Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Changsha Meixi Lake City Island in China by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
February 8th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
1st prize for the design of the Meixi Urban Helix in Changsha by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten | The symbolic structure is a vantage point, high-rise walkway, and the new landmark of the expanded city.
In Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in south-eastern China, KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International won out against international com-petitors (Archea Associati, Florence /Beijing und Cox Architecture, Sydney, Australia) in the architecture competition – with its concept for the Meixi Urban Helix. In the two-stage competition, participation in which was by invitation only, the design submitted by the German architects, who have a branch in Beijing, was awarded first prize.
The KSP Jürgen Engel concept masterfully highlights the start of the new urban axis on Lake Mexi in the southwest of Changsha and creates a multi-functional, public space, which opens up to the city. The Meixi Urban Helix rises up above an artificial island in the lake; with a surface area of some 20,000 square meters it comprises a six meter wide accessible ramp, which spirals to a height of 30 meters. As a vantage point it affords visitors a pano-rama view of the planned urban expansion and of Lake Mexi, which is about 40 hectares in size.
On the inside of the helix the ramp leads down a reverse-spin ramp from the highest point and becomes a raised urban axis that introduces visitors to the new district. For those working in the Chang-sha’s busy Central Business District (CBD) close by, the new urban axis and vantage point forge an attractive pedestrian link between the lake and the city. In total the spiral is up to 88 meters in diameter and around one kilo-meter long.
Along its entire length the ramp will feature diverse facilities, from micro-hospitality outlets to children’s play areas to sun decks and various areas of greenery. The interplay between rural elements and urban finishes is charac-teristic of this accessible, public structure.
Given its exposed site and welcoming atmosphere, the striking, symbolic structure is set to become a popular meeting place for inhabitants and tour-ists alike. The spiral and raised walkway, which at a height of 9 meters serves as a bridge link across two expressways, are reserved exclusively for pedestrians.
“The spiral-shaped Meixi Urban Helix marks the start of the new urban expansion in the southwest of Changsha and is destined to become its land-mark. The wide range of facilities in different public spaces represents high value added for visitors to the Meixi Urban Helix,” comments Johannes Reinsch, Managing Director of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International, when describing the qualities of the design.
The structure comprises two curved walkways made of a hollow steel-beam, which rests on columns that are a mere 40 cm thick and positioned close to one another. The Meixi Urban Helix is due to be completed in 2015.
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International
Its range of activities embraces urban planning, office and commercial buildings, residential high-rises, sports structures and administration buildings. Cultural and public buildings such as the Art Museum in Nanjing, Tianjin Art Museum and the design of the Bejiing Science Center are a focal point of these activities.
Contact KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten