Office for Architectural Culture to work in the heart of Xi’an

London practice appointed to masterplan historic Chinese city

London-based practice Office for Architectural Culture (OAC), led by Charles Phu, has won the design competition for the regeneration of an area of approximately 300 hectares in the heart of the city of Xi’an, China. This mixed-use project covers part of Daming Palace Heritage Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the site of the large early-20th Century Dahua Wool Spinning Factory.

Xi’an, home of several UNESCO Heritage Sites including the world-famous terracotta warriors, is considered the historical and cultural capital of China.Daming Palace, the imperial palace of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), was the political and cultural centre of Silk Road cultures at its peak. With an area of 3.11 square kilometres , it is the biggest known imperial palace complex in the world.

In OAC’s design proposal, the core area of the project, which will be the first phase to be developed, is an area of approximately 580,000m2. It has a mixture of developments including culture-themed retail, galleries, class-A corporate offices, creative offices and live-work studios, two five-star hotels, apartments and large public outdoor spaces. A 12,000m2 Silk Road Museum is proposed, part of which falls in the Daming Palace Heritage Park.

OAC’s winning scheme adopts an approach of maximising urban green space, stacking layers of public realm vertically.


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