INTERVIEWEE： ZhongpengWang, Secretary-General of NDUand Director of Administration Committee of Tianjin Chentang Science and Technology CommercialDistrict
INTERVIEWER：Isa Ye, founder of YoungBird Brand ManagementCo., Ltd
The urban renewal has shifted its focus on urban operation from real estate development. Urban operation needs to be extended according to the trend of industrial upgrading which embodies the core driving force and internal driving force of urban renewal. Therefore, Chentang Science and Technology Business District continues to adhere to the implementation of “industry plus real estate”, and the development of innovation.
—— Zhongpeng Wang
Isa Ye: In 2016, 13 leading enterprises in the field of design and engineering in Hexi District of Tianjin City signed the strategic agreement to establish the North Design Union. It has been 3 years since its inception, so could you please advise the position of the union and what about its development?
Wang Zhongpeng: By the end of 2018, North Design Union consists of81 enterprises, creating sales revenue of 48.3 billion yuan.Up to date, there are four academicians, 26 state-level masters, 191 experts with subsidies from the State Council and more than 9000 deputy senior technical personnel.At the same time, enterprises in the union are engaged in several design fields covering electrical power, railway, highway, municipal projects, architecture, project management and general contracting business, while their engineering cases include hydroelectric power stations, high-speed railway stations, large highway bridges, high-pressure natural gas storage tanks, thermal power plants, municipal pipelines, landscape design, etc. Theirprojects access tofive continents of the world.Bynow, there are 236 qualification grade with 5 super qualification grade which can grade enterprises in the union.
North Design Unionis a non-profit social organization initiated by folks instead ofan industry association. Unlike other industry associations in Tianjin, the Unionis entirely self-organized by enterprises. It is a platform for enterprise groups to expandthemarket, show theircapabilities and establish win-win cooperation. It is also a platform for designers to learn and communicate with each other.
▲In ancient Chinese design philosophy, measurement is regarded as an important ideological criterion.The logo usesthe image of sundial, Tugui and Lu Banju, which are the measuring tools of ancient Chinese wisdom. Based on the English abbreviation NDU of “North Design Union“, the logo reflects the identity of “North Design Union” in inheriting, exporting and developing Chinese design wisdom and values through modern and abstract design language.
Isa Ye: At present, the union gathers many super enterprises who playan important role both at home and abroad in engineering projects especially in some big projects. Can you list some projects that have been completed or are ongoing?
Wang Zhongpeng: Union enterprises actively respond to the call of the national strategy, deeply involving in the “one belt and one road”, and make outstanding contributions to some important nodes along the “one belt and one road” countries.Among them, the key projects in foreign countries include the Great StoneIndustrial Park, co-constructed by China and Belarus and designed and built by China Municipal Engineering North China Institute of Design and Research Limited, the governing body of the union; Mongol-Nepal Railway which is known as the dream of Kenyans for one hundred years, designed and constructed by China Jiaotong First Navigation Engineering Bureau Limited, the governing body of the Federation. Itis a standard railway built by China to help Kenya adopt Chinese standards, Chinese technology and Chinese equipment.Also there is Horgos Port Project, designed by Tianjin Architectural Design Institute,which demonstrates China’s strength.
▲Great Stone Industrial Park is the largest industrial park amongChina’s foreign cooperation projects
Union enterprises have successfully opened to major domestic projects, known as “one of the seven wonders of the new world”, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world’s top ten ports with 100 million throughput, Tianjin Port, Qingdao Port, and the Shenzhen-Medium Passage Project which is under construction.Through the implementation of projects, the Union enterprises export Chinese standards and Chinese intelligence to all over the world, effectively enhancing Tianjin’s participation in and influence on engineering construction.
▲Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, reputed as Mount Qomolangma among bridge field.
▲Tianjin Port, the world’s highest artificial deepwater port built by dredging and reclamation on muddy shoals
Isa Ye: In order to promote the establishment of “north design capital” and push the active participation of all enterprises in the area of planning, design and construction in the Beijing,Tianjin and Hebei, NDU is established to follow up the trend.So as a sharing and service platform for enterprises in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, and a card of “China’s Intelligent Manufacturing”, what are the development plans and objectives of the Union in the next few years?
Wang Zhongpeng: Through the following years’ development, the Union hopes to cultivate and introduce a number of influential design masters at home and abroad, as well as a large number of design talents with comprehensive and innovative abilities.Besides, it will also build a number of R&D buildings and industrial parks, which can promote the district to be a design industry cluster area with obvious radiation-driven effect and give full play to the construction effect of the characteristic industrial base of Chentang engineering design in Tianjin, and help Hexi become a design industry demonstration area with high starting point, strong capacity, sustainability and friendliness and national influence in northern China.We will gradually improve the collaboration mechanism and service platform of NDU, effectively dock and expand the industrial chain and value chain of the Union enterprises, and promote the high-quality development of the design industry.
▲Rendering of Tianjin Chentang Science and Technology CommercialDistrict
Isa Ye: Where there is a union there will be an organization. Whether it is a top 500 company like China Jiaotong Airport Institute or a private design firm, there will be the most intuitive comparative feeling before and after the establishment of the Union.So in your opinion, what are the advantages of the Union? Could you please give us some examples? In the future, will the Union consider to offer some services to individual designers?
Wang Zhongpeng: In the past, when many central design enterprises in Tianjin engaged in general contracting, Public–Private–Partnership and other business, they chose construction partners from their own systems.However, after the establishment of North Design Union, it provides us with a platform for systematic cooperation with central enterprises.In the past, taking the water conservancy engineering company as an example, the main business of the company was concentrated in Tianjin and its surrounding areas, while with the help of NDU, many member enterprises of the Union have cooperated with each other this year. The farthest project has reached out toHainan. Under the impetus of the union, more and more enterprises have broken the original industrial boundary and specialized division of labor, and realized its innovative development through the mutual restructuring of their respective resources.
According to incomplete statistics, the amount of cross-border cooperation contracts between enterprises within the Unionhas exceeded 10 billion yuan in 2018.
Isa Ye: Through positive preparation in last few months, North Design Union Headquarters – Architecture Design Competition 2019 was officially launched worldwide on December 24th, 2018. What do you think is the significance of organizing a competition and creating a complete competition IP for the overall construction and development of the union?As the first season of the N/A International Design Competition, the competition design challenge is to design the headquarters of North Design Union. What is the significance of the construction of the headquarters building for the development of the Union?
N/A, the letter N represents North Design Union, which is also the first letter of Chinese character NA and means the wise man listens to all sides. The blue background is designed to express the meaning of the ocean, while the colorful waves with different features race each other in vast oceans and move forward hand in hand. Just like enterprises in North Design Union, they learn widely from others’ strong points and bloom together while also reach a powerful combination. Besides, colorful waves also represent freshness, which means more and more innovative designers and enterprises will join North Design Union and fresh blood will be injected.
By cooperating with Young Bird Plan (an international competition platform), the union expects to attract more design institutes and designers in order to strengthen its foundation. Meanwhile, with the aim of innovation, integration and mutual benefit, North Design Union is eager to create a union center integrating industry giants in North China.
Wang Zhongpeng: The design contest was held with the aim of building a high-quality brand. Since its release, the competition has drawn attention from many people from universities, research institutes, firms and so on. Let us keep our confidence in the overall effect of the contest.The final output of the participants’ works is based on the understanding of the contest proposition and the recognition of the union development. This cross-border integration of global activities helps the integration and development of the Union design industry and other related industries, helps the intelligent exchange between the design industry of Hexi District and other industries at home and abroad, not only broadens the vision of the Union construction and development, but also takes its essence and innovation. It will also enhance the international influence of Hexi District and even Tianjin City, laying the foundation for Tianjin’s application for UNESCO’s “Design Capital”.
The planning and construction of the headquarters building is the carrier platform construction of the union, which provides communication space for the design work, similar to the construction of the space base.Headquarters can be used as incubation base which may gather talents, realize resource sharing, expand design innovation power. Accordingly the union will play a virtuous cycle of “snowball effect”, and attract more talents and enterprises, contributing to a Chentang Science and Technology Commercial District.At the same time, taking the building as a new radiation reference point, the union can expand the design market to surrounding areas, conceive multiple design concepts, and create a design environment for innovative development, so as to serve the design industry efficiently and accurately.
Isa Ye: In recent years, with further development of Tianjin’s construction of the “North Design Capital”, many key projects have made break throughs in the planning of the original traditional ideas.The planning and construction of the headquarters of North Design Union will surely become a highlight of the Hexi District Construction Project. Then, can you give us three key words and explain your own understanding of the design planning of this project?
Wang Zhongpeng: Once the construction of the headquarters of North Design Union is completed, it will become a representative construction project in Hexi District. If three words shall be concluded to describe the headquarters project, I will give you the following words: symbiosis, sharing and progress.
Symbiosis, reflected in the headquarters building is an inclusive living building space that gathers more design talents. Besides, the building provides necessary development nutrients, so that design personnel and relevant business personnel can take root and germinate here.
Sharing reflects that the headquarters is a service carrier for sharing and exchanging. Talents here share design wisdom and strategy, and the platform provides communication carrier for more design innovation, and help to open more development windows for material use.
Progress reflects that the headquarters is also a source of integration and win-win situation. The platform gathers talents and enterprises who make progress together with common development and benefit.
Isa Ye: Nowadays, all industries face demands directly, and contribute to industrial upgrading and urban renewal incubation. Hexi District of Tianjin is also at an important point of transformation design. Can you tell us something about industrial upgrading and urban renewal?And what’s the importance of design?
Wang Zhongpeng: The urban renewal has shifted its focus on urban operation from real estate development. Urban operation needs to be extended according to the trend of industrial upgrading which embodies the core driving force and internal driving force of urban renewal.
In terms of construction of Chentang Science and Technology Commercial District and even the development of Hexi District and Tianjin City, they all rely on industrial upgrading to promote the urban renewal. Industrial upgrading is accompanied by industrial agglomeration. The effect of upgrading is determined by that if people can adapt to the market and expand its development.This is the right core topic of industrial upgrading. If this problem cannot be solved, industrial agglomeration can not be achieved and industry cannot be upgraded, and then urban renewal will be hindered and faced with barriers.
Design is a high-end science and technology-based service industry in cities. Both engineering projects and urban construction planning need feasible top-level design. In this way, the organic combination of national needs and regional directors can fully promote complementary regional advantages and achieve common development.
Competition Q & A
By now, more than 500 contestants from all over the world have participated in North Design Union Headquarters – Architectural Design Competition 2019. In view of some questions reflected in the design process, Mr. Wang Zhongpeng also gave a summary of feedback.
Q: Today’s work style has changed with the development of science and technology, such as digital media machine learning. So whether it is necessary for architecture to respond to this phenomenon, please explain the position and value of the building.
A: The current industry orientation is the designer’s home of public building series. It enables more excellent designers and design enterprises to coexist, share and make progress together.With the development of science and technology, innovative enterprises and talents are more inclined to work, learn and communicate with digital media machines like“BIM Research Center” sharing space. Therefore, in the entries, it is necessary to respond to the developing trend of new office environment, reflecting the sense of science and technology, fashion and business. Thus, we can create an office space that integrates offices, conference room, negotiation space, leisure space, intellectual space, exhibition and experience space, which improves the frequency of design sharing, provides better service experience for users, and feedbacks design talents. Accordinglyit mayimprove the working efficiency of users, and offersfull play to the gathering efficiency of the headquarters.
Q: What is the subordinate relationship of the headquarters?Will the Unionbe self-sustaining or for sale?How can users residein the headquarters?
A: Based on current considerations, the headquarters will be owned by union itself. Thus we will have more autonomy and be more conducive to the development and landing of various deployments.In the future, I think we will consult all the members and other parties to formulate specific solutions to this problem. Perhaps we will enter the headquartersby office lease, or by the support of the unionspace, or by other more appropriate ways.
Q: The participants are concerned about whether the winners have the opportunity to participate in the construction process.
A: According to the competition rules: top three winning schemes will be referred during the construction. And we will also strive to promote the construction of the project, and more interested parties will be invited to participate in it. Thank you for your support and attention!