The SourceCivil Engineering MagazineSlideshow: Foster + Partners unveils Guangming Hub master plan

Slideshow: Foster + Partners unveils Guangming Hub master plan

By Catherine A. Cardno, Ph.D.

  • greenery in a plaza that is bounded by glass-faced towers of various sizes
  • a sunken, interior high speed train station with multiple tracks, pedestrians, and greenery drenched in sunlight
  • aerial rendering of the plaza, towers, and high speed rail lines in golden sunlight
  • a view of the setting sun through the large openings built as gateways in the towers around the plaza
  • a high speed rail train pulling away from the towers at dusk
  • aerial of the plaza, towers, and surrounding forested areas and urban development at night

British architecture and engineering design practice Foster + Partners has released its competition-winning design for the Guangming Hub in Shenzhen, China. The hub is a transit-oriented development within the city that will be located along the high-speed rail link that connects the city to both Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

The hub will be a walkable focal point for a new urban-destination master plan in Shenzhen, according the architects. The existing high-speed rail station will bisect the center of the site in the north-south direction. A green spine hosting the new hub will cut across the site perpendicular to this, in the east-west direction.

Two major rail lines already intersect at the site, which has a topography that has previously acted as a barrier to movement, according to the architects. The design overcomes this with the inclusion of skybridges, shaded walkways, and shared surfaces for cyclists and pedestrians. It also calls for a network of slow-moving autonomous vehicles that will provide efficient connections to the hub’s transit options, improving accessibility through the entire site and creating a platform for future innovative transportation solutions, according to Young Wei-Yang Chiu, a partner at Foster + Partners, who was quoted in press materials.

A new metro station will straddle the hub’s green spine, and a new underground metro and intercity link station will be topped with a large retail podium that includes stepped green terraces to link it visually with the surrounding forested area. The hub’s design aligns with a citywide effort known as the Sponge City program that emphasizes prioritizing sustainable urban drainage systems and integrating landscape, permeable pavement, and bioretention features in designs.

A series of office towers will be situated at cardinal points across the site, acting as gateways to the hub. Ground-level openings will provide central access to the high-speed rail station, while subways and bridges to neighboring buildings will provide connections for pedestrians, cyclists, and autonomous vehicles.

A transportation museum will be part of the bridge over the high-speed rail station, accessible from both the eastern and western halves of the site.

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