» » Design contest held for Vietnam’s largest square

Historic Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. Founded on the banks of the lower Saigon River over 300 years ago, the city now encompasses a land area of nearly 2,100 square kilometers, supporting a population of over 6 million people. An expanding population base and increased foreign direct investment in the 21st century have led to rapid urbanization and significant growth pressures in Ho Chi Minh City.

The 657-hectare Thu Thiem peninsula lies at the heart of this dynamic city - separated from the historic District 1 by the sweep of the Saigon River - and is the most significant land area for development within the city boundary. In 2005, the HCMC People's Committee approved the 1:2000 scale "Thu Thiem New Urban Area" Master Plan, authored by Sasaki Associates, Inc. of Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.

The Detailed Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines for Thu Thiem establishes a comprehensive 20-year vision for the waterfront peninsula as a world-class, environmentally sensitive mixed-use urban district, reflecting a uniquely Vietnamese way of life. Comprised of housing, commercial, office, cultural, and institutional uses, the district is set within an extensive framework of waterways and public spaces. Key destinations include a 50,000 sm Convention Center, a regional outdoor Stadium and indoor Arena complex, a 300-meter tall Television Tower and visitors center, a new Central Plaza and Central Lake, and a new Museum of South Vietnam. Upon completion, Thu Thiem will accommodate over 200,000 new residents.

The current Thu Thiem Competition focuses on three critical public areas within the Sasaki plan - the Central Plaza, the Crescent Park, and the Saigon River Pedestrian Bridge.

A contest to design the biggest square in Vietnam, a riverside park and a pedestrian bridge was launched on March 17 in HCM City by the Thu Thiem area management board.

The organising board encourages both local and international designers to take part in the contest.

Designers who enter the second round will earn US$20,000. The winner will receive $50,000 and a contract to design the square, a riverbank park and a pedestrian bridge for the Thu Thiem residential area.

The contest is being held by the HCM City People’s Committee and the Thu Thiem residential area management board, under the technical advice of Sasaky Associates.

The central square of Thu Thiem residential area will have a total area of 20ha and be able to hold hundreds of thousands of people.

The deadline for registration is April 7 and May 19 for submitting designs. The second round will take place form May 26 to July 28. The winner will be announced on December 8.

Further information is on the website www.thuthiem.com.vn

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