Zaha Hadid Architects has announced that construction on the new exhibition and conference centre, a part of the Chengdu’s Unicorn Island masterplan, in Sichuan province, West China is nearing completion.

The exhibition and conference centre is the first building of the 67-hectare Unicorn Island masterplan, which is conceived by British design firm Zaha Hadid Architects.

The design firm expects the Unicorn Island mixed-use masterplan to boost the growth of the country’s digital economy by creating living and working environments for companies.

Expected to serve 70,000 researchers, office staff, residents and visitors, the Unicorn Island is designed based on the principles of historical natural engineering projects within the region.

The Unicorn Island will be supported by the environmental principles of Dujiangyan’s historic irrigation system as well as the Tianfu New Area’s on-going work to re-establish natural wetlands in order to serve as water conservation, flood control and recreation area.

Additionally, the masterplan features a parkland design that incorporates green civic spaces, water conservation and enhanced connectivity while the integrated clusters of buildings surround a central plaza and metro station.

The masterplan allows people to access the entire island by a few minutes, either through walk or bike ride.
Zaha, in a statement, said: “The height and composition of each cluster will be established organically over the lifetime of the development; directly responding to varying requirements of function, programme and efficiency to cultivate a diversity of interconnected buildings at a human scale that establish a sense of community.”

The Unicorn Island will also feature natural water management systems as well as innovations in urban farming technologies to provide fresh, locally-grown produce for residents, workers and visitors.

In 2018, Zaha Hadid Architects, in partnership with TPO Pride Architects (Russia), was selected as one of the consortiums to build the new Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye smart city in Russia.

Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye will comprise homes for 66,500 residents in addition to schools, medical clinics, transport infrastructure and shopping districts, and civic and cultural institutions.

Illustration of Chengdu’s Unicorn Island masterplan. (Credit: MIR/ Zaha Hadid Architects)