Hua Qiang Bei Road

Hua Qiang Bei Road

Shenzhen, China

CLIENT Bureau City Government of Shenzhen /  STATUS Commissioned 2011, Under Development / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Work AC / ARUP / Zhubo Engineering / Zhubo

In 2010 Balmori Associates and Work AC won an invited competition to redesign a 1 kilometer section of Hua Qiang Bei Road in Shenzhen. The design responds to the area’s growing commercial character by improving flows, organizing traffic and enhancing the pedestrian environment with a green streetscape.

To strengthen the identity of Hua Qiang Bei Road we created a series of nodes of activity that project a vibrant new vision for the district’s future. These nodes take on different scales. The most visible are the five “lanterns” that define a new space of the street, in the sky, providing connections and enabling a major expansion of public space. We imagine the “lanterns” to resonate with the famous entrance gates to traditional Chinese streets, creating a strong and memorable image. The lanterns are like the needles of acupuncture: used at only a few, precise points to bring energy and organize the flows around them, letting the street breathe better between. They are also bridges, connecting one side of the street to the other. We also provided a wide variety of shade trees and seating types, our designed fountains and paving will improve both air flow and pedestrian flow.

This is a new kind of urban design approach, we call it urban acupuncture: acting precisely and strategically to get through all the channels to create the maximum impact using minimal means. We use a systematic and synthetical Urban design method to combines the softness of landscape design, the precision of traffic engineering, and the power of architecture to improve flows, strengthen identity, and create new public space.