South Sea Pearl

Ten firms are competing to design an artificial island complex in China

Development International
(Courtesy GAO Wenzhonglow/Archdaily)
(Courtesy GAO Wenzhonglow/Archdaily)

HNA Group has announced a design competition for the master plan and central buildings on a man-made island in Haikou Bay, China. The island, called the South Sea Pearl (and Nanhai Pearl Artificial Island), will be an eco-tourism hub with housing, a cruise ship port, a yacht harbor, hotels, resorts, a theme park, and more.

HNA Group is the owner of several other properties in the area and across China, including the supertall skyscraper Haikou Tower due to be completed in 2020. They also own Hainan Airlines, the fourth largest airline in China.

The crescent-shaped island is 250 hectares in size and located off the coast of Hainan, China, a larger island in the South China Sea with a population of 9 million.

According to ArchDaily, Vincente Guallart was selected to create a strategic vision for the island. Guallart told ArchDaily the goal was to “achieve a new urban development based on ecological principles.”

The ten firms that will compete to design the island are London-based Foster + Partners, New York-based Morphosis Architects, Office of Architecture in Barcelona, New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Seoul-based Iroje Architects & Planners, Seoul-based UNStudio, Rotterdam-based KuiperCompagnons, Los Angeles-based The Jerde Partnership, Beijing-based CCDI, and internationally-based Boston International Design Group. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and take approximately a decade, wrapping up in 2027.

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