Daniel Flahiff

China's Miyi Tower Project Purifies Polluted River

by , 01/21/09

miyi tower, sichuan china miyi tower, studio shift, sustainable design, green architecture, water reclamation, green building

Riding the wave of new development in China, Studio SHIFT recently won a competition to design a fantastic new landmark in Miyi County. Miyi Tower will sit on the edge of the Anning river as a symbol of the new face of Sichuan provence. The tower’s most striking feature is its whimsical latticework skin, which suffuses the structure with daylight and “evokes the shimmering surface of the river below.” This connection is reinforced by the project’s goal of filtering and transforming the polluted Anning river into a lush landscape of wetlands, lakes, leisure and agricultural areas.


miyi tower, sichuan china miyi tower, studio shift, sustainable design, green architecture, water reclamation, green building

Los Angeles based Studio SHIFT and SWA Group were selected to create a master plan for the developing area of New South Town in Sichuan Provence. The northern section will include a new high-density residential and cultural hub devoted to regional arts while the southern section will transform the highly-polluted Anning river into a viable ecosystem. The design will utilize natural and mechanical filtration to turn what was once an environmental liability into an a significant community and cultural asset.

Bridging these two new developments, the Miyi Tower will rise from the southern end of a kilometer-long promenade consisting of, “a series of parks and public spaces designed by SWA Group to highlight accessibility to the river. [The promenade] then tapers between rising paths which form the amphitheater at the tower’s base. The paths converge and then continue as a bridge across the river and as an overlook affording views of reclaimed wetlands and the lake beyond.” Taking advantage of the area’s temperate location, the new tower will alternate floors that are open-to-the-elements and enclosed, providing unique views of the area on each level.

miyi tower, sichuan china miyi tower, studio shift, sustainable design, green architecture, water reclamation, green building

The Miyi Tower itself will be a state-of-the-art community space providing a multitude of educational, entertainment and community programs aimed at promoting the region’s heritage and natural amenities. Ambitiously redefining the term multi-use, the tower will feature “an auditorium, exhibition spaces and restaurants featuring local cuisine on the interior while open-air floors are used as event spaces, gardens and an observation deck. The pairs of lower and upper enclosed spaces are joined by structures which act as light monitors. These light monitors, of which there is a third at the highest level, are aligned to take advantage of different lighting conditions throughout the day. The tower is sheathed in a very porous yet continuous skin that gives the various programs their unified form. As porous building skins are often treated as opaque modules with subtracted holes (i.e. perforated skins) Studio SHIFT deliberately created the inverse.

Congratulations to Studio SHIFT and SWA and all involved with this terrific project.

+ Studio Shift

Via Dezeen

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