Prioritizing the Public Realm Through Biophilia: One Excellence, Shenzhen

Session: B: Urban Habitat Award: District/Master Plan

 Stefan KrummeckProject image

Presenter to be confirmed
Senior Representative, Excellence Group

Stefan Krummeck
Principal Director, Farrells
Hong Kong

The One Excellence project was inspired by nature, with the belief that biophilic design not only serves to connect people with the natural world, but also helps them disconnect from city life and attain a sense of calm and serenity. As a result, the development’s landscape urbanism was a crucial part of the overall master plan. Centered on a green urban spine, fingers from the bay span into the tower lots, maximizing and creating more visually verdant corridors. Crucially, it places public realm at the heart of the design and centers on and interactive, multifunctional streetscapes. Layered open-air footbridges maximize the impact of the space for pedestrians, providing outdoor recreational areas that connect users with nature.

Additionally, there is a diverse range of public plazas and pocket spaces along the main landscape spine that takes on various characters and themes throughout. This includes a cultural square, performance plaza, garden, and sculpture park weaved together by the lush landscape spine. Along the development’s urban streetscape, there are many cafés, restaurants, and shops. As the development is very permeable without any major hard-edge boundaries, this leads to a very open and inviting environment for the public. The underground network is also a myriad of retail corridors, enabling the neighborhood to function as a 24-hour city.

Importantly, the development connects seamlessly to Shenzhen’s energy-efficient mass transit systems. Reducing a reliance on cars dramatically reduces a city’s transport energy usage. The integration of the district cooling center on the site also offers significant energy saving benefits to both the development and the wider central business district.

View Building Information on