NDU creates an international competition stage to gather global creative minds North Design Union Headquarters – Architecture Design Competition 2019 reveals its champion

Release Time 2019年6月11日

Lasting for 5 months, North Design Union Headquarters – Architectural Design Competition 2019 was successfully held at the Tianjin Cultural Center Grand Theatre and officially closed on June 5, 2019. 

In order to promote to the development of high-end service industry innovation cluster and respond to Tianjin’s call for application of the UNESCO Creative City Network Design City, North Design Union will introduce and foster new generation of comprehensive design talents with international influence and strong ingenuity. In order to create a headquarters for design industry that meets modern design space’s requirements, North Design Union Headquarters – Architectural Design Competition 2019 was launched in December 24, 2018 by North Design Union and Young Bird Plan, an international platform, and supported by Shanghai TACTER Management and Consulting., Ltd.

On-site Images 

The site is bustling at that day. Fellow representatives from major institutes of North Design Union, design industry, entry teams and universities attended this event. During the event, top 3 groups made great presentations to interpret design concepts, and KOLs and jury offered “honest critiques done gently.” In addition, Ms. BENEDETTA TAGLIABUE (Jury of the Pritzker Prize), Mr. NADIM KARAM (Lebanese artist & architect), Zhu Tielin (Executive Architect of Tianjin Architecture Design Institute) and Zhuang Ziyu (Partnerand Principal Architect of RSAA GmbH) delivered insightful speeches respectively.

Mr. Jiang Dezhi, Director of Tianjin Hexi District delivered the opening speech. He said, “This design competition is the first design competition event held by the Union. It meets the need of new trend of design industry development, effectively establishes a new platform for the combination of industry and study, and also creates a new mode for training and selecting design talents.” Tianjin is abundant with historical resources of creative design industry as well as its good regional advantage and practical base. In 2019, Tianjin formally launched the work of applying for UNESCO Global Creative City Network Design City. Via this competition as an opportunity, it will attract more design talents with ambitious goals and innovative ideas to Tianjin, to Hexi. 

Mr. Chai Xinzhong delivered the opening speech.

Mr. Chai Xinzhong, Director of the host – North Design Union delivered the opening speech and shared the competition data with all the attendees. According to his speech, this competition attracted 704 contestants from 210 cities of 50 countries, including architects from world-leading architectural firms such as AECOM, STEVENHOLL SASAKI, MAD, etc., and students from world-leading Universities such as Harvard University, POLIMI, Architectural Association School of Architecture,University of London and so on. Through the competition, the Union not only gained a lot of forward-looking design ideas, but also played a positive role in bringing global attention to Hexi and facilitating Tianjin’s call for application of the UNESCO Creative City Network Design City. Based on the competition, the North Design Union will create a number of R&D design buildings and parks and promoting the Chentang National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone to become a cluster of design industry with remarkable radiation and driven effects. This competition will provide a powerful boost for the integration and development of the Union‘s design industry and other related industries, as well as the intelligent communication between the design industry in Hexi District and other industries at a global level.

Top 3 winners made their final presentation respectively to compete for championship during the ceremony.

Vertical Village’s designer representative elaborated the design idea.

Mr. Wang Zhongpeng asked questions to the contestants.

Mr. Zhu Tielin asked questions to the contestants.

Interactive Void’s designer representative elaborated the design idea.

Mr. NADIM KARAM asked questions to the contestants.

Mr. Zhu Boshan asked questions to the contestants.

CLOUD3‘s designer representative elaborated the design idea.

Mr. Zhuang Ziyu asked questions to the contestants.

Ms. Isa Ye asked questions to the contestants.

After this round, according to the on-site narration and presentation of the contestants, the juries appraised and gave scores to Top 3 works.

Finally, Group YBN-A-G95316 hit the championship with their work “VERTICAL VILLAGE”. And Group YBN-A-G106833 and Group YB92911-S59913 won runner-up respectively with their work “CLOUD3” and “INTERACTIVEVOID”. It was reported that top 3 works would be referred during the construction of the headquarters.

Mr. Xia Zhenghuai announced the Champion.

Mr. Li Xueyi gave award to the champion.

Mr. Chai Xinzhong gave award to Top 3 winners

According to the source, Top 3 works of this competition will be the reference for the project realization of North Design Union Headquarters. Ms. Isa Ye, founder of Young Bird Plan transferred the copyright ownership of top 3 works to NDU Secretary Wang Zhongpeng.

Mr. Wang Zhongpeng and Ms. Isa Ye presented the award to top 3 winners.

In the forum themed with “North Design Union embraces global architecture”, four famous architectural KOLs, BENEDETTA TAGLIABUE, NADIM KARAM, Zhuang Ziyu,and Zhu Tielin, delivered speeches, further exploring how design endows new connotation to the city development, and how nation construction creates a new blueprint for urban development.

Ms. Benedetta Tagliabue delivered the speech.

Ms. Benedetta Tagliabue made an amazing speech themed on her project. She believes even the hospital maybe human-oriented with colors and can get in touch with the nature and people’s living style. Just imagine, if you are trapped in trouble, beautiful flowers and animated plants will give you the courage to overcome all difficulties.

Mr. Nadim Karam delivered the speech.

Mr. Nadim Karam is an interesting artist and architect. He told us that he prefers to design his work by the way of telling a story with elements of elephant, cloud and so on. During his speech, he shared with us his project “The Cloud of Dubai”. He said, the world develops in a fast pace, if you want to get rid of the busy work, you may get to the Cloud to enjoy a more relaxing life. He also said innovation plays an important role in modern art and architectural design.

Mr. Zhu Tielin delivered the speech.

Mr Zhu Tielin said architecture design is one of the more comprehensive content, which not only shall take the practical utilization into consideration, and the expression of art, but also a combination of rationality and sensibility, including people’s emotional catharsis, and this is the architectural expression, the expression of architectural design inside and outside. Meanwhile, via this combination of inner and outer parts as well as the logical presentation from outside to inside or the emotional injection, it could reach the unity of rationality and sensibility in architecture.

Mr. Zhuang Ziyu delivered the speech.

Mr. Zhuang Ziyu talked about the application of architectural typology in combination with the studio project, using the way of atlas and average face and the technique of slicing to design. The project design of Zhuang Ziyu studio inherits the contemporary original spirit rooted in China forre-creation; Zhuang Ziyu believes that only values, which are rich in the spirit of contemporary China, can make us cherish the current story of China, take us higher and farther together, and eventually move from Chinese form to Chinese narrative.


Since its establishment, North Design Union as a beautiful business card of high quality enterprises in Tianjin design and project industry, provided systematic support to help the enterprises develop in multiple directions and improve the ability of innovation and enhance talents team construction, ect. Wang Zhongpeng, Director of Administration Committee of Tianjin Chentang Science and Technology Business District and Secretary of NDU, stated, “This design competition and theme forum were carried out with the  goal of creating a premium brand activity for NDU. This global activity has contributed to the integration and development of the Union’s design industry and other related industries, as well as the intelligent communication between the design industry in Hexi District and other industries at a global level. This event not only broadens the vision of the Union, but also improves the international influence of Hexi District and Tianjin City, laying a foundation for Tianjin’s call for application of the UNESCO Creative City Network Design City.

The Champion work – Vertical Village

Video: Introduction of design idea on Vertical Village

Acceptance Speech: We are very excited about winning the award. To be honest, this exceeds our expectation. In this exhibition of displaying competition works, we saw a lot of excellent schemes and also benefited from appreciating them such as knowing different solutions of same question. This competition to some extent interprets the integration of design and work as well as the culture and history of Tianjin. We only offer a few thoughts on it. To know more about other people’s idea is beneficial to us on the design road in future.

Top 3 Work – Interactive Void

Video: Introduction of design idea on Interactive Void

Acceptance Speech: It feels really good to be a part of the final 3 list such a great honor ending as a runner up in between all this interesting, creative entries, i want to thank NDU and young bird plan for giving me the opportunity to be part of this whole thing.

Top 3 Work – CLOUD³

Video: Introduction of design idea on CLOUD³

Acceptance Speech: We are honored to win this award. The North Design Union’s design competition is a precious learning opportunity for us. We saw different interpretations on the same theme from designers in the world. It let us retrospect our design in details, break through the former thinking mode, think deeply about the relation of buildings and users and cities.

On the basis of design practitioners’ work mode, the scheme of CLOUD³ is given a try to break the tradition of office space and create mobile space levels. It is like cloud – changebale but all-inclusive. This scheme integrates our thinking on office space and it put into practice. It is a great horner ending as a Top 3. Thanks to the juries and experts for their positive appraisal and guidance as well as to the host for such precious learning opportunity!