Heller Manus Architects Selected to Lead the Design and Construction of Downtown Guangzhou, China
China is looking to become the global center for green design development, and it recently selected Heller Manus Architects to lead one of its key projects. The San Francisco based business was chosen to lead the design and construction of a $100+ million downtown Urban Plan in Guangzhou, China. The urban design put forth by Heller Manus will provide a framework for 1,453 acres, including five public plazas, the main train station, a recreational park, the principal sports center for the Asian Games, various shopping areas, and 180,000 residential units. Most importantly, the development will emphasize green building design, which is at the center of the design plans. Heller Manus looks to cut down on the number of cars in the area, increase foot traffic, provide the centerpiece station for the new bus rapid transit system, and install large scale arrays of solar PV panels. In addition to making Guangzhou “greener,” the previously mentioned design plans will help unify the area, making transportation easier and more accessible.
ChinaSF, a public-private partnership between OEWD and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, was the catalyst for securing the deal for Heller Manus. Jeff Heller describes ChinaSF’s involvement:
“As a San Francisco-based firm, we have always felt the influence of the relationship our city has with China. I have personally been interested in China for several years, and started aggressively developing our business there about 5 years ago. ChinaSF has created a critical business exchange platform that has helped my firm expand this work in China. Specifically, it has helped me focus my work and develop new urban planning and architectural projects through key connections developed through my participation with ChinaSF both in San Francisco and in mainland China. Furthermore, as a bridge between China and San Francisco, ChinaSF has helped us export some of the City of San Francisco's innovative green building policies to China. Our projects in China utilize the green planning techniques and strategies that we've incubated in San Francisco's green building community, and that expertise is highly valued over there. Simultaneously, the bridge from China back to San Francisco also holds great promise.”
Even more impressive than the scope of the project is the time in which the project must be completed. In November 2010, Guangzhou, China will host the 2010 Asian games, which gives Heller Manus 18 months to complete key phases of the project that would normally take five years. However, Jeff Heller, president of Heller Manus Architects, is ready to take on the task despite the looming time constraint because of his confidence in the Guangzhou teams who are executing the work.
Jeff Heller recently spoke at the “Scaling Up: From Green Buildings to Green Cities in the U.S. and China” conference, highlighting the design plans for the area. With Heller Manus Architects at the helm, the future looks bright and green for Guangzhou.