Located in the mid-east region of Henan Province, Kaifeng is the emerging sub-center city of Henan Province, city of core development zone of Central Henan Urban Agglomeration and the core city of Zhengzhou metropolitan area. With a long history and abundant tourism resources, Kaifeng, the ancient capital of eight dynasties, is also the gathering place of intangible cultural heritage. With the planning advantage of integrated development of Zhengzhou and Kaifeng, the tourism economy and tertiary industry in Kaifeng enjoy further development. 

Tourism in Kaifeng mainly features scenic spot sightseeing and simple amusement. Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden and Dragon Pavilion currently boast the highest tourism concentration ratio. The development of tourism commerce in Kaifeng is still in its infancy and tourism commerce still features a dual structure of featured retail, catering and supporting facilities.

Shuanglong Lane

Shuanglong Lane historical and cultural blocks are important projects of Kaifeng Cultural Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Investment Group”). As the key state-owned enterprise of Kaifeng, Investment Group owns the core cultural and tourism resources of Kaifeng, the ancient city of Song capital and is dedicated to building cultural and life experience area of Song capital with “comprehensive protection, holistic tourism, consistent scenery of the whole city and whole industry chain”. Amber Retreats and AIM International Design Competition, entrusted by Investment Group, pool wisdom to bring more possibilities to Shuanglong Lane with one court at its core.

Competition Challenge

Currently, there are a number of urban improvement projects to repair ancient towns in the name of repairing traditional blocks. However, few of them succeed. This space scene design competition focuses on No. 24 court of Shuanglong Lane and collects various solutions for one court from global designers; starting from one point, the strong cultural IP of Shuanglong Lane is created to lead industrial upgrade and transformation of Shuanglong Lane; it’s an innovative design talents introduction, a collision with new scenes and an intensive and focus spread.

Quadrangle courtyard is the basic unit of the buildings within the core protection area, which restores the courtyard pattern and style of buildings with traditional features. The new quadrangle courtyard is built based on the original courtyard texture, which optimizes the space environment of the block. It combines the traditional architectural elements such as quadrangle courtyard, sloping roofs, grey tiles and blue bricks, lattice doors and windows. The controlled height of buildings in the block is 2 stories, and the cornice height is less than 7 m. The buildings around the quadrangle courtyard, which are not newly-built ones in the quadrangle courtyard, are 3 m away from the boundary. The existing buildings to be preserved shall be reconstructed and consolidated in combination with the design and use functions. The facades, roof forms and colors of such buildings shall be renovated to achieve harmony with the traditional style of the block.

Through competitions with Shuanglong Lane No. 24 court as typical cases, we hope to motivate teams to review the modern application of Song culture from the perspectives of art, drama, design, communication, consumer psychology after getting rid of restriction of traditional blocks renovation based on Song culture of Kaifeng, locality and historical inheritance of Shuanglong Lane. Meanwhile, they are motivated to explore the interaction between innovative types of business and space with techniques such as time-space folding and boundary blur to inspire new behavior mode and consumption scenes.

In the space of No. 24 court, participants can conduct business type designs including but not limited to homestay, catering, bars, cafes, book bars, little theatres, art galleries, museums, intangible cultural heritage workshops, flower shops, cultural and creative stores, integration space and any other types of business believed to show up in the space in light of historic culture and business performance of Kaifeng and Shuanglong Lane.

In the space design, space innovation triggered by collocation, integration and alternation of innovation business types is encouraged. However, feasibility and practicability are required with adequate consideration of cost. The application of new technologies of AI, 5G and VR is encouraged. For constructions, project plot ratio and max headroom requirements must be followed with considerations given to the coordination of the space and business type of the entire Shuanglong Lane and innovative usage of underground space. We hope that Shuanglong Lane No. 24 Court competition can explore a new way for the improvement of ancient blocks in China and lay a brand new standard for the overall renovation of Shuanglong Lane.

Collection categories

  1. Accommodation Homestay
  2. Experienced-cultural and innovative brand stores
  3. Custom handicraft hall parent-child space
  4. Art performance little theatre
  5. Cultural and creative warehouse for used things bookstore-catering
  6. Space-museum


First prize: RMB50000

Second prize: RMB 30000

Third prize: RMB 20000


Works submission requirements

Submitted contents include:
1. 4 Pictures of Design scheme of A1 size (841MM x 594MM) with unlimited horizontal and perpendicular layout and composition. Mapping documents are submitted in JPG format with resolution not lower than 300dpi. Scheme contents include but not limited to:
1) Site plan
2) Architectural plan, elevation, profile
3) Rendering and analysis chart
4) Design philosophy diagram
5) Economic and technical indexes
6) Other image data that can fully express design concepts
2. Works information sheet (information sheet template is provided in download materials)
3. Participants need to submit creation drafts, work photos and other materials during the creation process (image in JPG format with resolution not lower than 150dpi)

Optional submission contents:

1. Business plan about content creativity: the project (homestay or other business types) brand content operation idea PPT involves brand positioning, target population, project population, marketing, development strategy and execution plan of the brand in Shuanglong Lane.
2. Video (2-4 minutes): to better present works concept, short videos can be submitted, including an introduction to team members, description of design concepts of works with display boards. The format is unlimited. Videos can be made in MPEG, MP4, AVI formats.

Review Standard

1. The locality of design: 30 scores (highlight the integration degree of design and resources of Shuanglong Lane in Kaifeng, including digging and utilization of local materials, extraction of local elements, implantation of local culture and activities, etc.)
2. Design integrity: 30 scores (including concept plan, whether design can be integrated with surrounding integrated ambiance, consistency and coherence of the design of Shuanglong Lane)
3. The leading function of design: 20 scores (including innovation of design and influence of future development)
4. Product richness: 20 scores (including business type layout, supporting business types, facilities implantation, local derivative consumption of products, etc.)

For the more following information, please feel free to contact AIMIR. The application of new technologies such as AI, 5G and VR is encouraged. If you need architectural visualization for this competition, warmly welcome you to drop us a line.

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