China gets a bad rap for their booming coal burning industry, but new models for green development could help steer their cities toward a more sustainable track. One example is the Binhai Eco City Master Plan, a case study conceived by Holm Architecture Office (HAO) and AI that explores the possibility of a completely green development. The project was selected as a finalist in the 2014 WAF Awards and covers an area of 49.2 acres outside Tianjin in Northern China.
The Binhai Eco City Master Plan is a Sino-Singaporean project created with the support of both governments. Bordered by a planned green belt to the north, the mixed-use plan comprises a new Central Business District (CBD) and five cultural buildings that house a variety of spaces such as education centers and sports facilities. The cultural buildings are set on dedicated plateaus that jut out to the northern green space. A green spine and tramway connects the CBD to the cultural buildings.
Envisioned as a “green pedestrian oasis,” the Eco City sits atop a raised plateau and allocates traffic and service to the lower level. All the buildings are designed with a combination of energy-efficient features and renewable energy sources to reach near net-zero impact. The ecologically rich landscape contains a diversity of landscape types, ranging from flowering meadows to wetlands. The landscape is designed to collect and filter stormwater runoff.
“The proposed ‘finger plan’ mimics an open, outstretched, hand, creating an environment that directly integrates nature and living,” write HAO. “This design allows the green areas to slide in-between each finger, inviting direct interaction throughout the day and night and creates five islands that house the cultural buildings. The direct access to the green surroundings makes the Eco City Master Plan distinctive and affords its future inhabitants a vibrant and healthy place to live, work and play.”
Images via Holm Architecture Office