In the Summer of 2011, the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley had the privilege of being among a small number of distinguished international universities invited by the National University of Singapore to compete in a 5-year series of urban architecture competitions, Vertical Cities Asia. The competition focuses on the pressing issues of rapidly developing Asian cities, each year highlighting one primary quality-of-life issue, and sited in one exemplary Asian city. This first year’s theme was Everyone Needs Fresh Air, for a project in Chengdu, China.
The ancient and rapidly developing city of Chengdu offered a unique challenge for radical new vertical density, requiring close study of a broad range of natural, technological, and cultural conditions. Competing schools marshaled interdisciplinary student teams of architects, landscape architects, planners and urban designers with a goal of developing provocative solutions for a dense urban community of 100,000 people.
Early design investigation included travel to China to study the city of Chengdu, and seminars and meetings with faculty and researchers from Tongji University, Sichuan University, and The Sichuan Institute of Architecture and Urban Design. The design process required significant thought as to structure, program, systems and urban function as an integrated design problem inviting many avenues for creative solutions.
Student teams presented their work, which was judged during the week of July 5th in Singapore, at an international symposium on vertical city design. Judging was based on five criteria: sustainability, quality of life, feasibility/buildability, cultural/environmental appropriateness, and technical innovation. Although the UC Berkeley team did not garner the competition prize, their work was well received, and the experience was of great value.
More information about this project:
- Team from ETH Zurich Wins International Design Competition with Innovative Solutions to Address Urbanisation Problems
- NUS and WFF award top prize of international design competition to team from ETH Zurich
- Fang Huan
- Mengxi Wu
- Phi Tran
- Michael Song
- Alexandra Harker
- Warner Brown
- Zach Streitz