Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects – All images by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Landscape architecture – In the past decade, the economy of Shenzen has developed rapidly into the city’s financial and innovation hub. Dubbed as the China’s Silicon Valley, the metropolis which is home to Alibaba Cloud, Huawei and Tencent, now seeks to establish itself on a more cultural level. The numerous high-rises that have emerged as a result of economic and technological development will stand as a contrasting backdrop to MAD Architects’ Shenzhen Bay Culture Park, set between the young vibrant city of Shenzhen and the quiet oceanfront.

When building a cultural landmark on a site positioned between the dynamic energy of a modern city and quiet timelessness of nature, it should be imagined as a free civic space – at first a land art park, with its functions complementing its aesthetics.” says Ma Yansong of MAD Architects.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Expected to be completed in 2023, the masterplan juxtaposes two transcendental scales of time – the ‘ancient’ and the ‘future’ – through the setting of an ethereal artistic urban landscape.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

I want to create a surreal atmosphere, so that the people who visit, relax or exercise here have the possibility of engaging in a dialogue with the past and the future. Time and space are dissolved and placed against each other, manifesting a sense of weightlessnes, and unrestrained imagination,” says Ma Yansong.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

The complex features the Creative Design Hall and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum, with an expansive public green space along the waterfront.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

MAD’s scheme is formed by a sprawling green plaza. A reception area, standard exhibition halls, public education space, library, auditorium, theater, café and supporting business are spread out across the ground floor.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Sunken into the terrain, these programmatic functions remain unseen. Instead, they are visualized as an earth-art landscape. The gentle sloping of the roof naturally falls into the ground, shaping several sunken courtyards of continuous height across the park.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

The sweeping green roofs and recessed courtyards form the foundation of this ‘three-dimensional’ citizen’s park. A mirrored pool at the heart of the site serves as an en plein air seaside amphitheater that can accommodate 10,000 people.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Multiple platforms found across the enduring landscape provide outdoor performance venues and public art exhibition areas shaping a dynamic civic space for hosting art and music festivals, and other domestic and international events.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Pedestrian walkways and cycling paths weave between the buildings and across the sprawling lawn, providing citizens with an expansive recreational space along the waterfront.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

The north and south pavilions stand as smooth monumental stones, quietly settling into the environment. They sit backed by the city’s powerful development, and face the open calm of nature and the ocean in front of them, uniquely marking the passage of time.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.

All images by PROLOOG – Courtesy fo MAD Architects.

Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects. Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects. Shenzhen Bay Culture Park masterplan by MAD Architects - Image by PROLOOG, courtesy fo MAD Architects.