Melbourne architect CK Designworks has presented a masterplan design for a 20 kilometre square hi-tech city to be built in the Pukou district of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.

The city, which will include housing for 200,000 residents, industrial developments and commercial sectors and is to be built on a combination of greenfields and existing low level light industrial development, is one of the largest design projects ever undertaken in the world.

Conceptual design for 10 iconic buildings that will bind the high-tech precinct together will reflect the mythology of the Nanjing region based around the brilliant golden butterfly, the iconic rain-flower pebbles and the imagery created by the splash from throwing a pebble into water.

Lead architect for CK Designworks, Robert Caulfield said: “The Pukou regional government of Nanjing has the opportunity to create one of the most modern commercial developments in the world. A precinct which will inspire
other governments, attract corporations from around the world and showcase China’s move to develop sustainable cities.

“The vision was to create a city with a story; a story that respects the history and culture of Nanjing and at the same time projects the most modern image to the world,” Mr Caulfield said.

The project has been designed on LEED (Learning, Education, Environment and Design) principles and the 10 iconic buildings that bind the high-tech development together will all achieve top LEED rating.

All the infrastructure including schools, hospitals, retail facilities, sport and entertainment complexes will be linked by an elevated an Automated Rail Transport system taking their design inspiration from the new Melbourne tram fleet.

Project Director Robert Caulfield a partner in CK Designworks said the company has an extensive track record for master planning projects in China, Vietnam and the Middle East.

Mr Caulfield said: “We had a team of 32 designers and consultants working on the project around the clock for five months. The first thing we had to do was understand the philosophy and mythology of the region and to take extensive photos of the region including existing buildings, landmarks and topographical features because the local river and the mountain areas are extremely significant.

“CK Designworks is keen to give other Australian architects the opportunity to work in overseas markets and have proposed in the submission that an iconic 5 star hotel, as part of the first development stage for this project, could be the subject of an international design competition.

“We are also proposing to use a series of Australian made products in this project. These are likely to be finishing materials such as timber veneers and woollen fabrics, but may also include manufactured items if we can identify
suitable products.”

CK Designworks will also run a design competition for architecture students to design a “gateway sculpture” as an extension of its policy to support architecture students through annual scholarships and work placements.

A Fable:

“A long time ago, a handsome young prince was sitting in a garden by a stream near the Yangtze River. He wanted to find a way to make all of his people prosperous and happy. On the banks of the stream were the most beautiful pebbles he had ever seen; he thought they must have fallen as flowers from the sky. On the water was a brilliant golden butterfly sitting on a leaf that had floated down from the mountains.

The prince was so enchanted by the beauty surrounding him he wanted to tell everyone so he threw a pebble into the water. It made such a splash that everyone turned to look and people came from all around. The ripples travelled outwards carrying the leaf and butterfly with them.

As the ripples touched the shore, all of the houses turned into beautiful images of the pebbles and the butterfly flew to them one by one bringing peace, prosperity and happiness to everyone who lived in them.

People came from all over the world to see this beautiful place and today, if you look carefully, in a special place in Nanjing, you can still see the splash the prince made, the beautiful pebble houses and the butterflies. If you look down, you will still see the stream and the beautiful gardens. If you look up you will see the mountains. It is said that if you take your time, like the prince and study all of these things, respect the softness and tranquillity the represent, you will have eternal peace, prosperity and happiness.

This fable became an inspiration for the conceptual design images.


Robert Caulfield
Caulfield Krivanek Architecture
Tel: +613 8658 4000
Mob: + 61 412 381 306