TOWNLAND was commissioned by the Administrative Committee of Suzhou Science and Technology Town (SSTT) to prepare an urban design scheme for the Central Business District (CBD) of SSTT (133 ha), to address the urgent needs for a high-density and high-intensity mixed-use development pattern, and in particular, to solve the problems caused by Taihu Avenue that passes through the CBD.
TOWNLAND’s urban design scheme consists of two major axes. These include the “Development Axis” which is located east-west along Taihu Avenue; and the north-south “Central Spine” which comprises a sunken pedestrian corridor that passes through Taihu Avenue and accommodates shopping centres and a landscape strip. The focus of the urban design is to create an all-weather pedestrian system through the use of a commercial “infinity loop” which comprises an underground pedestrian system linking three tram stops as well as a future Metro Station. A large number of underground open spaces, such as atriums and sunken plazas, have been integrated into the underground pedestrian system to provide for outdoor activities and landscaped areas. The introduction of a skyscraper to the north of the Central Spine will act as the defining landmark of the CBD and will dominate the skyline. Surrounding the two axes, the remaining study area has been divided into several thematic clusters with each cluster having its own unique identity and character.