by Hassell Studio
^ Huangpu East Bank Urban Forest is a continuous woodland of two million trees – one tree planted for each of Shanghai’s two million children. As the children grow, so does the forest. It would be a legacy for the city – one we could start on today.
We care about creating lasting value for our clients, but we’re just as passionate about creating lasting value for communities. We want to do work that matters to us – and to the wider world.
It’s about really listening to the perspectives of the people impacted by and helping shape our projects – like Resilient South City in San Francisco, where local residents and community groups helped us map out a more sustainable future for their city. It’s about giving back in the countries where we operate, through pro-bono projects such as the Maningrida Arts & Culture Precinct in Australia’s Northern Territory.
And it’s about contributing to grassroots efforts to expand minds and opportunities through design, by supporting programs such as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Building Futures in the UK and global initiatives like Humanitarian Architecture Week. All of our professional lives we need to think about how we can add value and meaning for the future, enabling communities to stay resilient and adaptable for whatever opportunities and challenges they may face. We hope this exhibition and the projects we’ve selected demonstrate just that.
Xichong Recovery Master Plan | Shen Zhen
Considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of China, Xichong is a coastal area facing the South China Sea that’s lined by sandy beaches and a rich, biodiverse tropical landscape. But it’s also part of the tech megacity Shenzhen, which has seen rapid development over the past four decades. Because of this, Xichong’s pristine environment has also been degraded - land resources have been overused and the water surface polluted.
In 2018, the area suffered a heavy blow at the hands of Typhoon Mangkhut, one of the largest that has ever hit Southern China. Vast areas of the coastal landscape and many buildings were destroyed. But after disaster, the authorities and local community saw it as an opportunity to explore new possibilities to create a more resilient and sustainable environment.
Our team was selected in an international competition to work on a vision for Xichong, restoring of its wetlands, mangrove forests and other conservation areas to underpin future tourism and marine education sectors.
The area will sustain moderate and specific development, preserving the visitor capacity of sensitive local ecologies. And we’ve set a comprehensive strategy for active restoration and disaster-prevention, to deal with the threats of ecological degradation and future natural disasters.
We also see local communities playing a more important role, serving as protectors, managers and promoters of the environment and actively involved in the operation and planning of the tourism industry. Xichong will gradually build up a more socially resilient precinct management system, promoting a sustainable model that integrates regional ecological conservation, disaster prevention and local experience.
01 – Xichong Beach overall birds eye view 02 – Underwater coral reef restoration 03 – Coastal forest lookout tower 04 – Beach activity hub 05 – Nature gallery 06 – Community disaster recovery & restoration
Resilient by Design Challenge | San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the world’s most captivating waterfront cities. It also happens to be one of the most vulnerable – with the Bay Area predicted to confront sea level rises of up to 168 centimetres by the year 2100.
What if we could re-write the city’s future through a series of smart, sensitive design solutions? We formed a global design collective with exactly that ambition for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge – a project that has the community and public officials working with local, national and international experts on the challenges of climate change and ecological disaster around the bay. The program is tied to The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network that aims to strengthen cities for the 21st century.
The Hassell+ collective was one of 10 design teams selected from a list of more than 50 contenders. Our team understands designing for water, living with water and the immense potential waterfront places have for well-connected communities.
Our proposal features a network of green spaces, creeks and revived high streets serving as points of collection, connection and water management – from the ridgeline to the shoreline and across the bay via an enhanced ferry network. Hassell+ applied these Stage 1 research concepts to specific sites in South San Francisco and San Mateo County for the second stage of the project – the Collaborative Design Phase. Together, this work gives San Francisco a range of creative, evidence-based opportunities for strengthening their waterfronts and communities.
The result? More vibrant, accessible public places for everyday use – and vital spaces for the city’s long-term environmental and emergency needs. More about this project here.
01 – San Francisco is one of the world’s most vulnerable waterfront cities with the Bay Area predicted to confront sea level rises of up to 168 centimetres by the year 2100 02 – Creating vital spaces for the city’s long term environmental and emergency needs 03 – Giving the city a range of creative, evidence-based opportunities for strengthening their waterfronts and communities 04 – Our proposal features a network of green spaces, creeks and revived high streets 05 – Our team had the community and public officials working with local, national and international experts on the challenges of climate change and ecological disaster around the Bay
GSK Asia House | Singapore
The purpose-built Asian headquarters for global healthcare business GSK is a beacon of health in the region. We designed the headquarters – in Singapore’s strategic One North business hub – to exemplify the company’s agile and collaborative working principles. The aim was to keep people and ideas flowing freely across a high-performing workplace – encouraged by horseshoe-shaped floors around a central atrium that allow people to move quickly and easily.
We took what the company learned from its ‘Smart Working’ sites globally and applied it to the design principles for GSK Asia House, anticipating how new ways of working in Singapore would evolve over time.
Our integrated team approached the project from the ‘inside out’, running workshops with key groups at GSK to find out what inspires and engages their people. Armed with all those ideas from employees, we created an agile, open and resilient campus with a focus on the future and changing needs.
The building’s distinctive façade appears as a screen of ‘petals’ and exemplifies the strong connection to nature.
The cascading sky gardens seamlessly connect GSK to its tropical parkland site – with more than 60,000 new plants and trees – as well as three revived colonial heritage bungalows within the park.
01 – A range of indoor and outdoor workspaces ensure the workplace remains highly adaptable 02 – The building is set among lush Rochester Park which is open to the community 03 – Our integrated team approached the project from the ‘inside out’ 04 – Keeping people and ideas flowing freely across the high-performing workplace 05 – Natural light floods in through building, while the facade is smartly designed to shield the workplace from the harsh sun
Huangpu East Bank Urban Forest | Shanghai
The concept is bold. To plant a forest of two million trees along the waterfront in one of China’s most populated cities, and increase green space in the centre by 25%.
Designed to snake along the Huangpu River for 21km, the urban woodland acts as a literal breath of fresh air – helping Shanghai improve its air quality and grow into a more sustainable city.
The proposed project invites local schoolchildren to act as custodians of the woods – with new outdoor classrooms and libraries planned alongside sports facilities and scenic pathways.
01 – Our concept increases green space in the heart of Shanghai by 25% 02 – The bold concept would see two million trees planted along the waterfront 03 – Sports facilities and scenic pathways add much needed public amenity along the Huangpu River 04 – The scheme won the people’s choice award in the competition 05 – Education points and outdoor classrooms are dotted along the river
Stadium Park and Chevron Parklands | Perth
Jumping. Climbing. Building. Tunnelling. Chevron Parkland, within Stadium Park at Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, is designed to ignite the imagination and connect kids with nature and indigenous culture.
We rehabilitated the former sewage treatment plant and rubbish tip beside the Swan River, transforming it into a place of discovery for kids and families to enjoy ‘365 days of play’ – a whole of precinct design solution, leading to the cultural and environmental healing of the land on which it sits.
The site is an important place for the local Whadjuk people, so we worked closely with Whadjuk community members to best represent their culture and depict their connection to country through stories relating to land, people, flora and animals which were then weaved throughout the site.
The six Whadjuk seasons are reflected throughout the six zones of Chevron Parklands through plants, materials, play themes and signs. For example, the Birak ‘first summer’ zone teaches kids about finding places to beat the heat, like the cooling ‘numbat burrows’ and tunnels. Stadium Park’s arbour tells the Aboriginal Creation Story, and most of the precinct’s public art is by indigenous artists.
The enire site that had been suffering from long-standing contamination issues, as it was formerly used as a refuse tip, cement works and golf course. We improved the soil and water quality, stormwater management and flood resilience.
We also introduced thousands of indigenous plants to the park, lake and river edges to create a habitat for native birds, fish and insects. And we transformed the area’s once-desolate spaces into a series of scenic promenades, cycle paths, and flexible event and play spaces – all punctuated by landmark public artworks.
Now, what was once a wasteland is a rich landscape for celebrating Perth’s heritage, land and people – proof that even the most unloved urban places have huge potential.
01 – We rehabilitated the former sewage treatment plant and rubbish tip beside the Swan River, transforming it into a place of discovery for kids and families 02 – We transformed the area’s once-desolate spaces into a series of scenic promenades, cycle paths, and flexible event and play spaces 03 – The site is an important place for the local Whadjuk people, so we worked closely with Whadjuk community members to best represent their culture and depict their connection to country 04 –The project significantly improved soil and water quality and flood resilience as well as introduced thousands of indigenous plants to the park, lake and river edges to create a habitat for birds and animals 05 – What was once a wasteland is a rich landscape for celebrating Perth’s heritage, land and people
Find out more about Hassell Studio here