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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Baietan Master Plan Awarded
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 |

The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects has recently honored Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Baietan Master Plan with a 2011 Merit Award for Urban Design.

Baietan Master Plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

Click above image to view slideshow
Baietan Master Plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

The Baietan Master Plan addresses a 35-square kilometer portion of the Southern Chinese Pearl River Delta that stretches between the city of Guangzhou, with its 10.3 million inhabitants, and city of Foshan, a smaller city of 5.4 million people. Growth in the Delta region has allowed the two cities to begin to merge into one mega region.

Led by SOM Planning Director Ellen Lou, the design team created a distinct, diverse, and sustainable neighborhood identity that respected its waterfront location and the intrinsic qualities of local “Lingnan” culture.

Over 10 million square meters of mixed-use development will be located within walking distance of Baietan’s subway stations. (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

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Over 10 million square meters of mixed-use development will be located within walking distance of Baietan’s subway stations. (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

The Plan differentiated itself through its unprecedented level of detail, specifying the dimensions for attributes of individual parcels, including lighting, street furniture, taxi drop-offs, crosswalks, and pedestrian bridges. Another important differentiator of the Plan involved a strategy for maintaining the region’s “urban villages” — an important contributor to the Delta’s social fabric.

Image: SOM | © Crystal CG

Click above image to view slideshow
Image: SOM | © Crystal CG

In the summer of 2010, the City Government of Guangzhou accepted the Baietan Master Plan. SOM’s Plan will guide ongoing implementation of the project over the next several years.

The design team is honored to have had the opportunity to inform this development while sensitively addressing the issues of urbanization that characterize today’s China.

The Baietan Master Plan envisions a sustainability-integrated city with over 740,000 residents and 660,000 employees situated on the banks of the Pearl River in Central Guangzhou, China. (Image: SOM | © Gerald Ratto)

Click above image to view slideshow
The Baietan Master Plan envisions a sustainability-integrated city with over 740,000 residents and 660,000 employees situated on the banks of the Pearl River in Central Guangzhou, China. (Image: SOM | © Gerald Ratto)

The interdisciplinary SOM team included Landscape Architect Hargreaves Associates, Transportation Planner CHS Consulting, Economic Consultant CBRE, Sustainability Infrastructure Consultant Sherwood Design Engineers, Local Planning Consultant Guangzhou UPDS (Urban Planning Design Studio), and Brownfield Consultant ICF Jones & Stokes.

Baietan: The Heart of Guang-Fo. (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

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Baietan: The Heart of Guang-Fo. (Image: SOM | © Crystal CG)

See more diagrams in the image gallery below. All images courtesy of SOM.

The Pearl River Waterfront Promenade serves as the over-arching organizer that unifies the entire district. (SOM | © Hargreaves Associates) Future generations will be protected from the threat of annual flooding and sea level rise. (© SOM) Baietan creates parks and open space supporting a matrix of habitats, recreation, and flood detention. (SOM | © Hargreaves Associates) Sustainable design standards set targets for economic development, quality of life, and environmental responsibility for the area. (© SOM)


Comments:
Noah Friedman
United States
Thursday, May 26, 2011
This is one of the most inspiring projects I have seen in a long time!!!
Finally some top design firms are getting it right:
Real sustainability (love the strategies for addressing flooding)
Interdisciplinary
Fine grain
and it is urban design not wacko, large scale architecture.
Good job SOM

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