Cities from San Francisco to London have caught High Line fever, attempting to build elevated parks inspired by New York’s own. China is joining the fray now, and the results, as you’d expect, are mammoth in scale and ambition.
The main problem was renovating an urban hub, without overwhelming the street life that has grown up around it organically. According to the architects,the solution was to have five “lanterns”–a powerful symbol in Chineseculture–rise above the street and serve as both bridges and publicspaces.
The design above–by young New York architecture firm WORKac, with engineering by Arup and landscape design by Balmori–won out over several others in a competition to reimagine Hua Qiang Bei Road, Shenzen’s main commercial artery. The pic below shows what a single lantern would look like:
However, each lantern would hold a different function. One would be an electronics museum, since the road is a central shopping district for gadgets. Others would serve as an “information hub,” a design museum, and a public park.
And then things get nutty. Each of the lanterns would be linked by an underground complex, containing a food court and gallery spaces. That passageway would also connect four metro lines currently under construction.
No word yet on whether budget clearances are in place, although the competition was commissioned by the city’s planning bureau. But don’t the Chinese build these types of massive projects every other day?