For a tech hub, a futuristic design might seem obvious. Aedas, however, has recently designed an innovation park in Zhuhai inspired by the local mountains and seas. When completed in 2018, the Zhuhai Hengqin International Hi-tech Innovation Park will accommodate a complex of buildings that will evoke the Lingnan landscape of Southern China. Sylvia Chan writes.
Earlier this year, Aedas won a competition to design the innovation park located in the west of Hengqin island, a new free trade zone in Zhuhai. With a gross floor area of 34,400 square metres, the master plan will accommodate offices for the innovative industry, including spaces for research and design, conference and training centres, exhibition areas, and a shared service centre. Retail, residential, and government public service programs will also be included in the master plan. “The plan is designed to be open. All functions are located [with the podium towers] around a central park, which will become an internal public space,” says Kevin Wang, Executive Director at Aedas responsible for the project. With security assured, the park will be open to the public. “This is a crucial factor that differentiates this project from other technology parks,” he says, “We would say the Park is open, energetic, relax and inclusive.”
A sunken plaza will be located at the central park, and will provide natural lighting and vertical transportation to the underground car parks. Water features will be incorporated to make the relatively high-density environment more pleasant, according to Wang. “Both smart and sustainable design play an important role in the project. We also work closely with experts in green design,” Wang says. He adds that the central park will also enhance ventilation within the master plan, and provide outdoor spaces for innovative project showcase and other events.
The master plan is situated along the view corridor between the lower Hengqin Mountain and the west of Modaomen Waterway. Wang says that for the project, the design team has studied the skyline and views from the towers, maximising the exposure of the innovation park to the Lingnan landscape.
The podium towers and the landscape design at the innovation park have been inspired by the mountains and seas of Hengqing. With square or rectangular cores, the towers will have curvy edges alluding to the natural landscape elements in the region. “The curvy facades will project a fresh, young and energetic feel,” Wang says. Covered walkways on the ground floor will connect the different towers on the master plan, while connections will also be provided on the second and third floors. The master plan is connected to its neighbouring context through ground transportation.
The master plan has been designed to accommodate flexibility in response to future changes in the innovation industry. Aedas has also proposed to include low-rise buildings with Chinese features on site, as well as roof gardens on the podium towers. These elements of the master plan are awaiting approval, and will add to the Lingnan references in the innovation park.
Targeting startups and entrepreneurs in the innovation industry, the Zhuhai Hengqin International Hi-tech Innovation Park will be a landscape of openness for creativity.