OMA & GMP win Chengdu Science City contest

11 February 2021





Masterplan for innovation campus combines urban & rural qualities

OMA and GMP have won the Chengdu Future Science and Technology City Masterplan and Design Competition in China, which will provide a campus for the city’s growing innovation industry. The 4.6-square-kilometre masterplan has been conceived as a pilot project to drive the development of the city around a new airport east of Chengdu.

This project designers were driven by the question: how can a masterplan for the innovation industry be innovative in itself? In the design process, they sought to avoid a generic urban planning model, which may be driven by fitting around road networks or the maximisation of gross floor area. Instead, the programme was defined by the existing topography, greenery, and water systems, together with the urban typologies on site. The aim was to create a new type of masterplan in China that combines urban and rural qualities.

Located on a site characterised by green hills, a 460,000 sqm International Education Park will include programming for multiple universities, as well as dormitories, public areas, national laboratories and innovation offices. The plan will follow the site’s spatial structure, while the buildings will feature landscaped terraces that will become an extension of the surrounding natural landforms. The centre of the campus will be formed by a valley, connecting the International Education Park to the Futian metro station and the Aviation College to the northwest.

OMA partner Chris van Duijn stated: “With this project, we hope to provide an alternative to the typical masterplan, which is based on the traditional car-oriented road network. 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.”

OMA and GMP will now develop the first phase of the overall masterplan, which will include the International Educational Park in the west led by OMA, and a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the southeast led by GMP.

 Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Head of Research

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