Barcelona-based Guallart Architects has won a contest to design a resilient and self-sufficient community in Xiong’an, a new city that Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling “a new standard in the post-COVID era”.
According to an article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Xiong’an New Area is being designed as a self-sufficient city capable of producing its own energy, food and other resources. It features rooftop farms and greenhouses, drone-friendly terraces, shared 3D printers, and enough space from which to work from home in case of future pandemic outbreaks.
The environmentally friendly design also includes cross-laminated wooden apartment blocks, renewable energy and streets dedicated solely to pedestrians and cyclists.
“We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened,” said Vincent Guallart, founder of Guallart Architects and a former chief architect of the city of Barcelona.
“Our proposal stems from the need to provide solutions to the various crises that are taking place in our planet at the same time, in order to create a new urban life, based on the circular bioeconomy, that will empower cities and communities.”
Guallart told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the design was heavily influenced by the architect team’s lockdown experiences in Spain.
“We wanted to make a manifesto of those things that we thought were important during lockdown and in the future,” said Guallart.
“If homes allow tele-work and tele-education, have flexible spaces on large terraces, and cities can grow food on the roofs or print objects in their neighbourhoods, we will be more prepared for the crises of the future.”
Xiong’an New Area is located in Hebei province around 130 kilometers southwest of Beijing.
Image credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash