Designed by MVRDV
From the architects:
MVRDV has won the competition to design the Hangzhou Oil Refinery Factory Park, transforming a former industrial district that sits alongside the southern end of China’s Grand Canal.
With an eye-catching art and science museum at its centre, the project includes offices, retail, and a wide variety of cultural experiences set in a green environment interwoven with the remnants of the past.
The Grand Canal – the world’s longest and one of the oldest man-made waterways – was, in part, constructed to strengthen economic connections between the south and the north of China.
Currently, China is taking steps to transform the Grand Canal along its entire length, turning this industrial infrastructure into a social amenity by allowing access to, and enjoyment of, the water to millions of people that live along the canal’s 1700k length.
Hangzhou is positioned at the canal’s southern extent, and the roughly 18ha site, formerly occupied by an oil refinery, is emblematic of the canal’s history.
Today, the factory has closed, and most of the structures that once occupied the site have been demolished, although a number of large refinery buildings and some oil storage drums remain.
With the canal’s future in mind, MVRDV’s design – developed in collaboration with Openfabric – aims to show the potential of industrial-to-cultural transformations.