UNIT creates sky street for shenzen bay super city competition
all images courtesy of UNIT




urban populations are increasing at an unprecedented speed. consequently, density’s growth is inevitable. the living space has to be extruded from the ground up in order to satisfy the need of dwelling area. for these reasons, china has conducted the ‘shenzhen bay super city competition’. in reaction to the brief, the local architects of UNIT (urban new idea team) have imagined each skyscraper as an isolated island, connected by a superposed sky street at a height of 150 meters to liberate the ground floor and bring nature into the complex.

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
bird’s-eye view




the formal process began with a rhythmic dispersement of bars within the rectangular site. afterwards, the heights of individual volumes were adjusted relative to the needs and relationships between pieces. with an understanding of the lower level civic activities that would interact along the boulevard, the designers lifted and linked them to one another, creating a continuous flow of public amenities.‘this new urban typology, the sky street, reproduces the qualities and infinite possibilities of the typical street. central alley, variety of programs, human scale, and freedom of plan and section planning allows us to have a new layer of street, which makes possible a new range of activities impossible in the typical tower. this new urban typology is ideal for social encounters, creating a lively, non-generic situation in the high density urban condition,’ UNIT partner moyang yang states. 

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
the structure at night




the park will fuse wild nature and culture into the very heart of the bay district. it provides an open green that will be home to a significant amount of cultural facilities, indoor fair and trade area, and commercial spaces. these spaces will be designed within the dimensions of the raised surface, and the distribution network will be placed along a pathway divided into six segments, each of which emerge from different folds and lifts in the synthetic topography. the result is an eventful promenade with diverse ramps and functions. this merge of landscape and architecture makes the tri-dimensional hybrid park a porous and vibrant place, providing shelters, open air, and shadows – for a year-long comfortable and engaging space within a present-day metropolis.

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
looking across the sea

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
city view with the forms reflecting the context

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
the park appears as a rectangle that has been lifted off of the ground

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
formal diagrams

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
flux diagram of circulation

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china
masterplan diagram

unit shenzhen bay super city competition china



project info:


type: competition, third prize
typology: office
client: shenzhen municipality
location: shenzhen, china
size: 2,000,000 sqm
building height: 680m
status: completed
year: 2014
partner in charge: moyang yang
team: luca d’amore, stephanie leboeuf, alan leiro, chenglei su, xiaoyu hu, peiqi yan



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.