SHENZHEN, China & SHANGHAI & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SWA Group, one of the world’s leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design firms, has been honored with a National First Prize Award from the China Exploration & Design Association, an entity of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development regulating the architecture and design industry. The only foreign design firm this year to receive one of China’s highest-regarded awards, SWA’s winning design is for the Shenzhen Bay urban coastal plan that restored a former industrial and land reclamation zone into a 15-km waterfront habitat, public park and multi-use corridor. Another SWA project in the region, Shenzhen OCT Bay, received a design prize as well.
And in a separate awards program, Design China 2013, Shenzhen Bay won top honors with a Gold Award and the Giant Interactive Group Campus design won the only Green Innovation Award under the landscape category. Considered the “Oscars” of China’s real estate industry, the program is organized by China International Real Estate & Architectural Technology Fair (CIHAF), a real estate industry recognition of international scope. The Gold and Green Innovation Awards are formally presented Dec. 12 at the Design China 2013 conference in Shenzhen.
“We’re highly honored to have our work recognized by these important award programs, and believe it is also a recognition of China’s move toward more balanced urban growth,” said Kevin Shanley, CEO of SWA in Houston, and design leader on Shenzhen Bay. “Our design for environmentally sensitive new development at Shenzhen Bay, OCT Bay and Giant Group’s headquarters campus are case-studies in creating thriving, walkable, human-scale urban communities for today’s cities, whether in China or anywhere in the world.”
“The images of people enjoying Shenzhen Bay and OCT Bay are tangible examples of how urban, high-density communities can give residents much-needed access to the outdoors while preserving native habitat and ecologies,” added David Thompson, Managing Principal of SWA’s Shanghai office and design leader for OCT Bay. “Not surprisingly, it also makes for more prosperous cities and successful developments.”
Shenzhen Bay in 1980 was a heavy industrial waterfront that was threatened with ever encroaching land reclamation. SWA early on raised questions about the loss of the bay waters and, after a moratorium on additional fill-dirt was declared, it was designated for transformation to public use. SWA’s proposal called for complete restoration as an ecological habitat for waterfront plants and sea-life, complemented with significant parks, promenades, forests, open meadows and a lengthy promenade. In areas designated for light-development, the plan also called for an entertainment and education pavilion, formal gardens, an outdoor theater, an aquatic center, restaurants and teahouses, along with convenient transit stops.
Now complete, the Shenzhen Bay Coastline is a “highly popular attraction for Shenzhen residents, and demonstrates the power of restoring natural habitat in complement with amenities for people,” said Sean O’Malley, Managing Principal of SWA Group’s Laguna Beach office and part of the Shenzhen design team, who will accept the Dec. 12 Gold Award on behalf of the firm.
OCT Bay is a 1.25 sq. km. mixed-use urban cultural and entertainment destination. As the amenity space and connectivity to a major retail, office and entertainment community, the landscape design for OCT Bay provides public plazas, park space, resort destinations and ecological preserves including a 685,000 square-meter wetland and nature preserve, the only inner-city mangrove wetland of its kind in China.
Giant Interactive Group’s headquarters campus, on an 80 hectare site in Shanghai, is half commercially developed for Giant and half dedicated to park-like uses with a lake, a hotel and clubhouse and villas. SWA’s design goal was to weave the water, parks and wetlands habitats together with the various architectural elements of the site, including a singular headquarters building with a green roof of folded, soaring and dipping surfaces.
For information and images on Shenzhen Bay, visit: http://www.swagroup.com/project/shenzhen-bay.html
For information and images on OCT Bay, visit: http://www.swagroup.com/project/oct-bay.html
For information and images on Giant Interactive Group campus, visit: http://swacdn.s3.amazonaws.com/1/63971972_giantinteractivegroupcampus.pdf
For the National First Prize announcement, visit China AEDA at http://bit.ly/1bvxjQU
About SWA Group:
SWA Group (www.swagroup.com) established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. SWA has offices in Sausalito, CA, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 700 awards.