Guangzhou University Town - 4 Villages Winner

Regional & Urban Design Award, Honor Award

The explosive growth of cities in developing countries puts at risk their irreplaceable indigenous architecture and traditional village social patterns. South China’s great business city Guangzhou is no exception.
Four villages, where generations worked the rich island land on the banks of the Pearl River, have recently been surrounded by 10 universities and 400,000 students.
The planning challenge is to accommodate dramatic urbanization by creating sustainable, modern, transit/pedestrian-focused central districts while preserving historic character: to create communities with strong identities and market appeal – enhanced by sustainable initiatives, new buildings, and restored neighborhoods.
The strategy is to use the region’s indigenous “Lingnan” heritage of traditional development patterns defined by natural systems – applied simultaneously at the village and urban scales. This exemplifies AIA’s 2011 theme “Innovations in Regional Design: Place-making in the 21st Century” and the Environment + Sustainability Initiative.
The Guangzhou University Villages project explores the uniqueness of site and program and how the plan for each village preserves the local heritage and historic qualities in a way that creatively meets the needs and demands of a growing population, creating pride in regional culture and history and setting an example for other cities around the world.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Associate Architect
Guangzhou Panyu Architecture & Planning Institute
Guangzhou Panyu District Ziaoguwei Island Subdistrict / Gunagzhou University Town Management Committee
Guangzhou, N/A