Network of micro-cities
Hangzhou hosted the G20 summit in 2016, and is organizing the Asia Games in 2022. A new campus, integrating the infrastructure of both events into a new CBD area, is currently under construction. The S4 highway, built for the G20 summit, connects the new CBD area to the airport of Hangzhou. Because of all these developments, agricultural land around the highway is rapidly transforming into a new urban district.
To structure developments, this project transforms the highway: from an infrastructural connection into a metropolitan backbone for urbanization.
Hangzhou is characterized and renowned for its green character. The new district builds on that identity. A connecting landscape framework integrates and capitalizes the various existing landscape qualities: rivers, canals, agricultural areas, hills and mountains. This framework defines different so called ‘micro-cities’. Their identity and character differs, determined by the built program and the relation with the surrounding landscape structures.
The S4 becomes the new backbone of this green framework. Being recently built, the elevated construction is preserved and wrapped by an elegant lotus structure. This lotus has different modes: it opens up along industrial areas to ensure visual connections, it partially closes running through office and business quarters to preserve the view location, it closes within residential areas to minimize nuisance of noise and air pollution.
The structure also rotates the direction of the highway, transforming it from a dividing line into a 15km long series of perpendicular gates to the other side. Depending on the different ‘micro-city’, the zone underneath the highway is differently programmed. The structure is greened, and integrates technics to generate solar and wind energy; to collect, filter and reuse rainwater; to absorb and clean air pollution. The S4 becomes a strong landscape backbone of the new urban district, and creates a representative and well defined entrance the city of Hangzhou for all people arriving at the airport.