GDW’s Concept For DecoCity, Chengdu, China
GDW has recently completed a concept for DecoCity, a new urban development on the outskirts of Chengdu, China.
The client desired a city that was Art Deco in both architecture and lifestyle. We took this idea to heart, and created a plan based on the Art Deco theme of the rising sun, an apt metaphor for this new city, for Chengdu, and, most definitely, for China as a whole. Further, the rising sun provides the backbone for a city that offers an exceptional quality of life.
Our concept is based on the following principles:
Quality of Life
A place people want to live, work and play
Active Central Place
Successful shops and restaurants
Well loved parks
Surrounded by area of highest density
The city’s heart, the place where people gather
Parks and Gathering Places
Central Icon and plaza in the town center
Amphitheater for public events
“Bryant Park” with dining, public green and multi-use place
Small, neighborhood parks accessible places for a few quite moments, places for children to play, friends to meet
Nature areas made active by:
Open spaces and areas for exercise
Carousel and places for children
Large sports park with a variety of large and small sports facilities
Open space to be enjoyed by all
Pedestrian and vehicle spokes that allow easy access to the city center
Radial canals and walk streets create pleasant places to walk, and easy access to the river and sports area for all
Unique qualities that help people identify with a place and make them proud to call it their home
Singular architectural vocabulary expressing a strong identity
City plan reflective of that identity
Easily understood layout
Carefully considered massing offering a distinct and memorable skyline
Cohesive building massing contributing both to the overall massing and architectural identity
Unique landscaping that reflects and extends the architectural language
GDW’s Two Primary (and surprising) Goals for a Sustainable City:
GDW’s plan for a new city outside of Chengdu, China
The two primary goals for a truly sustainable city are, without question, quality lifestyle and identity. Why? When one puts political agendas aside, it is obvious that the single largest commitment of environmental resources required of a city is the construction of the city itself. A city that is loved, that people enjoy living in and are proud to call home is a city that will remain intact for generations.
Ironically, cities and the structures they are made of are typically awarded sustainability points for the ease of which they can be recycled. We believe that this is a fallacy. We wonder why a well designed city should have reason to be recycled. Searching the annals of history, we are aware of no city that provided quality of life, no city that made its residents proud, that was subsequently subjected to the rigors of recycling. Not, in any event, without the help of an invading enemy army!
This is not to say that we reject all the principles of sustainable city design. We simply find most redundant. Why is it necessary, for example, to award points based on transport? Moving people easily, effectively and pleasantly through a city has always been a major goal for planners (except, perhaps, during medieval times, when it was a greater concern to make it difficult for invaders to navigate city streets then for residents to easily move around).
A city that forces its residents to remain immobile or sit in traffic is not a city that provides quality of life. A city that makes circulation pleasant does, however, provide an enviable lifestyle. Should not the desire to create pleasant strolls and easy commutes be of paramount priority for the urban planner? Is not the process of awarding points for public transport directed more specifically to special interest lobbies than to those who will call a city their home?
We reject the notion of designing based on checklists created by academia and special interests. We favor cities designed for people. We reject the notion that people will work to preserve their city because of the ease of which it can be recycled. Instead, we seek to create places that capture the hearts of inhabitants.
A people proud of a city will maintain and preserve it, making sure the precious natural resources invested in its creation will benefit generations to come.
GlobalDesign’s Concept Design and Paster Plan for Rose Valley, Chengdu, China
Video Coming Soon
GlobalDesign Workshop’s concept for a mixed-use site in Chengdu, China
Video Coming Soon