WORKac and ZhuBO recently won an invited competition to redesign a 1-kilometer section of Hua Qiang Bei Road. Hua Qiang Bei has emerged naturally from an industrial district to become Shenzhen's premier shopping and electronics street. This success has also unfortunately created traffic problems, and the street needs a new contemporary expression to reflect its destination status. A single solution – as proposed by Shenzhen's Planning Bureau – that covers the entire length of the street, could overwhelm this vibrant character. For this reason, we proposed a series of strategic interventions, rather than a single approach.
We have taken the idea of the 3D Street and created five iconic “lanterns” by twisting the required program into sinuous bands, creating unique, visible destinations through a process of “urban acupuncture” – strategically affecting change where required. These lanterns are high enough to maintain views across the street, while still providing shade and bridge connections. At night, the Lanterns glow with colored light and activity. Each Lantern contains special destination public programs. From an electronics museum at the south, to an urban information hub in the electronics district to an elevated public park at the center, a “figure eight” observation pavilion and a fashion and design museum at the north.
Underground, new connective spaces provide public amenities – a public library, a food court, and a series of performance and gallery spaces – and provide connections across the street and between four newly created metro lines. Terraced steps create generous entrances at each of the Lanterns. The underground spaces are connected by a wide shopping “boulevard” at mezzanine level.
The project is a collaboration with Arup as consulting traffic, sustainability, structural and MEP engineers and Balmori Associates as landscape architects.