Beijing Silicon Valley CBD Revitalisation
Regarded as China’s Silicon Valley, Beijing’s Zhong’guancun Science & Technology Zone reflects China’s ambition in the global technology landscape in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Within 30 years, it managed to put Beijing as the world’s top tech-hub ahead of Berlin and San Francisco, according to Forbes in 2017. In spite of the success, Zhong’guancun remained as a self-focused business district, segregated from the surrounding urban context and lacked the sense of community, all of which compromised its further appeal to talents and investors. Wei Yang & Partners were commissioned to draw up a clear vision and provide innovative solutions for its CBD, to ensure a long-term sustainable growth.
Located in north-western part of Beijing’s city centre, Zhong’guancun is a symbol and the flagship development of China’s ambitious economic transition. However, it has failed to take full advantage of its strategic location, massively invested infrastructure and the most valuable human resource – half a million university students and half a million high tech industry employees in the region. With a number of state-of-the-art tech hubs emerging in other parts of the city, it urgently needed a transformation to reinforce its leading status and attract the best talents.
WYP’s vision for this ‘Silicon Valley CBD’ was to create an ‘Urban Oasis’ to turn the dull, inefficient and incoherent business district into a world class exemplar of inspiring, sustainable and life-work balanced innovation community. There were three main objectives: first, to re-position the CBD maximising its local performance attributes in terms of world economic conditions and business trends; second, to establish its unique identity by offering competitive business space with a strong sense of community; and third, to create a new model for the future of a high-density metropolis - a vertical 21st Century Garden City.
In an area about the same size of Canary Wharf in London, a mixture of uses combined to form the Urban Oasis: office, hotel, retail, leisure, restaurants, arts, education, residential, convention centre, exhibition space, sports facilities etc., and a variety of open spaces, all supported by an integrated transit system and sustainable technologies such as China’s first eco-friendly multi-story car park and the biggest roof-top urban farm.
The ambitious proposal was highly praised for its forward-thinking development strategies, inspirational design concepts and commercially viable solutions. It prioritised the essence of natural living and led the way in thinking about the city of the future. It was aimed not only to revitalise the thriving tech hub, but also to stimulate wider growth in Northwest Beijing.