SHENZHEN, CHINA, 2016
Credits: Jie Gu, Ying Liu, Makoto Okazaki, Michael Sorkin, Urbanspace Planning & Architecture
The hyper-growth of Shenzhen has resulted in areas of extremely uneven development and rapid transformation, with dramatic shifts in economy, morphology, social life, and population. This intervention in the Baoan District attempts to add vitality and coherence to an area of intensely mixed use and population that is under extreme pressure. At present, a combination of new (often typically cookie-cutter) development, urban villages, fading industrial installations with associated workers housing, a failed exhibition center, and a variety of other conditions ranging from shiny to extreme funk characterize the place. Drawing on memories what had been a previously strong industry (and previous in Shenzhen can mean last week!) in the locale – oystering – we laid in a variety of sites, infrastructures, constructions, and green spaces to both knit the big area together and to give character and distinction to a variety of neighborhoods and conditions that were either established or incipient. Some of what we added was the result of desired development, some our own suggestions, and some of both extrapolation and defense. Given China’s fabulous and abiding relationship with food, structuring the scheme around a gastronomic loop was a slam-dunk.