First phase of Zaha Hadid Architect’s Unicorn Island masterplan completed in Chengdu

The first building of the Zaha Hadid Architect (ZHA)-designed Unicorn Island is nearing completion in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.

The Start-Up exhibition and conference centre is part of ZHA’s 67ha masterplan for the island in the Tianfu New Area, which will act as a base for China’s move away from traditional industries to the digital economy.

Unicorn Island is a mixed-use project, and will contain 70,000 researchers, office workers, residents and visitors. The development is named after "unicorns" – start-ups, usually in the digital sector, that are valued at more than £1bn.

ZHA says its design for Unicorn Island was inspired by the Dujiangyan’s historic irrigation system, and will contain green civic spaces, water conservation areas and urban farming opportunities. Interconnected building clusters will be located a few minutes walk or cycle ride from the central plaza and metro station.

Ramboll acted as engineer and landscape designer for the project.

Images courtesy of ZHA, render by MIR

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