Herzog & de Meuron
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

236_MO_0409_500_final
236_MO_0409_500_final
250_CO_2_07_236_wall_layout_01_E
250_CO_2_07_236_wall_layout_01_E
236_MU_0408_500
236_MU_0408_500

Process

A memorial to the poet Ai Qing is created on the banks of the River Yiwu. Herzog & de Meuron revise the master plan for the adjacent new district.

236_SI_0303_040
236_SI_0303_040
236_SI_0308_115_Site
236_SI_0308_115_Site
236_SI_0309_008_AM_K
236_SI_0309_008_AM_K
236_SI_0607_463
236_SI_0607_463
236_SI_0308_181_K
236_SI_0308_181_K
236_SI_0303_147_masterpln
236_SI_0303_147_masterpln
236_EV_0305_500_BaselMtg
236_EV_0305_500_BaselMtg

Herzog & de Meuron’s proposal, combining an organic settlement, defined by natural forms, with the concept of an orthogonal grid, creates a new type of master plan for Chinese cities.

236_RFcl_0306_035_IdealCity
236_RFcl_0306_035_IdealCity
236_RFnl_020
236_RFnl_020

The new master plan is based on the layout of the existing rice paddies. A grid is laid over the entire area, interrupted in two places by a different type of development echoing the course of dried-up tributaries to the Yiwu. The concentration of buildings in the north frees up space for a park.

236_DR_0309_002_Powerpoint
236_DR_0309_002_Powerpoint
236_DR_0309_003
236_DR_0309_003
236_DR_0309_004_Powerpoint
236_DR_0309_004_Powerpoint
236_DR_0309_005_Powerpoint
236_DR_0309_005_Powerpoint
236_CI_0309_002
236_CI_0309_002
236_CI_0309_001
236_CI_0309_001
236_MO_0309_078
236_MO_0309_078

The architects also design the buildings for the master plan, creating three different typological zones: “Mountain,” “Village,” and “Field.”

236_EV_0307_046_BaselMtg
236_EV_0307_046_BaselMtg
236_EV_0312_501_team
236_EV_0312_501_team

The Mountain zone, with high-rise buildings of up to fourteen stories, cuts across the Field towards the river. The individual buildings comprise concrete and glass layers and create dynamic street spaces with canyon-like openings. Conversions to apartments lead to variants with balconies.

236_MO_0404_038-A_mountain
236_MO_0404_038-A_mountain
236_DR_0701_003_APT
236_DR_0701_003_APT
236_CI_0610_096
236_CI_0610_096
236_MO_0310_193
236_MO_0310_193
236_MO_0310_210
236_MO_0310_210
236_MO_0310_214
236_MO_0310_214
236_MO_0612_001_064-MOa
236_MO_0612_001_064-MOa
236_MO_0612_036_072-MOc
236_MO_0612_036_072-MOc
236_MO_0609_031
236_MO_0609_031

In the second transverse interruption, the Village, there are buildings with a maximum of six stories and mainly square footprints housing shops and restaurants, offering flexibility in the design of their facades.

236_MO_0404_038-A_Village
236_MO_0404_038-A_Village
250_2_CO_040423_198
250_2_CO_040423_198
236_CI_0309_002_Village
236_CI_0309_002_Village
236_MO_0403_013
236_MO_0403_013
236_MO_0404_186_village
236_MO_0404_186_village
236_MO_0402_516
236_MO_0402_516

The Field, the most extensive zone, accommodates long, low-rise buildings of two to three stories in height.

236_CI_0309_001_Field
236_CI_0309_001_Field
236_MO_0308_028_grid
236_MO_0308_028_grid
236_MO_0308_031_grid
236_MO_0308_031_grid
236_MO_0404_149
236_MO_0404_149
236_MO_0404_323_field
236_MO_0404_323_field
236_MO_0404_301_field
236_MO_0404_301_field
236_MO_0309_015_GridArch
236_MO_0309_015_GridArch
236_MO_0309_014_GridArch
236_MO_0309_014_GridArch

Taking inspiration from the free forms used for wall openings and tiles in traditional Chinese buildings, the architects develop a pentagonal-to-octagonal honeycomb pattern that is laid over the volumes like a virtual net, allowing a free choice of openings.

236_MU_0401_008
236_MU_0401_008
236_DT_0402_505_636
236_DT_0402_505_636
236_DR_0403_508_Field
236_DR_0403_508_Field
236_DR_0406_023_FORMS
236_DR_0406_023_FORMS
236_DR_0406_022_CATALOGUE
236_DR_0406_022_CATALOGUE
236_DR_0406_024_PATTERNS
236_DR_0406_024_PATTERNS
236_DR_0406_020_V-24
236_DR_0406_020_V-24
236_DR_0403_500_Field
236_DR_0403_500_Field

Herzog & de Meuron take advantage of local materials and production methods in their designs.

236_MU_0402_343
236_MU_0402_343
236_MU_0402_323
236_MU_0402_323
236_MO_0403_Making-walls
236_MO_0403_Making-walls
236_SI_0308_046_Site
236_SI_0308_046_Site
250_MO_0405_517_KOJE_JINHUA
250_MO_0405_517_KOJE_JINHUA

Different ways of using local bricks facilitate a wide variety of finishes.

236_MU_0403_005
236_MU_0403_005
236_MU_0403_084
236_MU_0403_084
236_PP_0405_componts_082
236_PP_0405_componts_082
236_MU_0408_500
236_MU_0408_500
236_MU_0403_131
236_MU_0403_131
236_PP_0405_componts_081
236_PP_0405_componts_081
236_MU_0403_374
236_MU_0403_374
236_PP_0405_componts_087
236_PP_0405_componts_087

Drawings

236_DR_190830_241_1-2500_SECTION
236_DR_190830_241_1-2500_SECTION
236_DR_190830_1-2500_MASTERPLAN
236_DR_190830_1-2500_MASTERPLAN

Team

Facts

In Collaboration With
Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China
Client
Jindong New District Constructing Headquarters of Jinhua City
Planning
Design Consultant: 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 / Consulting
Traffic Consulting: Rudolf Keller & Partner Verkehrsingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 1'855'696 sqft, 172'400 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 2'680'211 sqft, 249'000 sqm

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1997-2001. The Complete Works. Volume 4.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. Vol. No. 4.

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.