illustration above is an extruded representation of a Hengqin site map
Architectural designers are vested with the power to shape space in their own perspective. A design task becomes difficult when the context for the architecture evolves continuously. In this brief, we focus on Hengqin, a work-in-progress city undergoing drastic changes in unimaginable ways. Hengqin was a rural community in Mainland China at the door of Macau, the Las Vegas in Asia. It is facing social and physical advancements that make it an ideal site for architectural experimentation and exploration.
In the ‘2022 Development plan’, the local governments laid foundation for Layer 01: economic diversification. Some would say that there were limited considerations for the public infrastructures and existing cultural and historical contexts. In this competition, we ask that you to intervene and design Layer 02: the buffer between the changes and the existing context, to plug the gaps of the life that Layer 01 has not accounted for.
Hengqin Island is at the mouth of the Pearl River, adjacent to the Taipa and Coloane districts of Macau, with the Shisanmen Waterway separating them, and is connected to Macau’s Cotai via the Lotus Bridge. The island is the largest among the 146 islands of Zhuhai, being roughly three times the size of Macau.
Hengqin had been transformed into a special economic zone (SEZ) – city which undergoes economic reforms.
1 TERRITORY 2 SYSTEMS
In September 2020, The Draft of Urban Master Plan for
Macau SAR 2020-2040 (“the Plan”) was published. However, Macau lacks an immediate hinterland to match its ambition for expansion.
Consequently, Hengqin is “leased” by Mainland China to provide a new space to facilitate the life and employment of Macau residents; strengthening policy support, vigorously developing new technologies, new industries, new formats, and new models, by injecting new impetus into the long-term development of Macau.
Ultimately, the governments and their joint proposal seek to promote the in-depth integration of public services, provide more convenient conditions for Macau residents to study, find employment, start a business, and live in an environment that is convergent with Macau.
Hengqin was planning to expand its cooperation with Macao to jointly develop logistics, tourism, finance, leisure, and cross-border e-commerce industries. With the upcoming proposal, Hengqin is destined to be adopted into a different way of life tha leads to an alienation from its own past.
As modern insertions embedded into Hengqin can be seen as impermanent, caught in a shorter life cycle of constant change, the city can be viewed as placing strain on its collected historical anchors in favour of an architecture which responds to only its immediate economic and environmental needs, dismantles, and creates again.
As these object forms nested in the permutations of city’s field conditions, the city is capable of unifying diverse and seemingly disparate elements while still respecting the identity of each. The swampy chaos of the “sea” with its inhabitants: parks, pop-up events, spill outs, and bits of small urbanization, collectively reside in the infrastructure, namely streets, roads and rail.
It is with Art as it is with Architecture, exists Horror Vacui, an intense and irrational fear of empty, wide open spaces. Seemingly made up of nothingness, of pure space, often alluded to but never defined, closer inspection reveals a collection of objects and urban scenarios which give identity to moments of place within the circulating swampy chaos space of the city.
What is to buffer this speeding devlopment of Hengqin, which was once frozen in time? How will the changes be obscured, evolved and accepted? How might architects evolve this morphogenesis?
Brief Launch – 2nd April 2022
Super Early Bird Entry Deadline – 30th April 2022 – 11:59pm (GMT) Early Bird Entry Deadline – 31st May 2022 – 11:59pm (GMT) Standard Entry Deadline – 15th August 2022 – 11:59pm (GMT) Last-minute Entry Deadline – 04th Sept 2022 – 11:59pm (GMT)
Submission Deadline – 18th September 2022 – 11:59pm (GMT)
Public Vote – Mid October 2022
Evaluation Period – Late October 2022
Announcement of Winners – Early November 2022
You may enter the competition as an individual designer or as a group with up to three members.
Super Early Bird Entry 35€ (02 April to 30 April) Early Bird Entry 50 € (01 May to 31 May) Standard Entry 75 € (01 June to 15 August) Last-minute Entry 100 € (16 August to 04 Sept)
6 Drawings + 500 WORDS
- Submit six drawings (Isometric drawings of different scales x 2)
- Drawings of your choice x 3
- Render of the best perspective x 1
- 1-minute fly-through animation (it’s optional)
- Approximately 500 words in word/pdf/txt text file explaining your design concept with a title for the design
- Use entry numbers #m____ we provide instead of your real names in all submission files
awards & publication
6 x WINNER
[ PUBLICATION + Prize ]
9 x FINALIST
[ PUBLICATION ]
UP TO 24 x HONOURABLE MENTION
[ PUBLICATION ]
THE BEST OVERALL PROJECT – 1500 EURO
THE BEST RESEARCH – 200 EURO
THE BEST TECHNICAL DESIGN – 200 EURO
THE BEST ANIMATION – 200 EURO
THE BEST ISO – 100 EURO
THE BEST RENDER – 100 EURO
download Competition Brief & Site
Founding Director of CLOU Architects
Course Leader of BA Interior and Spatial Design at Buckinghamshire University
Curator at Experimental Architecture
President of Board of Directors of Architects Association of Macau
Co-Founder of JWCC Architecture
more jurors to released before late June
More detailed introduction at our news page
Register form (1 -3 members per group)
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