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SOM Designs Eco-Urban Community in Danang, Vietnam
Posted: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 |

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has recently been awarded the Master Plan commission for Golden Hills, an Eco-Urban Community in Danang, Vietnam. SOM’s preliminary plan for a sustainable residential community at the edge of the city looks to set a new benchmark for ecologically-sensitive development in Vietnam. SOM is now working closely with the city planning authorities to finalize the project’s design and ensure its delivery. This is SOM’s third recent project ‘win’ in the country and follows the firm’s recent successes of Green Tech City in Hanoi and FPT City also in Danang. 

Competition-winning Master Plan for the Golden Hills development in Danang, Vietnam by SOM (Image: SOM)

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Competition-winning Master Plan for the Golden Hills development in Danang, Vietnam by SOM (Image: SOM)

The plan has been commissioned by Trugnam Group, an up-and-coming Vietnamese company specializing in real-estate, construction, and hydro-electric power. The project site covers an area of 375 hectares along the Cu De River at the northern edge of the City of Danang. The Plan incorporates a wide range of uses organised into a series of distinct districts, including a series of residential neighborhoods, a Village Center, a Business District, and an Education, Sports and Leisure District.

Located at the mouth of the river, the plan addresses the site’s critical flood risk environment through a series of forward-looking storm water strategies which preserve existing watercourses and the natural landscape character of the site. A series of new terraced levels will integrate development into the site and enhance both existing and future landscapes to ensure flood protection during various critical storm events, including 1 in 10-year, 1 in 100-year and 1 in 200-year storms. In addition to taking into account tidal flooding and sea level rise in the South China Sea, the plan further incorporates international best practices for on-site stormwater management. As a result, the plan will set a new standard for environmental planning in Vietnam.

Danang aerial view (Image: SOM)

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Danang aerial view (Image: SOM)

SOM’s Master Plan expands and reinforces the local green character of Danang. The vision establishes a new waterfront eco-park which will be designed to restore, protect and enhance the wildlife habitat along 2.7km of river frontage. This open space is extended into a wider park network of linear greenways for recreation and stormwater management. This park system assists in managing flood control, preventing rainwater runoff into surrounding areas, filtering and cleansing grey water and providing a source for irrigating future landscape areas. These greenways link each neighborhood directly to the revitalized riverfront. New public spaces are also provided at the heart of each neighborhood area, ensuring that residents and workers alike are all within a short 3-minute walk to these shaded outdoor spaces.

Danang aerial view (Image: SOM)

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Danang aerial view (Image: SOM)

The Master Plan further creates a new development vision for Danang based on its local cultural and urban heritage. The future community will have contrasting areas of lower and higher density residential neighborhoods. To the north and integrated within the sensitive riverfront setting, quiet residential neighborhoods feature meandering lanes and soft-edge waterways open and accessible for all. Towards the south and connected to the city, residential areas become more urban in density, articulated with landscaped avenues, tight city-like streets and urban greenways. 

View from the river (Image: SOM)

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View from the river (Image: SOM)

The plan also provides necessary community amenities to serve a future urban population in excess of 30,000 people. A complete eco-urban living environment will emerge on site, including a variety of housing types integrated with schools, kindergartens, healthcare clinics, a hospital, sports & leisure areas and other public facilities. A Village Center is created at the heart of the community, animated with local shops and cafes surrounding a civic piazza, and establishes a vibrant meeting place for this part of the city.

Playground (Image: SOM)

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Playground (Image: SOM)

The plan is also formed on key principles to reduce energy needs and carbon emissions by promoting best practices in mixed-use development in an emerging local context of luxury resorts and single-use residential communities. Instead, this Eco-Urban Community will promote a diverse living community with integrated local services accessed via sheltered and shaded walkable streets. 

Danang Park (Image: SOM)

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Danang Park (Image: SOM)

This eco-town is a significant addition to SOM's worldwide range of innovative and sustainable master plans and is one of four new large-scale plans being developed by SOM in Vietnam. This follows the firm’s Saigon South Master Plan in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam which was completed in the late 1990’s. The first major phases of development have recently been completed there, including the impressive new district of Phu My Hung. SOM’s legacy of large scale city planning in the region continues, including the Baietan Master Plan in central Guangzhou, China (previously on Bustler), the Binhai New Area CBD in Tianjin, China and the Beijing Central Business District (CBD) East Extension Master Plan.

River view (Image: SOM)

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River view (Image: SOM)

SOM’s City Design Practice has planned major projects throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia. These include the master plan for Canary Wharf in London, the National Plan for the Kingdom of Bahrain and the redevelopment strategy for the historic Eastern Harbor of Alexandria, Egypt. SOM says it has focused on cities as the places where the strongest forces for change are at work and where there is the greatest need to address issues of livability, function and growth.



Comments:
Hillel Schocken
Israel
Thursday, June 02, 2011
What a "Green Wash"!

Everything about the SOM Danang plan is contrary to what sustainable planning should be.

First and foremost, rather than occupying new open land sustainable planning must endeavor to densify existing urban fabric utilizing existing infrastructure.

Second, a crucial aspect of sustainable planning is high ratio of residents per open public space. The illustrated plan exposes an unnecessary abundance of open spaces.

Thirdly, separated neighborhoods are a recepy for suburban life based on the private car.

Nice words won't hide the fact that if this is ever built none of the rehtorics will work!

MOS
MARS
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Hillel,

You must have nerver been contact with a client...

He bought a piece of new land, and you want to build it in the city center huh?

The developer want to sell single detached house because of market preference its on the design brief i bet....

its the developer and the cultural pheonmenon, not SOM. Only "archtiects" in studio, sheltered from client and cost, are the potent one and think they can change the world blabla.....

P.S. i aint work for SOM, though they tried to recruit me.
P.S. 2. i dont know why i am spending time typing so much cos i got a site meeting to go and havent finish the shop drawing review....

shenyi
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I think it is a wonderful concept. It respects the current landscape features. I really like the relation between the community and the riverfront. The pictures seem to have a lot of open space because the shooting angle. It has a charming layering effect with futher highrise to the nearer low rise and condo houses. The decreasing density not only protect the great view of the high rise but also respect the nature near the river.

h. nguyen
Saturday, March 17, 2012
this is very difficult to grasp. this is vietnam, not a western city. the designs here has nothing to do with the culture. have you been to vietnam? especially in the city? its super dense and it works. this proposal, the western view, sprawling? come'on!

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