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Urban Barriers As City Connectors

When appointed by the Shenzhen Metro Group to develop a master plan for the Shenzhen Route 6 Chang Zhen Station, Woods Bagot Hong Kong conceived a plan to unite the massive site to enliven the experience of city transits.

Woods Bagot


BY Janice Seow

July 7th, 2016


All renderings courtesy of Woods Bagot

“Cities have a complicated relationship with infrastructure,” says Charlie Chen, an associate at Woods Bagot Hong Kong, who was appointed by the Shenzhen Metro Group to develop a master plan for the Shenzhen Route 6 Chang Zhen Station, in tandem with the architectural concept of the depot and surrounding complex.

Chen points out that while connectivity is vital in urban cities, the complex infrastructure of transport hubs tends to pose a threat to livability. For instance, metro tracks often impose a detrimental divide between the various sites of a city. “At the very point where the interaction between our site and the metro tracks are taking place, our site is divided,” Chen elaborates.

Woods Bagot

The team sought to break down urban barriers and reposition the transport infrastructure with engaging public spaces that reconsider the experience of people in transit. Naturally, a Transit-oriented Development (TOD) approach was employed for the site, which spans 107 hectares. A TOD comprises of mixed-use sites designed to enhance the access and experience of commuters transiting across the various modes of public transport.

The Urban Design team at Woods Bagot will focus on the development of commercial businesses, within and around the different transportation hubs. According to Chen, the destination in Shenzhen will mark the first integrated lifestyle community with a transit-oriented presence in the Guang Ming District.

Woods Bagot

What has divided the site will become its strongest connector in our design,” he adds. Woods Bagot introduced horizontal and vertical connections to mediate between ground levels, public spaces and a retail plaza, enabling smooth transits. The connectors seem to be bear structures defined by geometric tessellations and angled lines, softening the overall site and juxtaposing the skyscrapers.  Navigation links are formed through connections, signs, landmarks and bridges.

Woods Bagot

The depot will be brought under a private podium to generate opportunities for the land above, which is deemed as an important arena that will remain as open as possible to the public to foster vibrant communities. The concourse will be multifunctional, with relaxing spaces leading up to the metro station.

woods bagot

Natural elements will also be integrated to soften the experience of the site, which is linked to the river that is a part of the Guang Ming Green Belt.

Woods Bagot
woodsbagot.com