[First look] Office for Architectural Culture (OAC) has revealed competition-winning schemes for a 500-hectare masterplan in Xi’an, China and a presidential library in Taipei, Taiwan
The London-based studio – set up in 2010 by former RMJM architects – won the two seperate competitions last year but has only recently unveiled new images.
OAC’s 500-hectare mixed-use masterplan in Xi’an includes parts of the UNESCO-protected Daming Palace and the neighbouring 20th Century Dahua Wool Spinning Factory.
Constructed in the seventh century, the historic structure is the largest imperial palace complex in the world. Xi’an was the capital of 13 Chinese dynasties and is also home to the world-famous terracotta warriors.
The project’s 580,000m² first phase will deliver culture-themed retail, galleries, corporate offices, creative workshops and live-work studios.
Two five-star hotels, public spaces and a 12,000m² Silk Road Museum will also be included.
OAC design director and founder Charles Phu said: At the beginning of design process we realised that this urban regeneration project, because it includes part of the Daming Palace Site, meant a profound responsibility for the architect to integrate the urban, historical, cultural and archaeological contexts and transform this into a liveable environment.’
He continued: ‘While aiming to bring the site’s already world-famous status to the next level, I believe that it is even more important to encourage people to interact and enjoy a socially and culturally sustainable, human-friendly urban environment by breaking down the scales of buildings and spaces and providing freedom of movement and experience to pedestrians.’
Construction has meanwhile started on OAC’s competition-winning scheme for a new presidential memorial library and museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
The project – commemorating the life and legacy of former Taiwan president Chiang Ching-Kuo – will be the first presidential memorial library and museum complex in the Far East.
Planned to complete in 2017, the 40,000m² scheme will include a presidential library, International Sinology Centre, archive, museum, multi-function hall, guesthouse and visitor centre.
OAC management director Roger Whiteman said: ‘This is OAC’s first project in Taiwan and, as a UK practice, it has been a privilege to gain a better understanding of the fast changing socio-political climate in Asia during President Chiang’s life.’
He continued: ‘To design such a meaningful and unique project in Asia which celebrates his progressive personality as well as the values that we share globally today, is life-changing and we hope we have done justice to his legacy.’