LXD wins chongqing city shi ba ti urban design proposal LXD wins chongqing city shi ba ti urban design proposal
feb 12, 2014

LXD wins chongqing city shi ba ti urban design proposal

LXD wins chongqing city shi ba ti urban design proposal
all images courtesy of liu xiang design





washington DC-based architectural firm LXD, liu xiang design has won an urban design competition to develop chongqing city. located in the southwest part of china, it is one of the biggest and most populous in the country. the centrally positioned ‘shi ba ti’, meaning 18 steps is a very important area that has existed for more than 700 years. a renowned and prosperous place historically, it has unfortunately been left over time to fall into a derelict state in need of repair.


the surrounding mountainous terrain influenced the proposal, the site itself is on a steep hill with a huge height difference of almost 45 meters. the landscape consists of densely populated high-rises and at the bottom of the slope is the famous jia ling river. key elements for the urban design are based on cubic and square geometries – the high rises have different functions and heights that are clustered into a composition to appear as a whole. the taller buildings are placed at the higher points of the site with the lower ones beneath, forming a respectful gradient. 



aerial view of the site from the top of the hill



a large gathering space behaves as a ‘city balcony’ for people during the hot summer months. the plaza enables locals to sit, talk and enjoy evening breezes all year around. the two towers above define the edge of this open area, acting as a giant gateway and marker into the city. a green visual corridor is proposed, turning the site into a giant naturally landscaped staircase that connects the city and the jialing river. this feature also becomes a set of ‘green lungs’ for the city, with commercial spaces and a parking lot set underneath.


perspective from the jia ling river



the buildings are shaped according to the topography of the site, in order to minimize their impact and create more public space and pedestrian circulation opportunities – further helped by putting vehicle transportation underground. wanting to integrate the vernacular architectural language with a contemporary green one, the structures have columns and wooden shades designed in reference to local chongqi architecture. the high rises feature different levels of balconies and green cut-outs. a shibati museum is also included, incorporating the abandoned french embassy that once existed on the site. the cultural facility will exhibit history material and the evolution of shi ba ti.



the skyline of the buildings showing the stepped-back height differences


perspective of the two towers, which reach 260 and 220 meters high


view of the city from the open balcony area


breakdown of the building’s form


the distribution of buildings and green elements


zoning plan


site plan



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • as though Anthony Gormley did a building

    dbkii says:

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