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Supporting Information Booklet

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GLOBAL SCHINDLER AWARD 2015

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_ MARINA GEORGATI _ CHRISTINA GIANNAROU _ AGLAIA LAMPROPOULOU


Supporting Information Booklet


Supporting Information Booklet

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(verb) to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health to free from evil; cleance; purify


Supporting Information Booklet


Supporting Information Booklet

landscape | cityscape In Chinese art and tradition landscape is perceived as a dipole: mountain and water, solid and liquid come together and co-create an organic whole. This is depicted in imaginary, idealized landscape paintings conveying the rhythm of nature, as opposed to the failure of human order that led the wise and the virtuous to seek sanctuary within the natural world. According to Taoism and Confucianism one must have faith in Nature’s power, as it uplifts and nourishes the spirit and purifies the soul. Urban features co-existed in harmony with nature in ancient cities and these beliefs are still deeply rooted in Chinese culture. However, the brutal way in which cityscape today imposes itself on the natural environment and the lack of bonds with the past may be the reason for the absence of a consistent urban character in contemporary Chinese cities. Chinese people try to accommodate to new urban standards, but may not feel at ease in a city cut out of its environment… Apart from viewing landscape and cityscape as two contrasting elements in today’s world, one would be amazed to discover the similarities in their structure and behavior. As Junya Ishigami states in his book “Another scale of architecture”: “Imagine all the world’s mountains assembled in one place: the result would be akin to a huge metropolis, with giant skyscrapers jostling for space. If we think of architecture on a montane scale, then a city like this would likely resemble

a mountain range.”

shenzhen


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structure

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city as a resource The concept of designing the city as a resource is open to different interpretations. One would be to approach the city based on natural laws. A city uses what it needs and disposes of what’s no longer profitable. But in nature nothing is regarded as waste. In other words, the waste of one is useful to another and this simple but brilliant principle keeps the world running. It’s the key to sustainability and continuous flow of material and energy. If a city identified its impending waste, in the sense of the unwanted leftovers of structures or uses, before they occurred, it would be able to transform them in time and re-integrate them in its dynamic. Besides, social pathologies occur when structures or uses fail to adjust rapidly enough and end up being detrimental to the city’s economic and social coherence. The unprecedented growth pace in Shenzhen imposes an extremely short life circle on structures and uses and an extremely rapid rise of new leftovers. Predicting the next left-over and incorporating this prediction in urban design transforms the city into a resource of new uses, levels and interactions. It reuses, reforms and evolves infinitely. By introducing diverse uses on new city levels, leftovers are stimulated to adjust, thus enhancing the impact of a designed change. Productive interactions occur and the city makes the most of both material and human resources.

leftover

remaining,residue,excess,unused,unwanted

mobility

timewise Mobility is a term that can be applied in various contexts. Interesting enough, if we examine urban change under the lens of mobility, not as in mobility infrastructure but as the ability to be moved freely and easily, mixed-use city takes on a whole new meaning. In other words, if we refer to mixed-use not only in space but in time as well, and try to predict and determine the succession of prevailing uses, we can identify the ones that need boosting and the ones that must be “retired” from a specific area. As the city changes and adapts to new conditions, so does the use of land and buildings. New levels of city life, both higher and lower than ground level, and their connection with the previous ones is a matter of both use and mobility. Function determines flow and vice versa. Strategically placing uses on new public levels can stimulate a flow of people who will activate the new level, while a new flow of people may nourish a use and establish it. But most importantly, a multi-level city time wise is one that creates new active levels, or transforms older ones, and interweaves them with the older structures so as to revive them.

mixed-use

multi-level


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identifing the leftover

PRD

u r b a n s p rawl

com p a c t c i t y

urban development

expansion of railway infrastructure

_ Two western-style centers of the tertiary sector (Hong Kong, Macau) _Two Chinese mega-cities in the stage of tertiarization (Shenzhen, Guangzhou) _A group of cities where the secondary sector still outweighs the tertiary (Foshan, Zongshan, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou) _Some rural areas where primary sector is dominant

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economic sectors

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z h o n g s h a n s h e n z h e n

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bridging the PRD


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shenzhen

n e w “c e n t r a l i t y” B a o’ a n

Qianhai Luohu Nanshan

Futian

“h i s t o r i c“ c e n t e r

urban centralities 0 km

f r e i g h t

PRD

to /from

shift in railway importance

p a s s e n ge r s

to /from

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shift in railway importance

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old SEZ

Hong K o ng

shift in e c o n om y transition to service economy


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storyline a potential chain of events

1st leftover WAREHOUSES

1st use to boost

commerce service

2nd leftover DORMITORIES

2nd use to boost

residence


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rd leftover URBAN VILLAGES

3rd use to boost

facilities green space

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z-axis


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- vertically organised neighbourhood -

- artificial landscape -

- multi layer urban mobility -


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approach

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towers mixed-use blocks in z-axis, new structures The towers built at each stage can be viewed as blocks in z-axis, as they combine a diversity of uses and public spaces. Every time a different use is boosted as the prevailing use of the towers built, so as to trigger its rise in the area of intervention. Public space scattered vertically dares the common perception of a public ground level and reconnects higher city levels with the social interaction of public life. Slender proportions are difficult to be achieved when height increases, resulting in extremely high buildings with extremely vast plans, where one is unable to fully perceive the urban environment. On the other hand, homogeneous glass façades don’t give a clue as to what kind of use or space may lie behind. However, based on the groundbreaking progress of construction technology, one can bet that, as time goes by, buildings higher than today but substantially narrower will be possible. Floors will gradually consist of fewer spaces, thus regaining the aforementioned two-way perception. The desirable introversion and filtered view of a floor of residence will be achievable, while the extroversion and transparency of a public space will be more highlighted.

lanes artificial landscape in z-axis, new mobility The “lanes” envisioned combine green spaces with new city flows in z-axis. Simulating hilly slopes, they offer open public spaces on multiple heights and they connect city structures in a non-linear way. This leads to a more rhythmical and natural way of mobility and as they interweave with the natural hills of SQ a closer link with landscape is achieved. As time goes by, slopes become more intense to reach greater heights and correspond to a more complex multi-level urban environment. New means of transport or mobility will overcome today’s practical restraints, thus allowing us to move naturally on more intense slopes within cities. In this way, high speed mobility will expand beyond the horizontal or vertical level and will adapt to nonlinear geometries, offering new qualities of urban space.


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A metro station can be recognized as a force that “mobilizes� an area by releasing a new stream of people. It strengthens its accessibility and helps devitalizing the dominant car-based network. The construction of new metro stations in SQ area, part of the new expansion of Shenzhen's metro network, will affect positively both Sungang and Qingshuihe. A central area is defined by three conceivable lines connecting the three metro stations, planned and existing ones. The first part of the intervention takes place in this defined area, starting the general gesture of the proposal, activating this central part of SQ. A lane lowers into the ground level receiving the flow from the underground metro station and reaches it again directing this flow into the central part of SQ. The space between the metro level and the city level takes on a commercial character like the western subway parks but with a more outward approach, as it lies on both sides of the ascending lane. Among this gradual ascending are the first high-rise towers of the intervention. These mixed-use towers are planned to receive mostly commercial and service uses collaborating with the underground and ground level, thus activating a multi-level commerce and service centrality in SQ. This whole intervention acts drastically on its surroundings which are constituted by warehouses, the first leftovers of the SQ area. New city flows are included in the intervention and are placed above the lane connecting different tower levels with each other and reaching the rooftops of the warehouses, encouraging the on-going shift in use. In this way, the warehouses that have already showed signs of changing character are encouraged to reach the defined activated levels.

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metro network activated encircling ground level direction of flow commerce-service boost

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After the first intervention is completed, there are two centralities of commerce and service with both local and supralocal character affecting their surroundings, activating new levels of life and flow. The next step involves the recognition of artificial and natural boundaries (Ningang St and the two hills) between these two centralities and even further between Sungang and Qingshuihe areas. These hills still stand in SQ due to the high voltage zone located above them. However, this is planned to be removed in the near future, posing a huge threat to these reminders of natural landscape in Shenzhen. Therefore, in this second step of the approach, the intervention reaches the hills in order to achieve an integration of nature into the new cityscape. Mixed-use towers are placed in areas of new leftovers, in other words the state-owned dormitories encircling the hills, and are designed to receive a substantial number of residencies due to the upcoming population growth and increase in demand. These residencies mixed with common and public spaces are diffused vertically among a lane connecting them with different levels of public life including ground level and the hill. Public vertical mobility makes it accessible from the ground level, which is also revitalized by this green penetrated “rooftop�, which creates an alternative urban environment with its own microclimate. This lane starts its course from ground level, surpasses the large-scale street of Ningang, interacts with the planned towers and reaches the hill with a gradual ascending. This whole intervention motivates the leftover of dormitories to upgrade and transform into a mixed-use residence area. If one takes into account the great pressure placed already on them by developers, the expected high-rise buildings that will take their place will reach the new levels introduced by the proposed structure. They will regard the hills as naturally made multi-level green spaces interconnected with urban flows.

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new levels introduced surpassing boundaries residence boost

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The third part of the approach is based on a comparison between two repetitive typologies found in Shenzhen, one natural and one artificial, hills and urban villages. One can relate the densification of contour lines forming the hills to the densification of urban blocks consisting an urban village, a group which differentiates itself from the rest of the city. Moreover, on an urban village’s section one can identify that its skyline is formed without any order, resembling the crests of a mountain, a rhythmical line made by nature itself forming the landscape. Inspired by this conceivable shape, the lanes of the third intervention are woven rhythmically forming peaks and valleys like a hill itself but also interacting with the towers. The latter with slenderer proportions and closer to each other than in previous steps form an alternative high-density core and act as an organic whole. Now, the mixed-use towers are designed to include even more public spaces and facilities providing higher quality of living. The lanes, accessible with vertical public mobility and connected to multiple city levels, form an artificial landscape, which creates a microclimate and provides diverse urban spaces of social interaction. Based on the predictions of the above-mentioned storyline, the urban village may decay as a built structure but should not fail as a social one. It has a uniquely strong community character, which is extremely difficult to withstand within a contemporary megacity. It really is the kind of self-sufficient, vivid high-density living we are looking for and because of its sprawl as a typology its re-invention may be the key to Shenzhen’s urban identity. As a result, in this step its buildings may be torn down but the intense social spirit is intended to be maintained. However, the main difference is that, while the urban village holds its socializing processes confined within its "walls", the "urban hill" of this approach is acting as an extrovert social center offering green spaces, facilities and spaces of community life among its ridges.

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new landscape shaped

alternative high-density core spaces of social interaction renventing urban viillage

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When will these steps be realized?

Why are time predictions missing?

What will the next leftover be? If one considered a common timeline for the western world, China’s timeline would be quite divergent. Having a totally different past and experiencing an unprecedented growth pace nowadays, there are no common standards to be applied to predict the outcome of this phenomenal urbanization. Taking into account the infinite connections and inter-dependencies of a globalised economy, in which China is now a crucial catalyst, solid assumptions about the next chain of events would be at least naive, if not detrimental to the flexibility of urban design. The approach described above attempted to follow a hypothetical scenario, as objectively narrated as possible, based on analysts’ predictions and common society mechanisms. However, there are no time limits. The first step may take place now as the first leftover has already been determined based on the analysis, but the next steps will be put into effect if and only if the next leftover rises. Dormitories and urban villages will be triggered to change only when society itself shows signs of dismissing them. The city will continue to dismiss leftovers, as it moves on to next economic sectors after the completion of the proposed hill-ing over‌ By the time the last step is realized, odds are the first intervention will have reached the completion of its life-circle and will be in dire need of re-assessment. Will this be the next leftover? Will another one rise? Whatever the answer may be, one thing is for certain. If Shenzhen defines the next leftover, adapts it to the new status quo and re-designs its urban space in a flexible way, it will be able to make the most of its resources and thrive in a sustainable way.

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DESIGNED IN 2015

HILLing over  

An urban vision for an Instant city, Shenzhen, China | Participation in Global Schindler Award 2015, Access to Urbanity: Designing the City...

HILLing over  

An urban vision for an Instant city, Shenzhen, China | Participation in Global Schindler Award 2015, Access to Urbanity: Designing the City...

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