19 Dec 2019 - 15 Mar 2020
10:00 - 22:00
The Bay Avenue is an urban infrastructure that, if left as is, will bisect the new Houhai central district into disconnected quadrants. Our approach envisioned the route as a public realm, forming an interconnected spine that not only unites the city with its waterfront, but also stiches the new financial and cultural districts into a holistic urban landscape, with an intention to blur the boundary between architecture, landscape and urban design.
Working in tandem with China Resources, architects WilkinsonEyre and landscape designers Morphis have teamed up to apply our worldwide experience in urban regeneration to this vital missing piece of the city fabric. We see the Bay Avenue as a community link to be interwoven into the city’s green infrastructure network. Through the concept ‘City-Culture-Bay’, a sequence of destinations along the scheme’s one-kilometre route is formed. These key destinations include various civic and experiential components that encourages healthy and sustainable living in the emerging social fabric.
Our design placed emphasis on creating seamless integrations on a human-scale in elevated walkways and lively streetscapes. The public realm will be framed by high-quality commercial and cultural buildings, with retail incorporated into two sub-ground levels. As the Bay Avenue intertwines the districts together, its design will change in response to the context and user-needs. Greenery and paths gradually softening from the straight and angular geometry of the city to the curved and flowing nature of the Bay-side parks.
City – The Urban Connection The Urban Connection is an exchange node consisting of “The Interchange”- a transportation hub linking to the wider urbanscape; “The Living Room”- a sunken amphitheatre equipped with a large digital broadcasting screen that acts as a connection to sub ground levels; “The Platform Park”- an area of calm and recollection at the centre of hustle and bustle; and “The Waterway”- a waterfront landscape feature that forms part of the area’s wider passive water purification network and helps improve water quality and bio-diversity.
Culture – The Festival Valley
The Cultural Loop forms the main interchange between the new Commercial district and the new Cultural quarter. The terracing of the Cultural buildings provides landing points for the elevated walkway creating a greater sense of significance for this central space. The terracing continues at ground level creating lightwells to the underground level and forming semi-private plazas in the commercial district.
Bay – The Bay Gardens
Nearing the Bay, the “Skywalk” acts as a transitional space between Festival Valley and the Bay Gardens. As buildings terraces down, visitors leave the city behind and connects with nature. Significant tree planting will create shaded pathways at grade and give users on the elevated walkway the sense of walking through the canopies. Extensive views of the sky will be complemented by perforated canopies that create dappled naturalistic light. Finally, the various levels of circulation merge and flow into the Bay Square.
The key elements in the 6.3-hectare masterplan helps create deep integration and co-dependency, this ensures that urban development and nature grows hand-in-hand, allowing the city to breathe and adapt to future needs, unifying the city with its waterfront once again.