Zaha Hadid Architects’ vision for Chengdu’s “Unicorn Island” is grand. Yet the Start-Up exhibition and conference center, the first building part of the 67-hectare masterplan, is nearing completion. As China’s economy evolves from traditional industries to technology-based organizations, Chengdu is developing as an ecologically sustainable business and residential center for technology and research sectors. Unicorn Island will foster the growth of China’s digital economy by creating living and working environments for both local and international companies.
As China is home to a third of the world’s technology startups valued at over $1 billion USD, referred to as “unicorn companies,” the multi-purpose masterplan will accommodate up to 70,000 researchers, office staff, residents and visitors. The radial design allows the entire island to be accessible by walk or bike ride, with buildings centered around a plaza and metro station.
Driven by Chengdu’s proximity to the Dujiangyan irrigation system on the Min river, Unicorn Island’s parkland design integrates green areas and wetlands to improve the wellbeing of its inhabitants. New innovations in urban farming technologies will provide residents, workers and visitors alike with locally-grown produce. Water conservation and principles of connectivity are intertwined with the masterplan in order to establish healthier living and working environments.
Take a closer look at Unicorn Island in the renders above. For more information on the firm’s past and future projects, head over to Zaha Hadid Architects’ website.
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The Start-Up exhibition and conference centre – the first building within Chengdu’s Unicorn Island masterplan – is nearing completion. . With China’s economy evolving from traditional industries to tech-based companies, the country is now home to a third of the world’s tech start-ups valued over a billion US dollars – termed ‘unicorn companies’. . Chengdu has developed into a centre of excellence providing computer chips for half the world’s laptops and is a leading producer of mobile computing hardware. With a focus on next-generation IT, intelligent manufacturing and new energy, Chengdu’s Tianfu New Area is being developed as a sustainable civic, business and residential centre for China’s tech and research sectors. . The 67-hectare Unicorn Island masterplan by ZHA will be home to 70,000 researchers, staff and residents. Planned to enhance the wellbeing of its community, its design influenced by principles within the region’s historical natural engineering projects. . Constructed 2,300 years ago northwest of Chengdu, the Dujiangyan irrigation system on the Min river is a UNESCO world heritage site. This ancient water management system deployed the river’s natural forces to irrigate the Chengdu plain and protect the region from flooding. . Contemporary hydraulic engineering is also re-establishing wetlands at Tianfu as part of a comprehensive ecological project for water conservation, flood control and recreation areas. . Driven by these examples, Unicorn Island’s design incorporates green civic spaces, water conservation and enhanced connectivity to create its living and working environments; following concepts that are redefining the true measure of a building’s efficiency as the improved wellbeing of its inhabitants. . Integrated clusters of buildings surround Unicorn Island’s central plaza and metro station; its radial masterplan will enable the entire island to be accessed by a few minutes’ walk or bike ride. . Bordering Xing Long Lake, Unicorn Island will incorporate natural water management systems and include innovations in urban farming technologies to provide residents, workers & visitors with fresh, locally-grown produce. . Render @mir.no