A systematic review Guallart Architects of Barcelona presents its winning entry in the competition to design a self-sufficient post-COVID city in the new Chinese city of xiong'an.
the project seeks to define a new standard of urban living in the era following the coronavirus pandemic. The self-sufficient city format proposed by Guallart can be applied as a crude model in different cities around the world.
The self-sufficient city: half China, half Europe
The project introduces a new, eccentric type of urban model: a hybridization of Europe's traditional urban blocs, China's contemporary towers, and the productive agricultural landscape.
This new urban environment offers a single place where occupants can live, work, rest and produce resources locally while remaining connected globally. This type guarantees a complete, satisfying and productive life even in periods of confinement and prolonged isolation.
Guallart architects conceives his self-sufficient city as an accumulation of layers, for a wide range of functional needs for human life.
At different scales: from the house, to the building, to the community.
Organized in four blocks, the self-sufficient city will be built in solid wood with passive design solutions.
Social blocks and greenhouses on the roofs
A mixed-use program will include apartments, all-generation residences, offices, swimming pools, shops, markets, daycare centers, administrative centers and a fire station. Each building will be covered by greenhouses that will allow the daily collection of products, enclosed under sloping roofs that collect solar energy.
all the apartments in the Guallart Architects proposal will feature a large south-facing terrace, which will serve as the main leisure space during any periods of isolation.
The housing units will also offer interconnected spaces for “teleworking”, creating social networks on a neighborhood scale for the exchange of resources.
On the lower floors, small digital co-working factories will offer occupants a laboratory of 3D printers and rapid prototyping machines to design and manufacture small objects for everyday use.
The project as a whole will include a real "internal metabolic system".
It will integrate energy, food production, water recycling and material reuse to promote a distributed model for urban management.
Apart from the aspects exquisitely linked to the pandemic, a project such as that of a self-sufficient city developed by Guallart envisages new needs for the future. Something similar to what is shown by superblocks and from the solutions of Boeri.
The most important seem to be two: overcoming the obsessive dependence on external sources, and the need to live in modular spaces. Spaces able to shrink or expand according to the situation and function.