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Sity concept puts a dragon at the center of Shanghai


June 7, 2012

Sity - Shanghai city architectural concept designed to resemble a Chinese dragon

Sity - Shanghai city architectural concept designed to resemble a Chinese dragon

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Architecture has the power to completely change its surroundings, creating a focal point which influences an area much larger than that which it inhabits. This means that when it comes to rebuilding a locale from the ground up, a bold new approach is needed, one which looks to the future while tapping into the past. Bulgarian firm Sonik Module believes it has accomplished this tricky balancing act with Sity, a conceptual design envisioned as the centerpiece for the redevelopment of an area along the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai.

Sity is a conceptual design entry in the Re-Thinking Shanghai 2012 competition. The brief: design a visionary proposal for a sustainable architectural intervention along the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai.

The name Sity, incidentally, comes from an amalgam of the terms Shanghai City, Super City, Spiral City, and Structure.

Sity is an attempt to bridge the gap between old China and new China with its dragon-inspired design. The Chinese dragon is a mythical beast denoting power and strength, elements surely befitting a structure of such size and scale - Sity is proposed to be 60 stories high.

Beneath the striking structure itself lies a man-made river and park, with various intersections where pedestrians can enter the building. The wider world would be welcomed in by a series of roads, vessels traversing the river, and a subway line. The inside of the structure is harder to imagine, even with the help of diagrams. We do know there will be elevators and walkways transporting people around. Sity is designed to be for mixed-use occupation, with residential space co-existing alongside office space.

"I really hope that the people of Shanghai will enjoy and try to realize project Sity, because all of this is new urbanism and architecture for dynamic, ecologically and real sustainable life in the city," project co-author Anastas Kanev told Gizmag. "The effect is sure to be very good in macroscale."

Informal partners of the project working alongside Sonik Module are New Bulgarian University and University of Forestry in Sofia.

Sity is a bold statement, one that were it ever to actually be built would undoubtedly prove a challenge to construct. This is a piece of architecture that borders on being a work of art, and it would leave a lasting impression on any visitors to Shanghai. In fact, it would likely attract its fair share of visitors in its own right.

The deadline for submissions in the Re-Thinking Shanghai 2012 competition has already passed, so it's now up to the panel of judges to decide on the winning entry. The winning entry won't necessarily then be commissioned, but the design team responsible for it will instead be invited to further develop their ideas.

Source: Sonik Module via Architizer

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

I think this is a wonderful idea, as long as the upper surface is made from solar panels too !

Paul Guy

The waterway with its surrounding park is nice, but can do without the silver reflective "dragon" structure. Seems like a lot of wasted materials on an overly big scuplture that could be a huge, sun-reflecting blinding experience.


ctc: I think the silver reflective dragon -is- the main building. It looks like it would probably be beautiful (as long as some trees break up the sunlight) but it also looks like it could be a structural nightmare. Ask the people who actually work in a Gehry building how they like it...

Charles Bosse

Image 7 shows solar, wind & water turbines, but this would cost more to build than it's worth in square footage.

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