China gets its own 'High Line'

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The Independent Online

New York-based architects Work have won a competition commissioned by Shenzhen's Planning Bureau to restructure one of the city's busiest shopping streets with a '3D' approach inspired by New York's new elevated park, the High Line.

Hua Qiang Bei Road has recently developed into one of the Chinese city's industrial centers, causing traffic problems. Also, according to the architects, it needed a "new contemporary expression to reflect its destination status."

Work is planning to solve both challenges with the help of five gigantic lanterns - a symbol representing China's traditions - that will serve as both urban bridges and social meeting points.

Linked by an underground system comprising a public library, a food court, and a series of performance and gallery spaces, each of the lanterns will fulfil a different function, ranging from museums to elevated public parks.

According to several design media including Fast Company, New York's pioneering High Line park - which was just named the Life Enhancer of the Year by Wallpaper magazine - has inspired similar projects all over the world, including London mayor Boris Johnson's proposal for a 'Living Bridge' by the Thames.