A Chinese airline has launched a design competition for a very special (and ambitious) eco-island located in Haikou Bay, Hainan. Ten top architectural firms from different countries are vying for the chance to design the master plan and buildings for the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, which is envisioned as a tourist destination with hotels and residences, attractions, and space for two cruise ships to dock.

china, Hainan. South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, Hainan Airlines Group, Vicente Guallart, Guallart architects, foster + partners, foster and partners, morphosis architects, unstudio

China Building Center is organizing the international design competition for Hainan Airlines Group, and it has tapped Vicente Guallart, former chief architect of Barcelona and director of Guallart Architects, to develop a strategic vision for the 250-hectare artificial island. The island, which has already been created, could be the first of many off China’s coast, as studies are underway to evaluate the region for other potential man made islands. The primary function of South Sea Pearl Eco-Island will be tourist-oriented, and other islands located in the province of Hainan may follow suit. The main island, population nine million, was declared as an independent province in 1988 specifically to enhance tourism in the region.

Related: 6 amazing eco-island resorts that combine luxury and sustainable innovation

china, Hainan. South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, Hainan Airlines Group, Vicente Guallart, Guallart architects, foster + partners, foster and partners, morphosis architects, unstudio

Ten architectural firms will submit proposals in the competition: Foster + Partners (UK), Morphosis Architects (US), Office of Architecture in Barcelona Carlos Ferrater Partnership (Spain), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US), IROJE Architects & Planners (South Korea), UNStudio (The Netherlands), KuiperCompagnons (The Netherlands), The Jerde Partnership Inc. (US), CCDI (China), and Boston International Design Group, LLC (China). The organizers will select a winner at the end of this month, and construction is expected to begin in 2017 and take ten years to complete.

Via ArchDaily

Images via GAO Wenzhonglow and Guallart Architects