzhou masterplan
It will have a “dynamic skyline”

The Hangzhou centre will also comprise residential buildings as well as offices, sports facilities, nurseries and a sports centre.

According to the studio, the masterplan is low-carbon and will include sustainable strategies such as rainwater reuse and passive massive.

Images of Yuhang district by Foster + Partners
It will be located in Hangzhou’s Yuhang district

“We are delighted to have won the competition to design a new centre for Hangzhou, a beautiful city with nature at its heart,” Foster + Partners head of studio Gerard Evenden said.

“Our design stemmed from extensive public consultation – and is all about developing a sustainable new urban quarter, which establishes new connections with nature and makes it a part of people’s everyday lives,” he added.

Foster + Partner also recently revealed that it is creating the post-earthquake masterplan for Hatay in Turkey together with Danish studio BIG.

In 2022, the studio unveiled its first masterplan in Vietnam, a design for a new city in Ho Chi Minh City.

The images are courtesy of Foster + Partners.



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