Urban Designer, Architect and Researcher

Shenzhen New Marine City

International restricted competition

  • Site: Bao-an, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 7.44 square kilometres

  • Status: September 2018, 4th Place in the International New Marine City Competition

  • Client: Urban Planning, Land & Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality (Oceanic Administration of Shenzhen Municipality)

  • In colaboration with: Guallart Architects, CCDI, MCrit Barcelona

The New Marine City is a place for the fusion between the sea and the earth. It is a place not only where knowledge will be developed, but also where urban life will be built literally on the sea. A series of canals has been created to allow the flow of water and to open access to water practically to all the blocks. The New Marine City will be a city of canals, like some of the most beautiful marine cities such as Amsterdam, Miami or Venice. All the canals have a 30-meter stepped edge separating them from the buildings, with vegetation and spaces to walk or rest. 


In Shenzhen Marine City we have created an open grid which allows us to accommodate different functional needs, altitudes and economic development. 

The best cities are built by Open Grids, capables of accommodate multiple types of functions and evolve over time. The meshes are defined with the avenues and streets where the mobility is developed and define the urban units of the construction of the city. In Shenzhen Marine City we have created a grid for the entire project, which allows us to accommodate different functional needs, altitudes and economic development. The mesh has four vertical axis and a diagonal channel and has six horizontal axis and five channels. In this way, super blocks are created that range from 500x500 m in the industrial zone to 100x100 in the urban area and that can be divided into smaller units if necessary.



The marine front is always a fundamental element of marine cities. In this case a dike will be built at a minimum height of 8 meters to contain the waves in case of typhoons. Therefore the base level of the entire project in 9 meters. Once created the protection to the inclinations of the time, the project proposes to use the seafront with the greatest possible intensity, because this line is what defines the city behind it. Shenzhen does not have (at the moment) big icons on the seafront, therefore, it is necessary to combine spaces of high frequency of citizen use, with buildings that define a recognizable skyline in the world.



The Industrial Park is located in the southern part of the Open grid of the Shenzhen New Marine City. It occupies an area of almost 2 km2 and includes all the types of spaces that are needed for the development of the industries of the Sea.

In particular we can find:
1. Industrial Bay: allows to build and experiment with large-scale structures, which can be protected after the sea dam, or can directly access the sea without height limitation.
2. ShipYard. Space for the construction of marine boats and prototypes, which can go directly to the water
3. Ocean Simulator: spaces destined to the construction of large simulators with large water tanks
4. Company workshops. Workshops for the development of prototypes for technologies related to the sea.
5. Headquartes campus. Spaces for the establishment of corporate headquarters for large, medium-sized companies linked to the sea.
6. EU-China Campus: a space destined to host European companies linked to the sea, which develop projects in China and their associated services.
7. Shared spaces for dining rooms, shops, meetings and exhibitions
8. Subway station and related activities (explained below)
It also has located in the South the space for various types of hotels
that are required given the presence of the large convention center
located east of the project and a space for large meetings and events.

At present, Shenzhen does not have big icons on the seafront. Therefore, it is necessary to combine spaces of high frequency of citizen use with buildings. We turn site defects potential into creative iconic features: we propose to build a sky wave over the marine industry campus to block the noise and heat, and to build a dock for marine industry programs. This large roof will be enough to cover offices, large production halls and research or public space. The cover is an element that has the capability to rebound much of the noise from airplanes. The structure would be built with metal and finished on its surface with coloured ceramic pieces; resistant in marine areas, they provide good acoustic soundproofing.


The urban public space represents the values of the society that want to live in the city. For that reason it has been designed with special attention.

The general structure of the New Marine City is developed through boulevards and avenues, which has sidewalks of sufficient size for the walk and trade. Every street or avenue includes space for bicycles and new electrical mobility systems. In the channels of the urban area, the mobility will be mainly pedestrian. The channels are 40 meters wide and have a protected area to the 30-meter. In this area, a series of stands with wood or concrete has been built, allowing people to walk or rest by the canal with access to cultural or gastronomic activities. There are also restaurants, shops, museums and space for leisure in the public space of this vibrant city.

In the industrial zone the public space allows access to offices and working areas. There is a network of parks located in the central area of the campus that creates a landscape that can be seen from the workplaces. This whole area is covered by an elevated street that gives access to all the blocks and acts as a public space for mobility and meeting, protected from the noise of airplanes and the protection of the climate.



Project leaders: Vicente Guallart, Honorata Grzesikowska, Yang Lei

Project Development: Barcelona team: Daniele Fiore, Firas Safieddine, Nanchana Subhanka, Prodpran Opasniputh, Betül Çakmak, Eda Ataman, Alperen Asım Akbaş, Alexia Alvarez, Tugay Yılmaz, Samrakshana Suresh, Saagarika Dias, Alina Sebastian, Rachel George, Adrianna Bamberska, Luka Tavzarashvili, Zsófia Sörényi, Alaa Mohamed , Chloé Hojeily, Agata Czarnecka, Kacper Pruchnik

Rendering team: Josep Alcover 

Video production and Music: Leon Guallart Díaz

Transportation Consultants: Mcrit Barcelona