OCT Bay

SWA: OCT Bay has a combined site area of approximately 1.25 square kilometers comprising equal parts new urban center and nature preserve. SWA provided both master planning and landscape architectural services for the entire site. As a new urban cultural and entertainment destination, OCT Bay offers urban amenities, entertainment components, public plazas, park space, resort destinations, and an ecological preserve. A remnant of the former shoreline of Shenzhen, the 685,000-square-meter North Lake Nature Preserve provides habitat for dozens of species, and is China’s only inner-city coastal mangrove wetland. Trails and boardwalks provide public access around the lake edge and connect with surrounding public and private infrastructure.

A reforestation area screens the preserve from the noise pollution and environmental degradation associated with the adjacent major roadway. Bird watching towers provide public infrastructure to enjoy the natural beauty of the site and boat docks provide water transportation connections to the adjacent mixed-use development. SWA’s design for the urban center organizes exterior spaces in a hierarchy of intimate spaces, medium-size courtyards, and large public plazas to accommodate both daily and special events. The site design serves to enhance and compliment architectural themes through its materiality, scale, lighting, and water features. An HEC simulation model was used to ensure that floodwater conveyance would not be compromised by the improvements.

Project Name: OCT Bay
Location: Guandong, Shenzhen, CHINA
Address: OCT Harbor, Nanshan Central Business District
Area: 169 acres
Completion: 2014
Landscape Architecture: SWA
Architects: Richard Meier & Partners Architects (OCT China Club); Studio Pei Zhu Architects (Cloud-shaped Exhibition Center); Laguarda.Low Architects (other buildings)
Photos: Tom Fox, Jonnu Singleton