Competition 2006 – 1st prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz
Project management Tobias Keyl
Design team Christian Dorndorf, Alexander Niederhaus, Kuno von Häfen, Kian Lian, Xin Meng, Kati Mutschlechner
Project team Helga Reimund, Sabine Stage, Cai Lei, Ilja Zipin
Chinese partner practice United Design Group, Shanghai
Client Town of Wuxi
Gross floor area urban planning 1,738,000 m², administration center 335,000 m²
Total length of administration center 740 m
Height of administration towers 105 m
Construction period 2008–2010
The master plan of the New City of Taihu is characterized by the longish water axis which connects the Taihu lake with the historic centre of Wuxi in the North. It is the basic idea of the design to create an impressive architectural ending of the new district which is related to the primary elements of the masterplan: the circular form of the lake, the hill in the north, the geometrical pattern of the business district to the west, the landscape park to the east.
Entertainment facilities are planned to the east of the lake whilst the different buildings for the administration are located to the west and to the north. It is a major target of the design to create a coherent appearance of the administration buildings. Therefore building high colonnades are designed in order to produce a highly public and representative image since they unify the different functions of the singular buildings.
The main building located to the north of the lake is curved in such a way that it precisely follows the given form of the lake. The entrance in the centre is clearly marked by an offset of the colonnade and broad staircases which lead up to the main hall.
The main building houses offices and other facilities for administration as well as logistic facilities, a conference center and an exhibition center. It basically consists of eight curved volumes to the north and to the south of a circulation hall as well as of two high rise buildings which appear like a gate to the new City of Taihu.