Hangzhou – also known as the “Garden of China” – is the capital of Zhejiang Province, located some 200 kilometres south-southwest of Shanghai.
In a former industrial area in the north of the city, a five-kilometre-long section of embankment along the Grand Canal is due to be developed into a “new city centre”, together with the adjacent neighbourhoods.
The oldest and longest canal in the world was built almost 1,400 years ago to transport goods northwards from the fertile Yangtze region in the south. Numerous ancient architectural edifices, parks, and leisure facilities alongside the canal underscore the relaxed pace of everyday life. Hangzhou’s citizens have a reputation all over China for “slow living“ This, together with the verdant surrounding landscape has come to characterise the city’s image and has been the source of inspiration for the design concept “Passage du Flâneur”.
The proposed design takes the form of an interconnected multi-level landscape with ascents and descents in the form of ramps, stairs, public parks, areas for sport, and playgrounds. Five sections will be created, each with a different emphasis: “North Area – “Sport & Leisure”, “Urban Island – Green Living & Industrial Film Park”, South Area – “Pier & Leisure”, “South Area -Canal Bay”, and “Ecological Island”. The following routes run alongside these five design themes: “Water Passage” (a water-taxi), “Sky Passage” (funicular railway), “Biker Passage”, “Jogger Passage”, “Walker Passage”, and “Industrial Passage”.
An old industrial tower on “Urban Island”, and the new lookout tower on “Ecological Island” both have stations served by the cable car and, as such, are destined to become new landmarks in the city.
schneider+schumacher’s design was awarded 2nd Prize in the urban planning competition. Some 30 submissions were submitted at the first stage, and 5 projects chosen for the second stage. In the next phase, several architectural competitions will be held to assign architects to plan specific buildings or regions.
Technical details:Service phases (HOAI): 1
Typology: Urban design
Procurement documentation: Competition
Client: Hangzhou Canal Preservation & Development Construction Group CO.