After our assignment in Hong Kong (more to come on that in the next few weeks, we promise), we headed to HK’s twin city: Shenzhen. Now by twin, we only mean that the cities are pretty much joined at the hip, with only a short distance, 40min metro ride, separating the two. That’s where the similarities end. You couldn’t possibly pick two cities that were more different, be it from a landscape, planning, architectural or social fabric perspective. It almost felt as if we entered a parallel universe as we crossed the border.
After the city acquired the Special Economic Zone status in 1979 it quickly soared to become a major city and economic player in the country. What has followed is a significant and quick influx of capital that resulted in a unique and very modern cityscape. In the last few years, the city has seen a massive boom of high end architectural projects by some of the most prominent firms in the world. The lack of time and so so weather did not stop us from taking a short stroll around town to sample some of these superb works. Our visit took us from Chinese Architects Urbanus’ Nanshan Marriage Centre to OMA’s Stock Exchange Centre, including a short hop to the Shenzhen Bay Stadium and Kapok Hotel by AXS-SATOW and Goettsch and Partners, respectively.