gmp architekten presents its winning competition entry for high-tech chengdu future city in southwest china. the two-stage urban design competition begins with the redesign of the railway station, futian station, which will stand as the core of the future city. the site area of nearly 460 hectares will be developed to include research institutes, an university, offices, retail, and housing — all within close proximity to each other. while first-phase railway station will be redesigned and developed by gmp to form the urban center, the design of the university has been assigned to the dutch practice office for metropolitan architecture (OMA).

chengdu future city gmp
the railway station will be enclosed by a canopy of umbrella-roofs
images © ATCHAIN



the gmp architekten-designed chengdu future city will be sited 50 kilometers (around 30 miles) from south-west china’s city of chengdu. its location, one stop away from the new chengdu tianfu international airport, makes the area an ideal location for a transit-oriented development (TOD). the urban development concept will include all urban functions within a high-density development around a central public transport hub. this results in short distances between housing, leisure, study, and work. the high-density city corresponds to china’s ‘living university’ concept which promotes academic education and its high-tech industry.

chengdu future city gmp
pedestrian viewing platform



gmp-architekten organizes its chengdu future city around the core futian station. in the first construction phase, the existing railway station will be expanded and fitted with new roofs in the form of closely arranged umbrella-like structures. this canopy of roofs, which are supported by tall pillars, form a U-shaped roofed urban landscape that symbolically extends into the wider landscape. these umbrellas provide shelter to a vibrant terrace landscape which integrates leisure facilities, a hotel, retail outlets, and offices.

chengdu future city gmp
view inside the pedestrian viewing platform



gmp-architekten plans the railway station to occupy the intersection of two axes where the most important functions of the chengdu future city converge — one being the education axis with buildings for research and teaching. this leads from the university designed by OMA to the already existing aviation academy. the other axis is the green landscape axis — a wide, sweeping green swathe like a brush stroke that follows the topography and extends deep into the l-shaped development area. this constitutes the green heart of the area, creating lively urban spaces including bridges, plazas, and viewpoints, giving priority to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. motorized traffic will cross the green axis primarily underground.

chengdu future city gmp
bird’s eye view including futian station

chengdu future city gmp
view from the north-east

chengdu future city gmp
view of landscape axis with futian station image © ATCHAIN

chengdu future city gmp
section of futian station



project info:


project title: chengdu future city

architecture: gmp architekten (von gerkan, marg and partners)

location: chengdu, china

design: meinhard von gerkan and stephan schütz with nicolas pomränke

competition design leader: zhicong chen

team: li yawen, lu heng, andreas maue, tang zihong, xie jun, zhu shiyou, gu jiafeng, hu jinyue, hu lin, jiang rongzhen, qu jinhua, sun yilun, wang mengwei, xue han, zhu mingxi

project management in china: xu ji, qin wei, wu yuting

partner practice competition: CADG, pesch&partner, architekten & stadtplaner

client: the reform and planning administration bureau of chengdu hi-tech industrial development zone cdht investment co. ltd.

planning plot launch area: 458 hectares

visualizations: © ATCHAIN