Water is one of the most vital elements to create lively cities. But water is also one of our most precious and vulnerable elements. Like everywhere in the world, the quality and quantity of water in Xinjin, a fast developing city near Chengdu, is under pressure.
The master plan consists of 3 new urban areas for Xinjin that create space for water while at the same time being attractive to live and work in. It offers possibilities for commercial development and leisure activities. The design has to deal with extremes in amounts of water, will stimulate self-cleaning methods in the area and integrate the water into existing water systems. Water offers great views and usable waterfronts. People enjoy being near water. These inherent qualities are taken advantage of by creating islands along the River Nan. By doing so, we give space to the river. The group of new islands will connect the city currently divided by the river. The islands become a new urban heart of sorts. The islands will be surrounded by a combination of dykes and in between levels. This soft boundary creates extra green areas in the dry season and a close connection to the river when the water is higher.
Each island has its own unique identity, supporting the diverse public and commercial programme, mixed with housing. Some smaller islands will be devoted to special functions like a hotel or conference centre. In some cases, the building might BE the island. The buildings on the islands are outspoken, as solitary objects, but also form cohesive urban areas.