Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 6 sessions / week, 8 to 12 hours / session

MIT-Tsinghua Beijing Urban Design Studio, Summer 2008

In 2008, the Beijing Urban Design Studio will focus on the issue of Beijing's urban transformation under the theme of de-industrialization, by preparing an urban design and development plan for the Shougang (Capital Steel Factory) site. Shougang was one of the most famous and largest steel factories in China, with about 80,000 workers and an area of 7 square kilometers. Located at the west end of the horizontal central axis of Beijing, opposite the Central Business District, the factory is a large work unit compound containing massive plants, cooling ponds, railways, worker housing, service facilities and recreational sites. However, within the de-industrialization trend of Beijing and especially for the sake of the Olympic Games, a huge relocation program is being supported by the government. By 2008 Shougang will move all its steel-producing facilities to Caofeidian in Hebei province, leaving the current site to be redeveloped for offices, potential housing, research and development, sales, logistics and tertiary industries.

This studio will address whether portions of the old massive factory infrastructure can be preserved as a national industrial heritage site embedded into future new development; how to balance the cultural and recreational value of the site with environmental challenges; as well as how to use the site for urban development. A special focus of the studio will be to consider development approaches that minimize energy utilization. To research these questions, students will be asked to interact with clients from the factory, local residents, city officials and experts on transportation, environment, energy and real estate. They will assess strategic options for the steel factory and propose comprehensive plans for the design and development of the brownfield site.

Professors Dennis Frenchman and Jan Wampler will lead the studio, which will involve 19 MIT architecture and city planning students in residence during the summer in Beijing. Masters of City Planning student Jiang Yang will be the teaching assistant. They will be joined by faculty and students of Tsinghua University and will work in joint, interdisciplinary teams to produce alternatives for the site.

Introductory Slides

The following presentation describes the Shougang site and looks back at previous Beijing Studios. (PDF - 1.5 MB)