Our design creates innovative, new typologies in planning, landscape, and architecture for new ways of urban living and working in nature
– Thomas Hussey
Design firms Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and TLS Landscape Architecture (TLS) have teamed up to masterplan a wellness-focused city in a recently incorporated district of Hebei, China.
Called “Xiong’an”, the 3,800-hectare development, which will include a lake, forests, and wetlands, will be constructed in phases and serve as an exemplar of nature-centred urbanism.
The site will also be home to walking and hiking trails, promenades, nature observatories, water sports facilities, spas, shops, and a skating rink.
The government-run competition – launched earlier this year – saw 213 proposals submitted.
SOM and TLS were chosen from a list of 12 finalists from 10 different countries.
“The urban design vision centres on quality of life, while providing the foundation for an ever-evolving city,” said SOM.
“By integrating architecture with nature and the landscape, the urban design prioritises residents' health and wellbeing.”
In a description of the project, TLS elaborated: “We all depend on nature, but modern urban life has, in some ways, been preoccupied by technology, the internet, and social media, increasing our distance from the nature of reality.
“Our vision for Xiong’an is to have a city that will make people’s daily life more intertwined with natural changes in flowers, birds, insects, the sun, the moon, and the stars."