Shenzhen, China




117 ha


Invited International Urban Design Competition


Assignment completed


Urban Planning, Land & Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality


Martin Arfalk, Patrick Verhoeven,

Cyril Pavlu, Konstantin Miroshnychenko,

Danny Bridson, Shan Jiang, Francesca Savio, Liang Chunhua


Christin Svensson

Mangrove World City

Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base

Shenzhen Bay rim will become the most crucial area in the Shenzhen - Hong Kong metropolitan area. The super headquarters base, located on its northern shore, has all the ingredients to become a world class urban cluster. Mangrove World City creates an iconic skyline and exciting waterfront that will redefine Shenzhen’s relationship with the bay rim, and set a global example for human centred, ecological and technologically integrated city building.


The proposed strategy learns from Shenzhen’s city tree and native species - the mangrove - and proposes to intertwine the layers of the urban structure to form an animated, dynamic and prosperous urban district. Like a mangrove, the structure is supported by a wide trunk, which branches out throughout the structure until its roots find water. The result is an interconnected network of public spaces that maximises the qualities of the site.


The space 24 metres above and below street level house many of the essential functions of urban life. Metro stations, concourses, commercial spaces, boulevards, parks, skywalks and rooftops offer a tremendous potential for the district. By placing an interconnected network of underground spaces, streets, and skywalks into ‘public management’ our proposal creates an innovative and forward looking approach to public space that set a global example for high density living. 

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

The site & regulatory plan

Existing plan of the area

Mangrove world city

Intertwined layers of the urban structure and public spaces

Branching vertical circulation

Cascaded vertical circulation for more efficient flow

Public roots!

Public network of underground spaces, streets, and skywalks

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

A district that works together

The surfaces, underground spaces and above ground layers of the plan complement and contrast each other in ways that enhance the experience of living and working in the district. 

Towers & heights

Special buildings

Skywalk system

Recreational network

Surface roads

Ecological network

Metro stations

Underground system & voids

The Peak skyline

By optimizing the tower height on the site, the proposal achieves an iconic skyline- highlighted with a 680m tall tower - for the world class urban cluster.

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters





SITE AREA: 1.173.960 M2


24 Hour City

Office buildings form the backbone of the district, but are supported with a mix of residential, cultural, recreational, hotel and commercial program that ensure the city district is buzzing with energy during day and night.

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

Multi-level park

The Multi - level park connects and intertwines all public space elements into one central landscape element. Skywalks meet the underground space, street level and light wells invite daylight into deep metro stations.

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

3D City

Key nodes at public transportation stations link together the three dimensional nature of the urban structure. These points are natural junctions in the structure and demarcate clear overlap points between the layers of the plan.

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

Blurred Lines

Climate controlled underground spaces are enhanced with large voids that physically and psychologically connect deep urban spaces to the surface levels.

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters

Ecology meets recreation

The seaside park introduces an ecological and recreational sequence that combines the two major characters of Shenzhen bay’s waterfront, recreation and ecology. 

P01-127 Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters