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A MARVEL AT MEIXI LAKE

by Phoebe Liu on Jan 25, 2013 in Architecture
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A 120 million sq-ft city is being built from scratch in Changsha, China, based on a masterplan devised by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

In the West Changsha Pioneer Zone in Hunan province, a new city is being birthed. Centred around a 3.85km-long lake, Meixi Lake will be home to 180,000 inhabitants, and will provide residents, workers and visitors sustainable neighbourhoods for living, working, recreation, culture and entertainment – and the proud parents behind the design are Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF).

KPF design principal James von Klemperer first notes that over the last 10 years, China’s cities have grown in two ways: by increasing density within the historical cores, and by adding new cities adjacent to the old. The latter phenomenon has resulted in a twin-city paradigm – such as can be seen in Shanghai’s Puxi and Pudong, or Beijing’s old centre and new CBD.

"In a new town like Meixi, we can introduce integrated urban innovation: we can combine water transport with localised energy production, cluster neighbourhood centres, advanced flood prevention and water management, and urban agriculture,” von Klemperer says. “Meixi is an experiment in future city planning and building. It will serve Changsha as a new CBD, but it will also serve as a paradigm for other Chinese city planners. It’s a kind of live test case.”

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