The Qianjiang Cup has been awarded to the Ningbo masterplan in China. Located on the banks of Hangzhou Bay and created as part of the 2008 masterplan for the client Hongtai Group, the two RSHP-stepped Ningbo Gateway towers mark the southwest corner of the Chinese city of Ningbo’s newest district.
The “Qianjiang Cup for Quality Engineering Award” is the highest honour awarded to construction schemes within Zhejiang Province. Projects are annually selected for these awards by the Zhejiang Provincial Construction Department, the Provincial Construction Industry Association and the Provincial Engineering Quality Management Association. In alignment with the government strategy to implement their “100-Year Plan - Quality First” policy, Zhejiang Province uses these awards as a benchmark to encourage quality in construction, judging projects in relation to their engineering, social and economic merits.
Designed for developers Ningbo Hontai Real Estate Development C, RSHP’s 152-metre- (500-foot-) high residential towers straddle the entrance to the bay. Each building comprises 150 units, ranging in size from one to six bedrooms, and includes penthouses, duplexes and maisonettes. Around the perimeter of the towers, a steel bracing system provides the structural flexibility required in the event of an earthquake. By placing this structure on the outside, the structural walls do not dictate the plan layout, giving flexibility to the interiors.
The design is made up of a number of distinct architectural components; the primary diagonal stability frame of the towers, the external lift cores and structural concrete floor plates, the entrance lobbies and public realm. Together, they provide a logical clear and legible form, with a human-scale grain.
The towers are significantly taller than the surrounding buildings and are oriented to take full advantage of excellent views of the main city, the mountains and the new river basin. The plan uses a north-south linear core to create buildings that are composed of two sides or wings. This gives clarity to the buildings’ form by connecting them to the waterfront and old city to the west and the masterplan to the east. Each wing has large sky balconies at each corner, further taking advantage of the views and adding to the richness and variety of space provided.
“We’re delighted to have received this special award in recognition of the Ningbo Gateway Project which has been key in creating a central urban district in the city of Ningbo. The masterplan design intended to invigorate the area both socially and economically with the creation of a new public realm. We feel that with the designs of our towers and with the fantastic collaborative efforts of Ningbo LDI, An-Design, and Zhupei, we have succeeded in creating a vibrant, new hub of activity in the heart of the city.” – Richard Paul, Partner and Project Lead, RSHP
“We feel honored to have worked with RSHP to create this masterpiece of great significance for Ningbo. The location of Dibao (the marketing name for the project, meaning ‘Emperor’s Treasure’) corresponds to the old urban centre on the city's central axis in the distance and is located at the entry point to the new urban centre. For these exact reasons, Dibao is not only the face of the city, but also a spiritual symbol linking the old to the new. To its west lies the historical centre and to its east, the city's glorious future stretches out.” – Steven Cheng, Vice President, Hontai Group
Notes to editors
Vicki Macgregor, Strategic Communications & Marketing Manager, RSHP
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About the architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is an international architectural practice based in London. Over the past four decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim and awards with built projects across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
The practice is experienced in designing a wide range of building types including: office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure, retail, civic and healthcare. The quality of its designs has been recognised with some of architecture’s highest awards, including two RIBA Stirling Prizes, one in 2006 for Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport and the other in 2009 for Maggie’s West London Centre.
A deep belief in the importance of sustainability has underscored the firm’s work since the early days, and recent and ongoing projects such as the extension to the London School of Economics, the New Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, International Towers Sydney and the extension to the British Museum exemplify this belief with a range of environmental features built into the fabric of the building.
Since the early days of the Lloyd’s building in the 1970s the practice has produced innovative, beautiful, sustainable, and practical architecture which creatively solves problems for clients. A focus on providing flexible spaces separated from service elements means RSHP’s buildings are adaptable and resilient in a world where technology is changing rapidly.
The firm was founded as the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1977 but over time evolved and in 2007 the decision was made to rename the firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to reflect the vital contributions of Graham Stirk, designer of the iconic Leadenhall Building and Protos Winery, and Ivan Harbour, whose residential scheme for homeless families, PLACE/Ladywell, won the Mayor of London’s prize for the project that best creatively contributes to the capital’s economy. The practice now has 13 partners, with several long-standing members of the practice being named partners in 2015. Together, they represent the inherent continuity and consistency of the philosophy which the practice applies to all its work.