DongJiang Gang
Tianjin, China

Project Type: Urban design, Building design,
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DongJiang Gang Master Plan

Project Type: Urban & Architectural Design
Project Status: Planned
Completion Date: February 2012
Site Area: 17.3 acres
Team: PlusUrbia (lead) + studio LFA+ LopezJaimes + Walter Chatham
Client: Vanke

Tianjin DongJiangGang, located on newly reclaimed land on the waterfront of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, China, creates a new paradigm as a livable community in the region being in harmony with its environment, embedding sustainable and inherent site elements in a built and natural twine that results in a jiving environmental concert.

A careful study of northern-European waterfront city-making traditions in similar climatic conditions to those of DongJiangGang led the design of DJG to become highly conscientious in its design intentions and results that promote discourse ­­between its built and unbuilt dichotomies, from the desire to create safe, healthy, and educated communities that evolve into resident-oriented and environment-friendly master plans, design results in the culmination of well-stitched patch-work between commercial centers, residential units, and waterfronts providing open water views to all residents and visitors from both public and private locations. Therefore, the wharf becomes a superb setting for this romantic idea of shared spaces and commonwealth, where people can enjoy ocean views indoors and varied outdoor areas. The master plan promotes this common-wealth idea by providing ‘shared’ views of the water maximized by willing the buildings into v-shapes that, enhanced with height, hierarchy, and variation in residential typologies, create a homogeneous array of unit types that encourage social interaction. Careful attention has been given to the shoreline design that becomes the central community amenity. This continuous linear open space makes a unique recreational space for residents and visitors alike. It protects and promotes the area’s natural beauty while standing as a unifying edge that transitions from “life-by-the-water’s-edge” to a rational interpretation of traditional waterfront living.

The language of the architecture attempts to bridge a contemporary paradigm of the historical precept on newly reclaimed (man-made) land. Un-served by immediate stylistic or historical context. Simplicity and elegance are paramount to creating a backdrop to the site’s natural beauty, engaging the sun, water, and site edges without whimsically applying paradigms that contradict or dictate new forms or discourse. In respect to this dialogue between nature and unique form that detaches and engages the site conditions, DJG employs simple shapes and colors that are disposed and utilized following pragmatic precepts: i.e., openings to provide views, volumes to orient and terminate vistas, so architecture creates backdrops and responds to their civic duty of creating and enhancing spaces subdued by the human scale and proportion laws.

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