Title: Ring of Iron Railroad Test City - Code: dd8f3
Contest: Beijing / 2014
By: vandyk.daniel

Views: 5500 Likes: 0


Greg Lynn 5
Ai Weiwei 8
Sou Fujimoto 3
Eric de Broches des Combes 8


Ring of Iron Railroad Test City



Ring of Iron Railway Test City – The proposal is for a grand project in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, near the northeast quadrant of the Fifth Ring Road. Looking at the city from above, one notices a large ring, two miles in diameter, that defines the limit of several neighborhoods and many acres of farmland. This ring is a test track, known locally as the “Ring of Iron,” and is used by the China Academy of Railway Sciences. Looking at this structure as an urban artifact, this project explores the possibility of an urban enclave developed within the limits of the test track. Here the logic of rails generates new building types and a self-contained culture detached from the automotive grid. Transportation within the enclave instead depends on an automated people mover system and a network of walking and bike paths. Civic spaces are planned with logical adjacencies to create an efficient day to day routine for inhabitants. The master plan envisions a new industrial building type where factories are built on rings tangent to existing rail infrastructure, allowing heavy goods to be shipped in and shipped out as a continuous process, and removing the need for trucks in the city. Also envisioned in the master plan are “Open Program” rail yards. These spaces, in addition to servicing in residential quarters as mercantile spaces, also create the possibility of transient architectural space. Art exhibitions and conventions, for instance, could move onto location and exist as open floor plans among the platforms. The yards can also accommodate temporary housing as the city develops. The existing site has an intriguing asynchronous character. After walking past a series of duck farms one encounters a night club. Nearby, sheep graze on the remains of a golf range no longer maintained by a defunct country club. The master plan for the railway city aims to tread lightly on this character, preserving much of the agricultural land and existing residential districts. The new housing is mixed density, and includes low and high rise buildings in organic patterns, with pastureland and horticulture preserved among them. We have witnessed the impacts of the automotive city on our society and we need new urban paradigms if we are to survive as a species. One can see the Beijing test track as an island within a larger city. The character of the Ring of Iron is to shield its interior from the outside forces of urbanization. The hypothesis is that this urban anomaly can be exploited to subvert the normative trends of development. To distinguish the anomalies that work in our favor from those that work against us is the process of evolution. A natural mutation occurs within a single, isolated cell and affects the make-up of a species. Perhaps our cities can follow suit.


Title: Ring of Iron Railroad Test City

Time: 29 settembre 2014
Category: Beijing
Views: 5500 Likes: 0

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