SHANGHAI & LOS ANGELES--()--SWA Group, a leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm, has won an international design competition for a 2.3-kilometer (1.4 mile)-long new “central park” along the Pudong waterfront, Shanghai’s financial center and gateway to this global city. The transformation of this prominent waterfront site into “Front City”, a signature mixed-use development, provides new open space amenities to a diverse group of users and a visual centerpiece for visitors. Construction is planned to begin in Spring 2013.
“As a city built on the intersection of land and water, of past and present, of East and West ideology, Shanghai holds important stature among the major cities of the World.”
Revered as China’s Gateway to the World, Shanghai has transformed over the years into one of the world’s most influential economic powerhouses. Strategically anchored between the Huangpu River and the Outer Ring Expressway, the Front City site is one of the last remaining waterfront parcels along the Huangpu River, commanding a valuable real estate location and an important first impression at the city's forefront.
In an effort to leverage the powerful effect left by the Shanghai World Expo event, Shanghai Municipal Planning and Land Resources Administration sought to carry out the planning and development of the foreshore areas immediate south of the Expo site. As part of the "Front City" development, approximately 100 hectares (247 acres) are designated for the park component, which will create a mega sports park, wetland park, new civic facilities, museums and restaurants, and a new ferry terminal, all connected by a 7-km pedestrian access loop. SWA has collaborated with Morphosis to design the signature waterfront structures.
“The exponential growth of Shanghai has outpaced the confines of the historic core of Pudong, prompting development of satellite cities in greater Shanghai,” said Ying-Yu Hung, SWA Managing Principal in Los Angeles, “but now Shanghai sees ‘Front City’ as a step in reasserting its role as a gateway and center of commerce, and an opportunity to strengthen the urban core.” Notably, only 280 hectares of the 380-hectare site will be developed, reserving the waterfront and fingerlike extensions of parks and open spaces to interlace with urban development.
The winning design by SWA and Morphosis, called ‘Front City, Five Parks’, “builds on the role of Shanghai as a place where tradition and modernity meld to form a unique cosmopolitan identity,” Hung added.
Within this major new waterfront space, the design includes five distinct components: An International Front, Ecological Front, Civic Front, Community Front and Youth Front.
“Each Front is rooted in sustainable design and represents an important element of Shanghai’s dynamic culture,” said Hung. “As a city built on the intersection of land and water, of past and present, of East and West ideology, Shanghai holds important stature among the major cities of the World.”
About SWA Group
SWA Group (www.swagroup.com) established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. SWA has offices in Sausalito, CA, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 700 awards.