Awards, Press Releases

Top AIA Honor Goes to Nanhu Country Village Plan

Image © SOM

San Francisco, CA: The American Institute of Architects announced today that the Nanhu Country Village Master Plan, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and a consultant team, has received a 2013 National Honor Award. This award recognizes the most outstanding achievements in the profession.

Led by SOM Design Director, Ellen Lou, FAIA, Consulting Partner, John Kriken, FAIA, AICP, and Managing Partner, Gene Schnair, FAIA the Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan is an innovative response to China’s rapid urbanization and diminishing agricultural landscape. Modern farm technologies and sustainable practices improve productivity, while the design coalesces the site’s agrarian setting with its transit access and urban amenities to create a compact and walkable village.

A first of its kind in scale and goals, the project sets a new standard in modern, ecological and agricultural village living, and serves as a model for future development throughout China. The design challenges the typical rural-to-urban land transformation model and creates a new integrated system of agricultural village development. The concept is to increase agricultural productivity by introducing economies of scale and new technologies, while promoting a compact and ecologically responsive village form. Of the entire 1,100 hectare site, over 700 hectares are maintained as working farms.

The integrated design process across many disciplines lays out a series of social and environmental goals beyond increased farm production including improving the degraded water quality within the abundant canals on site, reducing potable water use, reducing energy consumption, and promoting environmental education. These integrated strategies will help to ensure a secure food supply, promote healthy living, create jobs for future generations, improve water quality, and manage urban growth in a way that protects precious agricultural resources and prevents the endless sprawl of China’s mega-cities.

About Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban-planning firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,500 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi.