Shenzhen Bay Tech-Eco Park, Shenzhen, China
CRJA-IBI Group

Shenzhen embodies the architecture, pace, and promise of a modern commercial city. Located in southern China’s Guangdon Province, it connects Hong Kong to the mainland and serves as a bridge between new and old, modern and historic.

Shenzhen is also one of China’s first Special Economic Zones, a dedicated area of industrial and economic investment. The prosperity of the region is reflected in its buildings and neighborhoods, but also represents a disconnect from the natural landscape and community that had been so central to the city’s identity.

Its central role, both in geography and economics, puts a spotlight on the city. CRJA-IBI Group, in collaboration with BLY Landscape Architects, was selected to bridge industry with nature, while expanding the city’s commitment to future technologies in the new Shenzhenwan Technology and Ecology Park—a showcase of what modern China can be.

The goal of Shenzhen Bay Tech-Eco Park is to create civic spaces that are meaningful, memorable, and timeless. The project comprises five distinct zones—a Waterfall Gateway, which will serve as the “front door” to the development; a Cloud Terrace which will create dining and entertainment zones; a Mountain Terrace, which will provide areas for quiet reflection and active recreation; a Riverdeck Promenade, which will serve as the primary circulation system unifying the various districts; and Landscape as Idea, which will offer a series of destination social spaces that offer a diverse array of outdoor activities.

Each zone is inspired by the natural topology of the landscape. Located near the Tropic of Cancer, a defining feature of the city is water, which inspired the overall concepts of fluidity and connectivity throughout the design.

The unique sensory environments in these neighborhoods are informed by the physically distinct typologies that water creates throughout its life cycle on the landscape. The design establishes an overall community identity through a series of social gathering points that cater to the diverse needs of the people in the development. The design approach also capitalizes on other existing physical features of the landscape, including coastlines, mountains, and parks to further integrate the modern into the natural.

A key component of the project is to showcase Shenzhen’s commitment to new technologies by seamlessly integrating natural landscapes within an established architectural framework to create a sustainable urban habitat. The public realm incorporated environmental technologies to create an infrastructure for passive cooling, rainwater and greywater reuse, stormwater management gardens, native plantings, and wind harvesting.

Shenzhen Tech-Eco Park also spans multiple building levels so the design concept approached the project with the idea of weaving together a unified landscape experience with a series of dramatic moments that encourage pedestrians to move through the space. The street level environments, main podium, and roof landscapes were designed to energize these urban communities by creating complementary civic spaces that change how the community interacts with space, nature and each other.

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