OMA, Morphosis shortlisted for China’s “Unicorn Island” for tech behemoths

The city of Chengdu in southwest China has shortlisted the Dutch architect Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and California’s Morphosis in a competition to design "Unicorn Island", a new development for successful new technology firms.

Intended as China’s answer to Silicon Valley, the island will function as an incubator for "Unicorn" companies, which are technology firms that attain a value of $1bn or more within their first 10 years.

In all, four architects were shortlisted, but the other two are currently unknown. It is not clear when the final winning design of the project will be chosen.

Image courtesy of Morphosis

Located in Tianfu New Area, on Xing Long Lake, Unicorn Island will be close to Chengdu’s international airport and have links to downtown Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan Province.

OMA said the scheme is part of China’s drive to move "from a production oriented to a knowledge and service based economy".

Its design is organised into three rings, with a "Living Lab" in the centre for the companies to test their ideas, a village-like "Weave Zone" for different office types, with the perimeter of the island formed of the Unicorn firm’s headquarters.

Morphosis’ masterplan envisions a green and walkable park city arranged into four neighbourhoods that correspond to the different stages in tech company development. Fully-developed unicorn companies would be able to move into a central tower.

Top image courtesy of OMA

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