Jindong New Development Area Jinhua
Zhejiang, China
Project 2003-2006

The Jindong New District Commercial, Cultural and Entertainment Centre is a 270,000 sqm urban centre scheme with shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and loft apartments, located in the newly planned Jindong quarter of Jinhua, a four-million-inhabitant city in Zhejiang Province in southern China.

Herzog & de Meuron was introduced to the Jinhua city authorities by the artist Ai Weiwei, a leading figure in contemporary Chinese art. Jinhua was the birthplace of Ai Weiwei's father, Ai Qing, a celebrated 20th-century Chinese poet. The city commissioned Ai Weiwei to develop an outline scheme for Ai Qing Cultural Park as a memorial to his father. The designs for the new urban centre south of the park had already been completed when Ai Weiwei persuaded the authorities to rethink this part of the development and appoint Herzog & de Meuron to draw up new proposals for the district.

Although the original brief called only for a master plan, the tight timeframe coupled with other considerations soon made an integral design solution appear as the most desirable option. The project consequently far transcends a conventional urban planning scheme in that, despite its enormous scale by European standards, the designs embrace all buildings. The current program envisages the creation, within two years, of an urban centre to accommodate 100,000 inhabitants and capable, in the following years, of developing into the commercial and cultural focus for a population of up to 300,000.

The outline scheme proposes a new model for a Chinese city in its attempt to reconcile the grid city paradigm with the organic settlement. The existing rice fields on the plot form the basis for the design. After initially concentrating the entire planned accommodation in the northern section of the site to free up space for a park in the south and introduce a new planning density into the very monotonous, monumentally scaled urban environment, we proceeded to superimpose a grid over the entire site, the Field. This is interrupted in two areas, where water once flowed into the Yi Wu River. Here, a kind of fossilized nature forms the starting point for the Village and the Mountain. Both of these provide a counterpoint to the orthogonal sobriety of the Field grid, while adding a wide diversity of urban features and qualities.

All buildings are constructed from the very simple, locally sourced materials, clay brick and plaster. The surfaces of the individual volumes are punctuated by an array of newly developed patterns, textures and reliefs.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2006


Herzog & de Meuron Team Second Scheme:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler
Project Architect: Edman Choy
Project Team: Thomas Arnhardt, Yong Huang, Thomas Polster, Masato Takahashi

Herzog & de Meuron Team First Scheme:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler
Project Architects: Mark Loughnan (Associate), Sarah Cremin
Project Team: Renata Arpagaus, Marcos Carreno, François Charbonnet, Erica Ferucci, Philip Fung, Volker Helm, Kasia Jackowska, Anna Little, Maria Leonor Macedo, Dieter Mangold, Mario Meier, Paolo Moreira, Philipp Schaerer, Adrien Verschuere, Xiaolei Zhang

In Collaboration with:
Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China

Jindong New District Constructing Headquarters of Jinhua City

Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Architect Construction: Zhejiang Jinhua Building Design Institute, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China
Structural Engineering: WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland

Specialist / Consultant:
Traffic Planning: Rudolf Keller & Partner Verkehrsingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland

Building Data:
Site Area: 172,400sqm / 1,855,713sqft
Gross Floor Area (GF): 249’000sqm / 2,680,236sqft

- Theatre
- Cinemas
- Exhibition Hall
- Entertainment
- Hotels
- Department Stores
- Shops
- Restaurants
- Café
- Offices
- Apartments
- Large Landscape Public Park


Building Review. Herzog & de Meuron.
Vol. No. 340, Beijing, Art and Design Publishing House, 03.2007. pp. 8-140.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.
Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006. Monumento e Intimidad. The Monumental and the Intimate.
Vol. No. 129/130, Madrid, El Croquis, 2006.

Jindong New Development Area, Jinhua. Herzog & de Meuron.
In: Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.). Architecture and Urbanism. Architecture in China. Vol. No. 399, Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 12.2003. pp. 94-99.