Hua Qiang Bei International Competition, Amale Andraos

Amale Andraos co-founded WORKac in 2003 with partner Dan Wood. She received her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and her Bachelors in Architecture from McGill University in Montreal. She is currently an adjunct professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and was previously a visiting critic at the GSD, the Kowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. Recent publications include research projects on Beirut and Dubai in addition to publications through WORKac. Andraos was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She has lived in Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, and the Netherlands. 

Based in New York, WORKac strives to develop architectural and urban planning projects that engage culture and consciousness, nature and artificiality, surrealism and pragmatism. Recent works include the installation ‘Public Farm 1’ at PS1/MoMA, a new branch library for the Kew Gardens Hills in Queens and the new headquarters for fashion house Diane von Furstenberg. In addition, WORKac undertakes novel research and has produced several publications, including 49 Cities, a book rereading visionary projects with a focus on the relationship between ecology and urbanism, and Above the Pavement, the Farm!, an in depth look at the PS1 installation.
     
Earlier this year, WORKac won an international competition to redesign a 1 kilometer section of Hua Qiang Bei Road in Shezhen, China. Hua Qiang Bei has recently evolved from an industrial district to become one of the city’s commercial hubs specializing in electronics. Unfortunately, this transformation has created traffic problems, and the street needed a new strategy and expression to reflect its status as a major destination point in the city. A single solution that covered the entire length of the street would have overwhelmed its vibrant character—for this reason we proposed a series of strategic interventions rather than a single approach. We took the idea of a three-dimensional street and created six iconic “Lanterns” by twisting the required program into sinuous bands to create unique, visible destination nodes. These Lanterns also act as connections for surrounding neighborhoods, and at night glow with colored light and activity. Each Lantern includes commercial space and special destination programs. From an electronics museum at the south, to a food market and nightlife Lantern in the electronics district, to a spa and fashion center in the fashion district, we have included an array of program types that intersect with their locations and provide moments of variation. Due to the complex nature of the existing area and its particular requirements, we have teamed up with one of the world’s biggest and best experts in traffic engineering. As a result, particular attention has been paid to expanding and enlarging bus-stops, adding taxi zones, adding signals at pedestrian crossings, providing underground connections and bridges at the Lantern level and creating new underground parking. The underground area provides new retail space and connections across the street and between metro stations. Terraced steps create generous entrances at each of the Lanterns. Below, we have created the largest possible retail space, connected by a wide shopping boulevard. A moving sidewalk provides an express route between a series of plazas. We have also designed a massive expansion of parking facilities in the second underground level.
Published in 2A Magazine Issue #15
     
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