Work underway on Zaha Hadid Architects' Unicorn Island masterplan
Work is well underway on a large new project in Chengdu, China, by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). Once complete, the Unicorn Island masterplan will create living and working space for Chinese and international startups in the firm's signature style.
The Unicorn Island masterplan, which takes its name from startups valued at over a billion US dollars often being referred to as "Unicorn Companies," takes up a 67-hectare (165-acre) area and will host 70,000 researchers, office staff, residents, and visitors. It's part of the larger Tianfu New Area project, which is a region being developed as a new business and residential center for tech and research.
The Unicorn Island masterplan will comprise clusters of buildings of varying height that surround a central plaza and metro station. The first building is almost complete and will serve as an exhibition and conference center that's topped by an impressive glass roof.
The landscaping, which is being handled by Ramboll Dreiseitl, is a major focus too, and the development will be arranged so that it can be easily navigated by walking or bike ride. It's also partly inspired by the nearby Dujiangyan irrigation system.
"Driven by the environmental principles of Dujiangyan's historic irrigation system and Tianfu New Area's ongoing work to re-establish its natural wetlands, Unicorn Island's parkland design incorporates green civic spaces, water conservation and enhanced connectivity to create its living and working environments; following concepts that are redefining the true measure of a building's efficiency as the improved wellbeing of its inhabitants," says Zaha Hadid Architects. "Within new parklands bordering Xing Long Lake, Unicorn Island will incorporate natural water management systems and include innovations in urban farming technologies to provide residents, workers and visitors with fresh, locally-grown produce."
Check out the short video below for a look at Unicorn Island's exhibition and conference center being constructed.
Source: Zaha Hadid Architects