Suzhou is home to some of the world’s most impressive historical gardens and museums dedicated to ancient Chinese culture, attracting approximately 38 million domestic Chinese tourists each year. In contemporary China, however, Suzhou’s leaders are concerned that it may lose its appeal if the city does not evolve beyond its historical image. Suzhou is also a forward-thinking place.
It is one of the epicenters of China’s high-tech revolution, and has an undercurrent of contemporary culture that few visitors experience. With this in mind, the primary goal of the Shishan master plan was to establish a new cultural district that blends the best of Suzhou’s garden city history with contemporary cultural facilities that highlight Suzhou’s bright future.
Sasaki‘s master plan achieves this goal by focusing on a vibrant public realm, transit-oriented development, innovative programming, and ecological restoration. Located at the western terminus of Suzhou’s main east-west axis, the Shishan site is accessible and
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