In collaboration with Shanghai Design Centre, Inbo has won for the Dayangshan masterplan competition in Suzhou with Perkins&Will and Gensler in September.
The assignment was to design a comprehensive masterplan for 2,34km2 digital economy district, strategically located in Suzhou National High-Tech district between Taihu lake, Suzhou industrial park and the downtown area. The site is dominated by neighboring Dayangshan mountain which became the main inspiration for Inbo’s concept.
From the jury: "The proposal is supported by a thoroughly studied industry strategy. The functional clusters have clearly distinctive characters and at the same time an integrated consistent overarching coherence. Altogether they present the same philosophy: future technology and eternal nature."
Inbo’s vision for the project consists of three equally important elements.
First is the aim to develop a world-level innovation hub for the digital economy. Inbo’s experience with the design of the world renown High Tech campus in Eindhoven and the i-CAM methodology is expected to draw the outline for success.
Second is to integrate city life and nature into a green and healthy environment to attract and retain talent and allow businesses to flourish. Along the way new garden typologies are added to Suzhou’s rich garden culture.
The third is to develop diverse and distinctive neighborhoods with human scale as a prerequisite to build strong and resilient communities.
The surrounding environment, dotted with hills, abundant green and the Dayangshan mountain as its centerpiece has national level recognition. This has been the main inspiration for the masterplan, which aims to balance city development and nature by connecting the surrounding environment into one continuous "mountain forest".
The functional grid-city development is infused with eco campus highlights. The east and west edges of the site stay practically unbuilt and will be activated for eco-activities with small pavilions and walkways.
The center is an artificial green hill where high-density development integrates with nature. Two smaller green developments integrate the botanical garden on the northern edge and build distance to the cemetery on the southern one.
From the jury: "The sparkle in the design is the TOD center area, which brings the nature from Dayangshan mountain into the campus and creates the iconic headquarter forest."
Key in the success of the development is the excellent connection to the public transport network, with a metro station in the center, a light rail stop, another metro line station within walking distance and several bus lines.
The high density mixed use TOD development aims to optimize the connection between the various transit modes and accommodate it with supporting high quality facilities.
When arriving at the Dayangshan metro station it is clear where you are. Visitors are pleasantly welcomed at the sunken outdoor square at the B2 level, which also brings daylight and green qualities all the way to the platforms.
An integrated three level strategy is applied to optimize the use of sustainable slow traffic modalities. First of all, the block size is reduced to 100-150 meter. Second, an elevated pedestrian and cyclist ‘high-way’ connects the whole district from the west eco-zone to the east, allowing easy and fast accessibility.
Third, the elevated path connects to specific destinations or so called ‘brainhubs’ every 300-500 meter. Brainhubs are places of interest where people with different background gather in an informal setting, with the intention to stimulate the open-innovation environments so essential knowledge exchange.
The principles of Inbo’s design for the renown High Tech Campus in Eindhoven [NL] evolved into a multi-dimensional open exchange strategy for Dayangshan. Besides brainhubs, knowledge exchange is also stimulated within the business clusters.
Either by connecting multilevel exchange platforms or a network of bridges in an ‘open street’ setting. Both typologies are specifically designed to deploy successful business eco-systems for different types of businesses.
Every neighborhood has its own distinctive character, resulting in a rich variety within a consistent overarching expression. Placemaking, specific spatial organization and related programming give every neighborhood unique conditions. The goal is to grow empowered communities in which inhabitants have a strong sense of belonging and user involvement is encouraged.
Making nature leading is the main step in this sustainable urban development. Besides extending and connecting green areas, also the water system was completed and optimized with storm water collection, buffering, filtering and infiltration solutions. A variety of green and blue spaces offer bio diversity and a living habitat for a diversity of domestic flora and fauna.
The TOD center has the potential to become a new benchmark for sustainable urban development because of the integration of high density built program and high-quality green. Besides mitigate a heat island effect, the green hill offers a range of sustainable solutions such as storm water buffering, water filtering, improved building insulation values, natural shading, stimulating public and slow traffic modalities, generating bio and solar renewable energy, bio diversity and efficient waste collection amongst others.