Hong Kong


The Oval Partnership Architecture Ltd is the London studio of an international group of architects, urbanists, designers and researchers.

A member of theOctagonpartnership

©The Oval Partnership Architecture Ltd

ProjectMaster Plan for a new Film City, Huairou, Beijing
Size358 ha
BriefConcept planning
LocationHuairou, Beijing, China
The site is located in an attractive green suburb of Beijing associated by Beijingers with the Good Life. But the site itself is not particularly special, with no water frontage and little topographical variation. The presence of the film industry however gives a clue to an opportunity. It suggests a potential added layer of meaning to the urban designer’s task of ‘place-making’.

The development of cinema parallels the increasing urbanisation of the world, and the interconnectedness of the evolution of architecture and theatre is well documented. Our proposal for a Film City consciously plays upon the notion of urban life as performance: the individual in the city as both observer and observed, audience and performer; the city as backdrop to human action. Street lighting, for example, takes on a new meaning.  Rather than a synthetic, packaged visitor experience (Disneyland, Universal Film Studios) we propose an authentic, living setting for film-culture and debate that doubles as a backdrop to new movies. A blurring of the distinction between the film set and the real. The city designed to enable a multiplicity of pop-up performances and screenings.

The concept is of course a Trojan Horse for smuggling in a more walkable, finer-grained, scale-diverse, incident-filled urban fabric.