Yilong Futuristic City | Masterplan Competition **First Prize**

Dear friends,
We are very proud to introduce to you the last project developed in collaboration with the “Computational Design Team” from TAKENAKA’s main Office in Osaka.
The project title is “Yilong, Loop Linear City” and has been awarded the first prize on the “Yilong Futuristic City Competition” organised by Yilong District Management Committee, Guizhou Louna Architects Commune Cultural Development and the UED Magazine (Urban Environment Design Magazine). You can check the results on the competition website in here!

The Project:

The result of the project is lively, fluid and tremendously contemporary in its form and in the concepts that define it, however, it does not arise from a banal gesture but from a deep analysis of the urbanistic concepts developed in the last 200 years. Studying the fundamental differences of the “Grid City” and the “Linear City” models (this last one proposed by  Arturo Soria in Spain and  Nikolay Alexandrovich Milyutin in Russia).
In a grid city, delays for people and vehicles create an enormous amount of “waiting time” in places where lines of flow intersect.
The linear city was designed as an urban plan for an elongated urban formation. The city would consist of a series of functionally specialized parallel sectors. Generally, the city would run parallel to a river and be built so that the dominant wind would blow from the residential areas to the industrial strip.
Loop linear city proposes to concentrate lines of flow (much like the linear city) and forms them into a loop to make it easy to return to the same spot, reduce waiting times, and save energy consumption due to speed reductions. In addition, agile coordination between electric vehicles, medical care and distribution using the city’s big data, and delivery of various public services will optimize mobility for people and things. This allows us to avoid unnecessary construction and control the city’s expansion and contraction in the future in a flexible and delicate manner amid a balanced urban network…
Together with the “Computational Design Team”, we have adapted and studied the ideas from the linear city and combined them with the concept of what we have defined as “The Oriental landscape”.

The East Asian landscape (and harmony with a modern city) we envision is not simply made up of forms and colours. Like the Yilong District, it consists of multiple layers with mountains in the distance, the pastoral scenery in front of them, and the production activities and everyday lives that take place there. Viewpoints are not defined by strong axes or monuments. As the next step after city plans of the past such as “Linear city” and “Loop city,” we propose the “Loop linear city” based on traffic and infrastructure using urban big data.

By integrating with the unique topography that will become the “framework” for this landscape, we propose a sustainable city that uses the “ringed linear city” model for its “framework” and leverages the city’s “BIGDATA” to plan for its transportation network.

The project proposes three archetypes that are combined into the loop system creating the different activity areas. These are:

(1) High-rise district
High-rise buildings are still an effective way to address city efficiency as well as future increases and fluctuation in population and functional burden. Public facilities such as schools, hospitals, and gathering places as well as rich green belts will be placed at the foot of high-rise buildings with a minimal ground area. The exterior designs of the high-rises will make them disappear into the sky to make sure they do not have a dominating presence. The beams supporting the structures of the high-rise buildings will disappear into vegetation and waterfalls that are part of the public areas at their feet, creating a comfortable environment in spite of the external supports.

(2) Loop bridge
To consolidate lines of flow and conserve energy consumed by traffic speed reduction, “loop” bridges will span the canyons between the 4 km loops with curves ideal for electric vehicle entry. The inside of the loop bridge will contain an urban park to avoid interfering with the existing scenery, and the inclusion of walking and cycling paths will offer views of the existing scenery and the urban park. These loop bridges will be positioned where wind and rivers flow through, making them places to generate water and wind-powered electricity from the terrain in addition to urban parks to highlight the scenery.

(3) Residential areas
Places with relatively slight inclines among the upward and downward slopes along the loop’s terrain will be used as residential areas. They will feature small roads that fit electric vehicles comfortably, walking paths with rich vegetation, and a comfortable thermal environment thanks to the wind flowing from the top to the bottom of the mountains. Infrastructure such as water, electricity, and communications will be concentrated in the loop along the terrain, making it more efficient than the usual net-like configuration. In addition, the bridge area will provide wind and hydropower to the loop, making the loop an energy generator. In residential areas connected to the loop, not only will electric vehicles deliver public services and supplies, but the loop itself will deliver energy.

The Process:

The project was developed, as we said, in collaboration with TAKENAKA’s Computational Design Team     |Masaaki Matsuoka, Hiroshi Arita, Natsumi Kawasaki, Naoyuki Takayama, Aya Kasuya|…and was unique in many ways:
The team was divided into two locations: Half of the team worked from the TAKENAKA’s main office in Osaka, working on the concept; the Architectural and urban design. The other half, from the enzyme’s headquarter in Hong Kong, developing the terrain works and the landscape modeling and producing the renders and the animation.

 Enzyme’s In-house Consultants and the CDT during a meeting at Takenaka’s Osaka Headquarters.
The team came up with several scripts to analyze and understand the complex topography and locating the areas where we could fit the required amount of people. Those areas will define nodes of activity which we afterward would break down into the different archetypes.

All the terrain works were made in Rhino/Grasshopper, where we could easily sculpt the roads and landscape features that would create the loop identity. Afterwards, that terrain will be transformed into Archicad meshes using the script shared by Jaime Ingram.
In a separate script, the team designed the urban areas defined by a structural network of arches supporting the towers and creating the urban spaces underneath, merged with the surrounding nature.
And finally, the project was put into Twinmotion, creating a VR world from which get the animation flythrough and the still frames to be further animated into Photoshop.
The link from Archicad to Twinmotion and the speed and efficiency of working on a real-time render engine (TM is powered by Unreal Engine) gave the capacity to the designers to work on the models pushing the adjustments and changes until really the last minute! The animation and renders were exported just a couple of days before submission, in order to give the last postproduction touch the last couple of days.
The animation took 2.5 hours to render whereas each still frame took around a minute to generate a 4K image on an 27′ iMac.


This has been one of the most challenging and fun projects to work this last 2017. The second project in collaboration with TAKENAKA’s Design Department and each time the engine just feels more and more engaged. Despite the difficulties inherent to the type of project and the cultural and language differences we feel so happy and so much aligned with the line of thinking and the will of improving of our Japanese teammates. We are both so eager to learn, to experiment and to explore new workflows, tools and methodologies to push ourselves and in the meantime the lazy construction market as well.
The workflow: Rhino-Grasshopper-Archicad-Twinmotion is great although still in the process of being consolidated. We spent quite a lot of time figuring out the best ways to transform and convert geometries from one software to the next, especially working with terrain/meshes and importing to Twinmotion (it was TM V1 for Mac).
Working together has brought us so much learning, and cultural enrichment. Hopefully, we can keep growing this relationship and keep sharing with you more stories with such a happy end.
We want to thank specially to Mr Senda for the trust and for bringing us on board with this team! Arigato Gozaimasu!

 Takenaka’s Team and Graphisoft Asia BD Manager at Enzyme’s Hong Kong Office.
Hope you enjoyed the project as much as we do and stay tuned because 2018 will come full of great projects to share!