Call for Entry: International Competition of Conceptual Planning and Urban Design for Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub and its Surrounding Areas

Call for Entry: International Competition of Conceptual Planning and Urban Design for Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub and its Surrounding Areas

Project Overview

On July 30, 2020, Construction Plan of Intercity Railway in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, in which Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub is positioned as one of main hubs among “the three main and four auxiliary hubs” in the west coastal area of the Pearl River Estuary where it will connect to multiple routes of the radiating traffic network including Zhuhai-Zhaoqing HSR, Guangzhou-Zhuhai (Macao) HSR, and Shenzhen-Zhuhai Intercity Railway etc., to realize rapid connection between Macao, Zhuhai and such national strategic regions as Central China, North China, Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, Yangtze River Delta, and Beibu Gulf Economic Zone, to the extent that this hub will play a role as the main gateway of Macao and Zhuhai to the whole country, and an important hub for the development of Macao-Zhuhai growth pole, supporting the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and integrating itself into the bigger picture of China’s national development.

Currently, the feasibility study report of the Zhuhai, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing East high-speed railway stations and other hub projects has been completed, and the construction is expected to start by the end of 2021. The relevant preparation for Guangzhou-Zhuhai-Macao High-speed Railway has been also started, and the construction is planned to start in 2022. This International Competition of Conceptual Planning and Urban Design for Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub and its Surrounding Areas is resolved by Zhuhai Municipal Government, with a view to better exert the strategic value of Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub and promote the high-quality integrated development of hub and city.

Zhuhai Central Station (Hezhou) Hub and its surrounding areas (“the Hub and Surrounding Areas”) are located on the west coastal area of the Pearl River Estuary, close to the central downtown of Zhuhai and Macao, and within 100km of straight-line distance from Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. They are located in the core area of the inner bay of the Greater Bay Area and play an important strategic role in the integration of the Greater Bay Area.

Project Location in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

The Hub and Surrounding Areas are located in the central area of Zhuhai, facing Hengqin New Area and Tanzhou Town of Zhongshan City across Modaomen Watercourse in the southeast and northeast respectively, adjoining Hezhou as a prospective city center in the south, and Doumen Area and Jinwan Area centers in the west. Located in the geographical center of Zhuhai, this area is the strategic pivot in “undertaking the central influence and extending westward” of Zhuhai urban space, and an important link to promote the balanced development of Zhuhai in the east and the west.

Project Location in the Territory of Zhuhai

Work Content

The scope of this international competition consists of two parts, namely the conceptual planning of the Hub and Surroundings Areas, and the urban design of the Hub Area.

(1) Conceptual Planning Scope of the Hub and Surrounding Areas

Th conceptual planning scope of the Hub and Surrounding Area is a 51-square-kilometer area enclosed by the river channel and highway-expressway network, extending to Modaomen Watercourse in the east, Niwanmen Watercourse in the west, Tiansheng River in the north, and Zhuhai Avenue in the south.

(2) Urban Design Scope of the Hub Area

The urban design scope of the Hub Area is a 10-square-kilometer area with the Hub as the core, which can be delimited by the design teams in line with their conceptual plan.

Conceptual Planning & Urban Design Scope

Registration Requirements

There is no restrictions on qualifications for this international competition. All domestic and international design teams can sign up for this international competition, registration by a consortium (with not more than 4 members including the leading party) is acceptable, and top-rated design teams in various professional fields are encouraged to take part. Core chief designers should have experience in urban design or urban planning of large hubs/areas.


The international competition consists of three stages, namely, Prequalification, Conceptual Design, and Integration of Deliverables.

This international competition is an open solicitation to design teams from all over the world. In the prequalification stage, 6 design teams will be selected from all registrants (including consortiums, the same below) to participate in the next-stage conceptual design. In the conceptual design stage, the conceptual design proposals submitted by 6 shortlisted teams will be evaluated and ranked the first, second and third winners. The first winner will be required to integrate the conceptual schemes with the assistance of the technical service unit before submitting to the Host for acceptance. The Host will organize 1-3 workshops thereafter, and the top three design teams shall send their chief designers to participate in further planning and design (those who are confirmed to be affected by COVID-19 pandemic can participate online).

Detail schedule is as follows:

Note: The schedule above is applied in Beijing Time, and the Host reserves the right to adjust the schedule.


The winners of this international competition will be presented the following awards:

First Winner: can receive design bonus of RMB Four Million Yuan (¥4,000,000) (incl. workshop-related fees) (US$618,567), and the fee of design detailing and integration of RMB One Million Five Hundred Thousand Yuan (¥1,500,000) (US$231,960);

Second Winner: can receive design bonus of RMB Three Million Yuan (¥3,000,000) (incl. workshop-related fees) (US$463,900);

Third Winner: can receive design bonus of RMB Two Million Yuan (¥2,000,000) (incl. workshop-related fees) (US$309,280);

Other shortlisted teams (3 candidates): Each of them can receive a design compensation of RMB One Million Five Hundred Thousand Yuan (¥1,500,000) (US$231,960) for providing effective results.

Information Disclosure & Pre-registration

The competition is scheduled to be officially announced in early October 2021. Please keep tune to the subsequent information disclosure.


The announcement is published on AIMIR’s website now. If you want to know more following details regarding to this competition, please feel free to contact AIMIR. What’s more, you’re more than welcome to touch base with us if you need architectural visualization.

How 3D Rendering and Animation Highlight your Presentation: Case Study of Second & Peabody Project

How 3D Rendering and Animation Highlight your Presentation: Case Study of Second & Peabody Project

Architects are often confronted with situations where they need to report to the city, or present for marketing. Luckily, architectural visualization is the perfect tool for them. 3D renderings are smart demonstration for the concept of yet-to-be-built buildings, and 3D animations create an immersive and engaging experience for the design in a visually-stunning and memorable way.

Eleazar from C* Architects has been one of our regular clients, who brought us an urgent project in July 17th 2021. It is a 3-tower project in the intersection of Second Avenue and Peabody Steet in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. They were having a preliminary meeting with the Nashville City Council on August 3rd, and needed to send the presentation to them before July 26th. What they were looking for were about 10 renderings (not confirmed yet) and a one-minute animation in 9 days.

The production process was as smooth as silk, and they are very happy with the results. AIMIR is proud to be part of this amazing project to illustrate this extraordinary design concept, which helped our precious client with their reporting to city council and marketing as well. Let’s check the 3D renderings now!

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Production Specifics

Since it’s a smooth project which strictly follows modeling, texturing, lighting setting, rendering and post-production, we will introduce the specifics during the production instead of going through the full process.

AIMIR is always proud of our crystal clear workflow, and how cooperative our clients are when briefing. Due to the urgency of the project, C* Architects had sorted all files in order in advance. After checking through all the files, AIMIR realized they pay great attention to the garden.

The kite-shape-designed three towers. The garden is around the ground level where visitors interact.

The Garden

Eleazar is a thoughtful partner who prepared the plants references and placement of tree in advance. It saved plenty of time. In this architectural visualization project, they are looking for 11 different types of trees and more flowers to enrich these towers.

11 types of trees and their placement. This is a excellent example on how to give efficient comments.

As AIMIR’s long-term partner, Eleazar has abundant experience giving comments. The landscape is not included in the 3Ds Max model, thus he hand-marked the arrangement of each tree and flower.

Clear mark-ups of tree placement for a specific camera angle.

Mark-ups on important points not included in the model.

It did take a couple of rounds to perfect the greenery of this beautiful project, which both sides were satisfied with.

Camera Angles

In the beginning of the production, 6 camera angles were confirmed to proceed, but Eleazar was not sure about other views. He was pretty sure he wanted about 10 views to demonstrate this project. In this case, as a professional consultant visualizer, AIMIR’s 3D artists proposed some camera angles from our perspective of view.

We had proposed 32 views which we think are good to use.

It didn’t take too long to determine the final camera angles. Extra 5 views were selected by Eleazar which made up to 11 camera angles in total. They are: 4 aerial views; 6 eye-level views; 1 low angle view.

11 confirmed camera angles.

The Animation Logo

In the end of the animation, Eleazar wanted to add a logo. It is very interesting that the logo is specially designed from the façade of the three towers. They took one pattern out of the façade of each building, which are two Ts and one diamond, forming a unique logo representing this fantastic project.

The forming process of the special designed “T♢T” logo. Isn’t it smart? 

After the Final Delivery

Eleazar told us the reporting went well and the Nashville City was processing with their project. They are planning to use the visualization works to market on their website and other channels.

Working with Eleazar was a sheer pleasure, and we are so proud of how this project turned out. AIMIR was impressed by his design, as well as his professional way of communicating. It is always our pleasure working with C* Architecture. When an architect and his or her 3D visual team are entranced by the concept and design, magic happens!


Would you like to demonstrate your visual with mind-blowing impact and style? Then, contact AIMIR architectural visualization studio. We’ll talk about your exciting project and show its unique story in a show-stopping way.

The International Competition on Urban Design of Longhua International Business District

The International Competition on Urban Design of Longhua International Business District

The International Competition on Urban Design of Longhua International Business District on Renmin Road in Longhua District of Shenzhen is to be launched soon. The project is now open to design teams from all over the world for an early sign-up and registration of intent.

One. Overview

The present international competition aims at drawing on collective wisdom and absorbing all useful ideas from both domestic and international excellent designing institutions for prospective, creative and operable urban designs. With Shenzhen’s mission of building a demonstrative pilot zone of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the foundation as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as the vision, it is expected that the construction of an international city of consumption center should be planned from a high point, so that Longhua International Business District can be built to become “the first choice of consumers in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area” with diversified urban functions that are integrated with commercial services, innovative creation, scientific and technological services, and life of good quality.

Two. Location

The Longhua International Business District is one of the six key- areas in Longhua District. It is  located in the core part and central development axis of Shenzhen City, stretching itself into three subdistricts of Longhua, Minzhi and Dalang whilst being adjacent to the Shenzhen North Station International Business Zone in the south. Longhua Foxconn and Banxuegang Technology City are located in the northeastern direction and Yangtaishan Forest Park is located in the west. Bao’an International Airport is just one-hour drive away, and Shenzhen North Railway Station is within 10 minutes’ drive and Futian Central is just 30 minutes away. Therefore, the traffic both outbound and inbound is of great convenience.

The Longhua International Business District is the core section to improve the comprehensive service capabilities of the central development axis. On one aspect, the District has the function of perfecting Longhua’s own implementing system whilst enhancing the quality of life there. On the other aspect, with the North Railway Station Hub as the base, the exposure range of the business is expanded in the District  which provides Longhua with a space of commercial complex that is widely-open, handy, ecological, and vibrant.

△Sketch Map of the Central Development Axis of Shenzhen City

△ Sketch Map of the Central Service Axis of Longhua District

△ Sketch Map of the Project Location

Work Content

Three. The Work Contents for the Present Competition

The present international competition consists of two levels, namely the scope of urban design and the scope of conceptual architecture design . The former covers an occupation of approximately 325 hectares, including the range of Donghuan First Road, Longhua Avenue, Industry Road, Longsheng Road and Park Road (refer to the white scope line on map below). Among those, there are three key projects for conceptual architecture designs, namely the project of Longhua Business Center, the project of Longhua Third Industrial Zone as well as the intended shanty-area renovation project of the Core Zone.

The present international competition aims at recruiting creative plans for sectional major landmark building complex with business and office functions under the general framework of the urban design of the Renmin Road Business Center. It is required that the participating entities should make a proposal of the orientation of the industries and functions for future development, based upon the comprehensive analyses of the sectional development whilst pushing forward the concept of urban design and performing the work of design in terms of functional layout, traffic, public space, key architecture formats etc.

△ Sketch Map of the Site


1.The Phase of Urban Design

In accordance with the structural framework of Longhua International Business District, composition of functions as well as future-oriented spatial structure concepts and measures are required to be proposed. For the completion of the comprehensive conceptual urban design, focus shall be placed upon the design administration and control, the aboveground and underground space shaping and traffic organization of the four important axis lines of “the two- horizontal and the two -longitudinal” (namely Longhua Renmin Road, Longhua Heping Road, Industrial Road and Jinglong Construction Road), as well as the relationship between the District and different public open spaces, like the Guanlan River, etc.

△ The Two-horizontal and the Two-longitudinal


2.The Phase of Conceptual Architecture Design

The project implementation shall be on key focus. With the requirements raised by the host combined, the local policies and standards as well as the operability and economic costs of the project construction shall be taken into sufficient consideration. In the meanwhile, the plans for the three key projects (with a site occupation of about 75 hectares and a total floorage of about 3.66 million m2), namely of the Longhua Business Center, Longhua Third Industrial Zone and the intended shanty-area renovation project of the Core Zone, are requested to reach the depth of conceptual architecture design, and be operable.

△ Sketch Map of Scope of Longhua Business Center

△ Sketch Map of Scope of Longhua Third Industrial Zone

△ Sketch Map of the Scope of intended shanty-area renovation project of the Core Zone

Registration Requirements

Four. Eligibility Requirements

  1. The applicants shall be either enterprises with an independent legal person or institutions registered either in China or abroad. Foreign companies shall submit entries jointly with domestic enterprises with an independent legal person. No qualifications are required for the present competition.
  2. Consortium shall be accepted for the participation with no limitation in member numbers. No consortium members shall have the right to participate in the competition again alone or with another consortium by another name. The consortium members shall be requested to sign a Consortium Agreement with force of law whilst specifying the leading entity and individual labor division.
  3. No individual participant or individually-combined group will be accepted for the sign-up.
  4. It is encouraged that the design team shall consist of professionals from multiple fields, including urban planning and design, architecture and landscape design, transportation consultation and industrial planning etc.
  5. The participating designers for the present international competition shall be the registered personnel of the participating institution. The designer-in-chief shall have the skill of presiding over several projects of the same category as well as past relevant experience for at least 5 years. In addition, the designer-in-chief shall be directly involved with the whole designing process, including the site survey, reviewing and Q&A as well as the final presentation. It is required that at least one of the participating designers shall have the knowledge of the Chinese language, so the designers shall be ensured to have an accurate understanding of the regional background of China and relevant requirements.
  6. Design institutions (or consortium) with following project experience shall be given the prioritized consideration for further qualification : Practical and successful experience of key projects of urban design domestically or internationally.; Experience of business center planning and architecture design. Rich experience in urban design of comprehensive transportation hub areas.


Five. Competition Modes

The mode of “open entry submission + invitation” is adopted for the present international competition, which consists of three phases, namely the pre-qualification , the urban design and conceptual architecture design, as well as the integration and further development of the accomplishments.

The Phase of Pre-qualification: The host shall send out letters of invitation to the invited entities and select three shortlisted teams. The other three shortlisted teams shall be well selected from the design entities (or consortium) registered through public entries. In the meanwhile, there shall be two alternative teams based on the order.

The Phase of Urban Design and Conceptual Architecture Design: After six design institutions (or consortium) submit valid documents of accomplishments, the host shall establish a judge panel in accordance with laws and conduct the evaluation of participating plans..

The Phase of Integration and Further Development of the Accomplishments: The winning designing institution (or consortium) of the first prize shall be allowed to carry out the integration of the urban design plans and the deepening of architecture design, and their plan shall be put into implementation for the present project. Normally, the winner(s) shall be able to complete the further development work of the prized plan. In case the winning team gives up the integration work, the host shall have the right to entrust other design teams to take over the subsequent work. The winning team shall take the responsibility of assisting the other designing entities with the integration and further development in this phase whilst providing technological support services for the host.


Six. Competition Bonus

The total amount of bonus for the present international competition is 14.77 million CNY (about US$2,288,555). The specific arrangement shall be subject to the officially released announcement.

Seven. Pre-sign-up Registration

The official announcement of the present competition shall be released soon. Designing teams home and abroad are welcomed to pre-register for the competition. Interested entities shall download the attachment 1 Pre-registration sign-up form – The International Competition On Urban Design of Longhua International Business District on Renmin Road, fill the blanks and send it to the e-mail address:

Eight. Special Notes

Pre sign-up forms shall NOT be used as the official entry application. All information involved with the present pre-announcement shall be subject to the official announcement that is to be released later.


The announcement is published on AIMIR’s website now. If you want to know more following details regarding to this competition, please feel free to contact AIMIR. What’s more, you’re more than welcome to touch base with us if you need architectural visualization.

How 3D Renderings Help Get Approval from the City Council: Case Study of Wilshire Courtyard

How 3D Renderings Help Get Approval from the City Council: Case Study of Wilshire Courtyard

3D renderings not only help with marketing, but also help your project to get approval from the city council. S* Architects is AIMIR’s long-term client who is a multifunctional corporation of high-end property design and development across the world. Wilshire Courtyard project is a redevelopment of an existing office complex in Los Angeles and transforming the underutilized site into a new mix-used destination on LA’s highly desirable Miracle Mile.

AIMIR has created 3 photorealistic renderings for Wilshire Courtyard project. During the process, multiple modifications were made to meet the requirement from the LA city council. Let’s take a look at this beautiful project first.

architectural-visualization-3d-rendering-services-exterior-cgi-wilshire-courtyard (1)
architectural-visualization-3d-rendering-services-exterior-cgi-wilshire-courtyard (2)
architectural-visualization-3d-rendering-services-exterior-cgi-wilshire-courtyard (3)
architectural-visualization-3d-rendering-services-exterior-cgi-wilshire-courtyard (4)
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Starting the Project

In 2020, S* Architects found us saying they need a couple of renderings for a project to get approval from the city council. They sent us a brief and all supporting files including the model, requirement checklist (what AIMIR sent them during our previous cooperation) and various references. Everything was clear and straightforward. So, we reviewed the files and started the production right away. We aimed to finish the project in a week.

Part of the references.


Challenges & Solutions

Although the supporting files and documents seemed to be complete, we still confronted a couple of challenges during the project. Here are AIMIR’s solutions:

High-end glass quality and people activities inside of buildings

The feature of the design is the two subtly-sculpted towers (35 and 41 stories) with chamfered edges creating a bold new composition and identity for this highly visible site. S* Architects hoped to present high-end glass quality of the façade and entourage inside the building to show people working activities. Thus, AIMIR recommended to have a twilight view – for better presentation of the glass material and human activities.


The “fin” design under the bridges linking the towers

The other challenge was to showcase the “fins” under the bridges linking the two towers. As the below image, these fins are designed colorful to be one of the featured decorations. In order to achieve this, our 3D artists put more lighting to highlight these spaces.


Green planting across the project

One of the biggest challenges is the planting. This project was designed for bio-friendly with sustainable features. S* Architects wanted to show the façade with plants in a wild state but in some way well-organized by mullions. AIMIR tried different options per provided references, and other references online. As a result, you can see green plants with natural order across the garage floors (bottom 8 stories) and outdoor terraces between the towers.


Glazing façade of garage floors

With the concept “visual texture”, the glass façade of garage floors (bottom 8 stories) is modeled as one single continuous plane for the whole tower façade. Thus, we split up the garage panels to be able to apply additional texture to individual panels. We used 3 different materials and allocated them as random as possible to avoid a single repeating pattern.



As one of our most loyalty partner, the collaboration between S* Architects and AIMIR is very smooth and easy without back-and -forth. Please check the process of these beautiful renderings.


After the Final Delivery

We are more than thrilled to hear from S* Architects that the local city council has granted this amazing project after one more rendering was added one year later (this rendering is currently under our confidential policy and will not be posted before it is allowed to). These renderings played their role in this process, and a satisfactory result was achieved.


Okay, this is the story behind making of Wilshire Courtyard project. 3D renderings help get the approval from city council in a vivid and immersive way. If you are looking for a visualizer to help you on anything, please feel free to contact us at





Architecture from 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games: Features & Controversies

A rollicking closing ceremony with the theme “Worlds We Share” marked the end of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The game gave us a total new look in this pandemic world, and earth’s top-tier athletes competed hard and succeed at almost any cost. The world appreciate it.

Let’s talk about the architecture design, the venues. In fact, most of the venues are older buildings reused, such as the Handball, badminton and wheelchair rugby venue – Yoyogi National Stadium – was completed for the previous Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. This is welcome, for humans are advocating green world. Actually, Paris, host of the 2024 Olympics, promises that 95% of its venues will be either existing or temporary, to halve carbon emissions in comparison to the last two editions of the Summer Games.

Please follow AIMIR to have a tour on the controversial main venue of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games: Japanese National Stadium.


Japan National Stadium

Athletics and football

The opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics events were held on this Japan National Stadium. Costing around US$1.4 billion, Kengo Kuma designed a stadium with 68,000 seats colored in 5 different earth tones to create a forest-pattern mosaic as a natural solution. He said he was inspired by the traditional Japanese architecture and the environment.

The oval-shaped design features 3 tiers of seats beneath a partially covered roof made from steel and latticed wood. Known for his use of natural materials, the roof design improves the thermal environment of the stands and field by effectively bringing in seasonal wind, while removing the heat and humidity from inside.


Zaha Hadid’s Proposal Scraped & Kengo Kuma Accused of Plagiarism

This stadium’s design was actually won by Zaha Hadid in the design competition but later was dropped with concerns over costs and opposition from Japanese architects, which perhaps was the biggest controversy in the run-up to the games.

Zaha Hadid Architects won the competition to design the stadium in 2012. However, the proposed design was criticized by leading Japanese architects. “They don’t want a foreigner to build in Tokyo for a national stadium,” Hadid said, “on the other hand, they all have work abroad.”

What interesting is, the Kengo Kuma’s design was accused of plagiarizing. Zaha Hadid thought the new stadium’s design had “remarkable similarities” to her own proposal, especially has a similar shape and layout. However, Kuma denied the claims, insisting the originality of his design.


Eco-friendly or Greenwashing?

The 68,000-seat stadium used plenty of timber in the roof. An investigation by over 40 charities found that the tropical hardwood being used was linked to deforestation and human rights violations. They think the use of tropical timber from Sarawak on Olympic construction sites is nothing to celebrate.

On the other hand, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games aims to be the greenest games in modern history, since they are using recycled cardboard beds for athletes and podiums made of donated plastic. However, a peer review conducted by the University of Lausanne found that the Games in Tokyo is the third-least sustainable Olympic since 1992. Proofs lead this event easily to be criticized for greenwashing.

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