Atkins designs masterplan for Chinese woodcarving city

Atkins has completed the 876,000m2 masterplan for Dongyang, Zhejiang Province, one of the three woodcarving capitals of China.

The masterplan will create a cultural-commercial-tourist destination which reflects the local culture of woodcarving and host the workshops of woodcarving masters and artisans.

Divided into three interlinked blocks, the masterplan contains a museum, an exhibition and convention centre, a trading centre, a hotel, offices, apartments and a riverside park.

Lea Xu, design director at Atkins’ Shanghai office, said: “Our design is a contemporary interpretation of the local Chinese culture with the woodcarving theme conveyed throughout the whole project.

“The clarity and simplicity of the overall layout and the refinement in architecture and space design reflect the subtlety of Chinese culture and make our design stand out.”

Atkins’ masterplan focuses on a north-south axis running from the Dongyang Mountain to the Dongyang River.

The design of the museum and the convention centre are influenced by techniques used in Dongyang woodcarving: one is carved whilst the other is layered.

A sequence of courtyards refers to the Chinese tradition of spatial relationships.

The three towers comprise hotel and office accommodation and the trading centre hosts the woodcarving masters’ workshops which are situated on its roof top.

A riverside park incorporates the masters’ clubs and outdoor exhibition space.

Based on Atkins’ masterplan, the city has developed its urban design regulation. A local design institute has started the architectural design of the museum and exhibition hall.

Dongyang has a population of over 800,000 people and is one of the major centres of woodcarving production from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties to the present day.