Competition Background and Contents

In 2019, Nanjing put forward an important goal of developing city “silicon alley” and building a new famous city. Derived from Manhattan, New York, “Silicon Alley” is a borderless science and technology park gathering Internet-based and mobile information technology enterprises. Unlike the Silicon Alley which is an innovative technology park built on the edge of city with complete supporting high-end service, the Silicon Alley is a street block of innovative technology industry which mainly focuses on upgrading stock space.

Nanjing’s envision to build up a city “Silicon Alley” will promote Xuanwu district as core area to renovate old factories and campuses, inject new vitality to the scientific and teaching resources of high-learning institutions in the downtown, and build a city “Silicon Alley” with compactness, supplementary functions, improved structure, college-enterprise convergence, integration of industry and city, and active innovation and start-up.

The city “Silicon Alley” represents the development pattern and industry layout of a city from upgrade to innovation. In particular, the design industry represents the important development momentum of “Toward Future, Leading Innovation”. Adhering to this philosophy and based on the historical experience and unique advantages of the forte of architectural design of Southeast University, Nanjing Xuanwu District is committed to gathering quality design resources at home and abroad to Xuanwu’s city “Silicon Alley” with the design industry as its core component.

Centering on this goal, five plots around Sipailou Campus of Southeast University (former site of Central University), including old Nanjing Tobacco Factory, Court Plot of Xuanwu District, and Technology Park of Southeast University, are committing to form an innovation industry belt around Southeast University gathering design industry. With the long history of Sipailou Campus of Southeast University and its surrounding area, significant sites of China’s modern architectures and representative cultural relics, and manifestation of the convergence of Chinese and western culture, it carries the important missions of inheriting essence from the history and facing future and aligning with the international practice so as to improve space quality, upgrade industry functions, consolidate and gather resources, and build up an innovative downtown from within the great environment of urban development.

Based on that, Xuanwu District selected old Nanjing Tobacco Factory as the start-up project of the innovation and design industry belt around Southeast University and host the global design competition of upgrading old Nanjing Tobacco Factory. The competition is themed on “City Silicon Alley, Design towards Future”. Domestic and international architects and designers are invited to create their works on the former site of Nanjing Tobacco Factory. The park is positioned as a design & start-up park which mainly focuses on architecture design. At the same time, it will also serve Nanjing citizens to build a new business card as a design industry cluster, an urban emerging cultural street, and Nanjing Xuanwu silicon alley.

The theme of the design works should be integrated into the urban environment space where they are located, and embody the perfect unity of originality and individuation, so as to achieve a harmonious symbiosis of artistry and design, express the design foresight and highlight the cultural connotation at the same time, so as to improve the quality of living environment and create a better life with design.

Overview of Competition Items (Target)

The renovation project base of Nanjing Tobacco Factory is located at the intersection of Yangjiangjun Lan and Beiting Lane in Xuanwu District, Nanjing. The area is close to 1912 Commercial Street. The former National Art Museum, Jiangning Weaving Museum, Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum, Six Dynasties Museum, Nanjing Presidential Palace and other buildings are distributed on the south side of the park. Residential areas are located on the north side of the park. The park was originally the former site of Nanjing Tobacco Factory, covering an area of 15,715.5m2, with a total construction area of 33,587.82m2.

The park is bounded by Beiting Lane in the east, Shipopuo Nunnery in the south, Xuanwu Hospital in the west and Yangjiangjun Lane in the north. There are a total of 13 buildings in the park, most of which are vacant. Some of the buildings in use serve as offices of Jinmengdu Group and packaging and production plants of tobacco factories. The buildings are mainly factory buildings and office buildings. There is a building in the time of Republic of China (Building E) in the park. Mandu Plaza (M0-M4) on the southeast is a commercial complex, with shops on the southeast frontage on the first floor, restaurants and cinemas on the second to fourth floors, with factories on the first floor near the inside of the tobacco factory park.

Task Scope of Competition Design

The scope of competition design is based on the design industry around Southeast University. It is a conceptual design scheme to upgrade the overall environment of Nanjing Tobacco Factory Park, plan various building functions in the park, design and reform the exterior facade and interior, upgrade various facades of Mandu Plaza, and transform and utilize the roof space of Mandu.

Participants should design for the ecological goal of the whole park, combine their own use considerations, and integrate extended considerations on community life, sustainability of industrial formats, smart parks, etc. to reflect the characteristics of integration and diversity.

Requirements for the Specific Design Task

The park is bounded by Beiting Lane in the east, Shipopuo Nunnery in the south, Xuanwu Hospital in the west and Yangjiangjun Lane in the north.   It covers an area of 15,715.5m2, with a total construction area of 33,587.82m2.

The design tasks include

Park Planning – The overall park of the tobacco factory will be re-planned and renovated, with the design industry park, which is dominated by architectural design industry, as its function, and other supporting functions will be implanted to activate the overall park. With the goal of creating a new business card for Nanjing’s design capital, the new concept of creating an creative park is put forward.

Space Design – Breaking the traditional design concept of factory renovation, the theme is “Dialogue with the Past”, “Old City, New Vitality” and “Facing the Future” to create a special space in the park. In the space construction, it reflects the cultural background of the ancient capital of six dynasties in Nanjing city, making use of contemporary design methods to create the creative space of Nanjing’s “new city” impression.

City and Silicon Alley – In addition to re-planning and designing the park, creating indoor and outdoor space in the park and landscape design, the renovation design should fully consider the driving effect of the park environment improvement on the surrounding urban environment, lead the future urban renewal development trend, integrate the development concept of city silicon alley, and transform the industrial park with the thinking of urban design.

The competition design plan covers: a. Overall planning design; b. Conceptual design of architectural renovation; c. Interior conceptual design


There is 1 group of first prize, each group will be awarded of trophies, certificates and bonuses of $ 50,000 (including tax);

There are 2 groups of second prize, each group will be awarded of trophies, certificates and bonuses of $ 20,000 (including tax);

There are 3 groups of third prize, each group will be awarded of trophies, certificates and bonuses of $ 10,000 (including tax);

10 groups will be shortlisted, each group will be awarded of certificates

Competition Schedule

Start date of proposal solicitation: October 15, 2019

Deadline for proposal solicitation: December 15, 2019

Deadline for initial review: December 31, 2019

Deadline for final review: January 10, 2020

This competition now open to public and call for entry worldwide. For more information please feel welcome to contact AIMIR. In addition, if you need architectural visualization service for this competition, please do not hesitate to drop us a line. We will provide a detailed solution to you shortly.

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