Silicon Alley Design Competition: Upgrade of the Nanjing Tobacco Factory

Sponsor: Nanjing Zhongshan Asset Management Group Co., Ltd.
Organizer(s): Southeast University; People’s Government of Xuanwu District, Nanjing; Nanjing Science and Technology Bureau

Type: open, international
Languages: English, Chinese
Fee: None
15 December 2019 – Submissions deadline
20 January 2020 – Final review
1st prize – $50,000
2nd prize – $20,000
3rd prize – $10,000
10 Honorable mentions

Design Challenge:

In 2019, Nanjing put forward an important goal of developing city “silicon alley” and building a new famous city. Derived from Manhattan, New York, “Silicon Alley” is a borderless science and technology park gathering Internet-based and mobile information technology enterprises. Unlike the Silicon Alley which is an innovative technology park built on the edge of city with complete supporting high-end service, the Silicon Alley is a street block of innovative technology industry which mainly focuses on upgrading stock space. 

Nanjing’s envision to build up a city “Silicon Alley” will promote Xuanwu district as a core area to renovate old factories and campuses, inject new vitality to the scientific and teaching resources of high-learning institutions in the downtown, and build a city “Silicon Alley” with compactness, supplementary functions, improved structure, college-enterprise convergence, integration of industry and the city, and promote active innovation and start-ups.

The city “Silicon Alley” represents the development pattern and industry layout of a city from upgrading to innovation. In particular, the design industry represents the important development momentum of “Toward Future, Leading Innovation”. Adhering to this philosophy and based on the historical experience and unique advantages of the forte of architectural design of Southeast University, Nanjing Xuanwu District is committed to gathering quality design resources at home and abroad to Xuanwu’s city “Silicon Alley” with the design industry as its core component.

Centering on this goal, five plots around Sipailou Campus of Southeast University (former site of Central University), including old Nanjing Tobacco Factory, Court Plot of Xuanwu District, and Technology Park of Southeast University, are committing to form an innovation industry belt around Southeast University gathering design industry. With the long history of Sipailou Campus of Southeast University and its surrounding area, significant sites of China’s modern architectures and representative cultural relics, and manifestation of the convergence of Chinese and western culture, it carries the important missions of inheriting essence from the history and facing future and aligning with the international practice so as to improve space quality, upgrade industry functions, consolidate and gather resources, and build up an innovative downtown from within the great environment of urban development.

Based on that, Xuanwu District selected old Nanjing Tobacco Factory as the start-up project of the innovation and design industry belt around Southeast University and host the global design competition of upgrading old Nanjing Tobacco Factory. The competition is themed on “City Silicon Alley, Design towards Future”. Domestic and international architects and designers are invited to create their works on the former site of Nanjing Tobacco Factory. The park is positioned as a design & start-up park which mainly focuses on architecture design. At the same time, it will also serve Nanjing citizens to build a new business card as a design industry cluster, an urban emerging cultural street, and Nanjing Xuanwu silicon alley.

The theme of the design works should be integrated into the urban environment space where they are located, and embody the perfect unity of originality and individuation, so as to achieve a harmonious symbiosis of artistry and design, express the design foresight and highlight the cultural connotation at the same time, so as to improve the quality of living environment and create a better life with design.

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