Guallart Architects has won the international competition for the design of a mixed-use community in Xiong'an’s new city, defining a new standard in the post-COVID era, that can be applied as a raw model in different cities around the world.

The proposal presented under the title "The self-sufficient city", defines an urban model, that merges the traditional European urban blocks, the Chinese modern towers, and the productive farming landscape. This new urban environment where people can live, work and rest, will allow their residents to produce resources locally while remaining globally connected and living a fulfilled life even in times of confinement.

Postcovid Housing

"We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened," says Guallart, " Our proposal stems from the need to provide solutions to the various crises happening simultaneously all around the world, in order to create a new urban life based on the circular bioeconomy that will empower cities and communities.”

Specifically, the project is conceived as layers of onions, defining different functions needed for human life at different scales, from the resident’s home, to the building, to the community.

The four mixed-use blocks, built with mass timber and passive design solutions, will combine apartments, residences for young and old people, offices, a swimming pool, shops, a food market, a nursery, an administrative centre and a fire station among other facilities.

We developed this project during confinement, when the entire team worked from home...

All buildings will be covered by greenhouses, which will make it possible to grow food for daily needs and generate energy through the sloping roofs. On the ground floor there are small digital co-working factories that allow the use of 3D printers and rapid prototyping machines to produce objects for everyday use. The building will therefore have an internal metabolic system that will integrate energy production, recycled water, food production and material reuse promoting a distributed model for urban management.

Every apartment will have a large south-facing terrace that will act as a thermal regulator and provide a basic space in times of confinement, allowing residents to play, rest and work. Teleworking stations connected to 5G networks will also be created. This will enable the creation of social networks at neighbourhood level for the exchange of resources.

As the director of the office Honorata Grzesikowska states: “We developed this project during confinement, when the entire team worked from home and we decided to include all those aspects that could make our lives better, so that a new standard could be defined.”

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