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Competition: Ruichang industrial tourism hub, China

An international student ideas contests has been launched for a new industrial tourism hub in historic Ruichang, China (Deadline: 24 November)

Open to multidisciplinary teams of up to five undergraduates and postgraduates, the competition seeks conceptual visions to transform the 770ha disused Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard into a new tourism destination focusing on local artistic, ecology and industry heritage.

The call for ideas, backed by China’s L&A Design, invites participants to apply a holistic ‘all-for-one’ approach to rethinking tourism within the dramatic site overlooking the Yangtze River in Jiangxi province. Key buildings within the local area include the Tongling site, Old 459 Factory, 491 Factory, Hongxia People Factory and Xinmin Machine Factory.

Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard, Ruichang

Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard, Ruichang

Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard, Ruichang

According to the brief: ‘Ruichang has abundant traditional and local culture. Ruichang is the birthplace of Chinese bronze smelt and the Tongling Ruins contain earliest bronze mining and smelt site in the world dating back 3,300 years from now. It is also called the ‘hometown of Chinese folk art’ for the scissor-cut and bamboo weaving crafts pioneered in Ruichang.’

‘Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard covers an area of 770ha with 800ha of water. The overall available size is about 2,000ha including surrounding mountains. The ships and military enterprises have already moved on more than 40 years ago – leaving docks, workshops, living quarters, and warehouse which have distinctive features. These witnessed the history of Chinese shipping and military development and are perfectly protected as unique industrial heritage sites.’

Ruichang is a historic city located 580km southwest of Shanghai, close to the Yangtze River and China’s popular Lushan Mountain. Key developments in the area include a 15ha new town and visitor attraction masterplanned by UK-firm Chetwoods, dubbed Flower Ocean Garden.

The latest contest focuses on the 770ha Jiangxi Jiangzhou Dockyard and invites students to draw up holistic visions for a major new tourist attraction. Submissions will be expected to include a feasibility report, scheme description, development strategy for industrial heritage tourism and key tourist routes.

Applications must include four A0-sized display boards and be presented in both Chinese and English. A masterplan, aerial view, graphical analysis, circulation programme and conceptual visitor attractions will all be required along with development ideas for the local film, television production, publication and animation industries.

Judges include William L Crump, design director of tourism planning at L&A Design; Shifang Huang, director of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Culture Research Centre; and Shihong Zhang, president of China Ocean Industry Group.

The overall winner, due to be announced on 15 December, will receive a ¥50,000RMB prize while a second prize of ¥30,000RMB and third prize of ¥10,000RMB will also be awarded. Ten further individual category awards worth ¥2,000RMB each will also be handed out.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for digital submissions is 12noon Beijing time on 24 November

Contact details

Email: ladesign@vip.qq

Visit the competition website for more information

Bolshevik Factory case study: Q&A with Aidan Potter

The project director at John McAslan + Partners discusses lessons learned creating a new cultural hub inside a former Moscow factory

How has the Bolshevik Factory project in Moscow been transformed from an industrial complex into a major cultural and tourism destination?

The Bolshevik Factory is one of Moscow’s most significant examples of pre and post-Soviet industrial heritage. Founded in 1855, the existing buildings and estate reflect the French influence of Adolf Sioux, the factory’s original founder, who established these grandiose premises to manufacture high-quality perfume and confectionary. In 1884 the Bolshevik Factory was the first building in Moscow to boast electric lighting. The Bolshevik’s redevelopment is one of the practice’s most ambitious adaptive re-use projects, involving the sensitive repair of an important piece of Moscow’s historic fabric.

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Source: Image by Denis Esakov

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

When 01 Properties acquired the site in 2012, the site had been abandoned and the buildings were in a critically poor state of repair, with heritage elements badly compromised, roofs caved in, the 19th-century brickwork facades seriously damaged and eroded. The factory had inadequate infrastructure, no working services and no fire safety systems, while most of the structural metal framing was badly corroded, as were the concrete floors.

The complex in its transformed state now comprises a dynamic mix of restored and new build elements, sensitively combined to create a consistent sense of scale and a coherent palette of materials. The scheme provides a 50,000m² commercial redevelopment, a dramatic covered ‘street’, a high-end residential element, public gardens and a new Museum of Russian Impressionism. There is a palpable sense of energy across the development, now occupied by leading businesses such as the Publicis Group, AT Kearney and Fibr Film Production.

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Source: Image by Mikhail Rozanov

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Describe your design approach and ethos, given the cultural importance of this heritage industrial site?

We made sure there was a strong unifying concept established at beginning of design that the client and project team both understood and supported. We created a very clear distinction between new and old elements of construction and avoided any confusion regarding identity and authenticity of original, repaired and new elements. We avoided, at all costs, any sense of Disney-style reconstructions of these historic properties. In addition, we took care to fully understand the real detail of the historic property through systematic and rigorous surveys and photographic analyses of the existing fabric in order to understand the significant changes and adaptations throughout its history.

We then agreed on the relative significance of elements of historic architecture with heritage authorities through early dialogue and discussion, ensuring that our scheme provided confident modern interventions where possible to ensure a proper balance between contemporary and historic identity. We were also clear that we wished to create a dynamic mixed-use development creating overlapping activities - loft living, working and a cultural element - the new Museum of Russian Impressionism. We were very clear that there needed to be equal focus and attention on the spaces between the buildings, creating a high-quality, landscaped, car-free and publicly accessible sequence of tranquil courtyards and gardens – a rare amenity in Moscow.

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Source: Image by Denis Esakov

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

What advice would you have to contest participants on promoting tourism at former industrial sites in Ruichang, China?

Be brave and don’t be intimidated by the historic buildings; the reimagining of such heritage sites requires a confident and modern adaptation that will create a wide range of new uses. If the development is phased then it’s vital each phase is legible and visibly separate from subsequent construction. Historic buildings are often, surprisingly, more flexible than new buildings and very robust. Our dramatic transformation of the equally important Stanislavsky Factory site in the Taganskaya district of Moscow is a case in point: at the heart of the development sits the restored Stanislavsky Theatre where the first performances of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard were staged. The theatre is now a hugely important cultural destination, just as the newly completed Museum of Russian Impressionism at the heart of the Bolshevik Factory site has become a cultural magnet for the city, hosting a year-round programme of international exhibitions.

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners

Source: Image by Mikhail Rozanov

Bolshevik Factory by John McAslan + Partners