Commenced in January 2007
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Towards a Sustainable High Population Density Urban Intertextuality – Program Re-Configuration Integrated Urban Design Study in Hangzhou, China

Authors: Xuan Li, Lei Xu


By the end of 2014, China has an urban population of 749 million, reaching the urbanization rate of 54.77%. Dense and vertical urban structure has become a common choice for China and most of the densely populated Asian countries for sustainable development. This paper focuses on the most conspicuous urban change period in China, from 2000 to 2010, during which China's population shifted the fastest from rural region to cities. On one hand, the 200 million nationwide "new citizen" along with the 456 million "old citizen" explored in the new-century city for new urban lifestyle and livable built environment; On the other hand, however, large-scale rapid urban constructions are confined to the methods of traditional two-dimensional architectural thinking. Human-oriented design and system thinking have been missing in this intricate postmodern urban condition. This phenomenon, especially the gap and spark between the solid, huge urban physical system and the rich, subtle everyday urban life, will be studied in depth: How the 20th-century high-rise residential building "spontaneously" turned into an old but expensive multi-functional high-rise complex in the 21st century city center; how 21st century new/late 20th century old public buildings with the same function integrated their different architectural forms into the new / old city center? Finally the paper studies cases in Hangzhou: 1) Function Evolve–downtown high-rise residential building “International Garden” and “Zhongshan Garden” (1999). 2) Form Compare–Hangzhou Theater (1998) vs Hangzhou Grand Theatre (2004), Hangzhou City Railway Station (1999) vs Hangzhou East Railway Station (2013). The research aims at the exploring the essence of city from the building form dispel and urban program re-configuration approach, gaining a better consideration of human behavior through compact urban design effort for improving urban intertextuality, searching for a sustainable development path in the crucial time of urban population explosion in China.

Keywords: architecture form dispel, compact urban design, urban intertextuality, urban program re-configuration

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