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UK firms urged to compete for slice of Chinese mega-project

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Chetwoods has called on UK architects to participate in an international design competition for a raft of ‘architectural gems’ near Mount Lu in China

The UIA-backed competition – launched by Chinese property developer Hua Yan Group – seeks 13 of the ‘world’s most creative minds’ to design 13 new buildings.

The landmark structures – including museums, apartments, a shopping mall and hotel – will be the centrepiece of a 150 hectare new town and visitor attraction masterplanned by Chetwoods.

Studio managing director Geoff Cunningham said: ‘It’s an opportunity for both aspiring young architects and established older practices to put their hat in the ring and come up with interesting proposals for a new townscape.’

The winning schemes will occupy a 20 hectare plot – dubbed the Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture (MOLEWA) – next to an 80 hectare ‘Flower Ocean Garden’ visitor attraction which is already under construction. A further 50 hectares of residential and commercial buildings is also planned.

The overall development – which will be known as the Huayan Township – is the flagship for a new wave of medium-sized sustainable settlements which aim to address the problems of overcrowding and pollution in China’s rapidly urbanising cities.

According to the competition brief: ‘MOLEWA will act as a permanent site to display different architectural styles and design approaches, and in so doing, shed light on a new path toward urbanization where sustainability of nature and diversity of culture are integrated with economic growth, and expressed through architecture.’

Three further buildings will be awarded through a competition open to Chinese students only.

Chetwoods and Chris Blandford Associates were appointed to mastermind the development – which is next door to China’s Mount Lu tourist destination – two and a half years ago.

Competition winners will receive building commissions and around £100,000 each. Second place prizes worth £50,000 and third place prizes of £26,000 are also available.

Judges include Ken Yeang and Marianne Burkhalter of Zurich-based Burkhalter Sumi Architekten.

The deadline for submission is 10 April.




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