The project is sited on a promontory formed by a bend in the Yangtze River at Chongqing. Backed by the Zhongliang Mountains, and surrounded by water, the Fisherman’s Peninsula has remained largely unspoilt despite the encroaching city. The city’s urban planning department has held a number of international competitions to find a suitable proposal for this unique site, but none has, as yet, come to fruition.
From the outset our intention was to work with the existing complex and rich topography of the site. A precise 3D model enabled us to define the places unsuitable for construction such as hills and steep slopes, terraced valleys forming basins, cliffs, and ridgelines. By preserving the existing environment, we also reduced the risks of natural disasters in this region of heavy rainfall.
Two hills and a series of crests are preserved as three natural parks called Baiju, Diaoyuzui and Yangtze Park. They are linked by green ‘corridors’. A tramway gives access to all the different quarters of the new district and links them to the transport hub.
Building typologies and density are chosen in accordance with the topology of the site, creating a harmonious skyline and framing views of the river and surrounding countryside. The densest neighbourhood is near the aerial metro. A major urban artery, forming the backbone of the project, leads to the central plaza, the main public space of the city. From here a landscaped footpath leads up to a temple on the summit of the hill, and there is a connection to the Yangtze Park and the water. To the south, towards the end of the peninsula, the natural environment is preserved as much as possible and building density is low. The naturally occurring basins have become filtering gardens, serving eco-residential neighbourhoods.
Following an in-depth analysis of the city’s infrastructure, we proposed the inclusion of a training centre at the south end of the peninsula for high-level international meetings, complementing what already exists in Chongqing. A low-rise architecture with green roofs blending with the natural setting gave a unique character to the project. This programme proposal was accepted.
Having won the competition, the whole project was developed further and translated into urban design guidelines. ‘French know-how’ was combined with Chinese urban design regulations to develop a set of written and graphic planning documents to guide future construction.
The final project includes business zones, residential areas, a transport interchange, schools, hospitals, a conference centre, as well as urban parks and gardens.
– Client: Chongqing Urban Planning Bureau
– Architect: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– City: Chongqing
– Country: China
– Competition winner: 2009
– Completion: ongoing
– Site area: 792 hectares