CCDI, Morphosis, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro are among ten finalists vying for Chinese Eco-Island design

The winning firm will design the master plan and central buildings for the man made Haikou Bay island.

August 16, 2016 |

Image © GAO Wenzhonglow via ArchDaily.

Just off the Chinese coast of Hainan sits a large patch of brown earth breaking up an otherwise uniform stretch of blue water. While it may be a bit of an eyesore right now, the island, which is named South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, is destined to become a 250 hectare tourist destination complete with homes, hotels, attractions, and a port with enough space for two cruise ships to dock.

But that all comes later.

Right now, the island is as empty as a promise from Charles Ponzi or one of this year’s presidential candidates, and before any construction can actually begin, it needs to be determined who will design the master plan that will transform the island. As ArchDaily reports, that’s where Hainan Airlines Group’s international design competition comes into play.

The competition has been organized by China Building Center, which has selected former Chief Architect of Barcelona and Director of Guallart Architects, Vicente Guallart, to develop the strategic vision for the island. The goal is to create an urban development using the best available technologies with a focus on ecological principles to make a landmark for new urbanism in China, according to Guallart.

10 firms will present submissions and a winner will be selected by a jury comprising Aaron Betsky, Benedetta Tagliabue, Donald Bates, Sergey Kuznetsov, Peter Poulet, Horacio Werner, and Margarita Jover during the last week of August.

The 10 competing firms are:

  • Foster + Partners
  • Morphosis Architects
  • Office of Architecture in Barcelona Carlos Ferrater Partnership
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfrom
  • IROJE Architects & Planners
  • UNStudio
  • KuiperCompagnons
  • The Jerde Partnership Inc.
  • CCDI
  • Boston International Design Group, LLC

After the selection is made, construction on the island is expected to start in 2017. A tentative completion date of 2027 has also been set. Additionally, South Sea Pearl Eco-Island may not be a solitary development. Studies are currently underway to evaluate the region for other possible man made islands and existing islands off the coast of Hainan may follow the lead of South Sea Pearl Eco-Island and become more tourist-oriented.

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