Clean, green and serene

By Cheng Yuezhu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-16 08:53
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Two of Hangzhou's former oxygen plant buildings in Zhejiang province are surrounded by flower-filled meadows. CHINA DAILY

Sneak peek of Hangzhou's new cultural cluster reveals city has sights set on becoming regional urban template, Cheng Yuezhu reports.

For decades, the oxygen plant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was a symbol of the city's industrialization and economic development. Sprawling over more than 60 hectares, the vast complex is now taking on a brand-new existence.

In accordance with changing requirements for urban development and industrial upgrading, the factory has been moving operations to more suburban areas of the city since 2008. Now, the municipal government has decided to repurpose the site and make it an international platform for promoting culture and tourism.

Part of this involves the creation of the O2 Museum, comprising an urban museum as well as an art and science museum. Although it is scheduled to open officially next year, it recently offered visitors a sneak peek of what to expect with an exhibition and accompanying series of forums.

Two of the site's former factory buildings have been surrounded by flower-filled meadows, making them an ideal spot to relax in the early autumn breeze.

As visitors enter the exhibition, MVRDV Green Factory, they find the exhibition hall is also covered in greenery, and a banner at the entrance greets them with the words: "Welcome to the green city".

Running until Dec 31, the exhibition is about the work of Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, with a particular focus on the Green Dip research project undertaken by The Why Factory, a think tank set up by the Dutch firm's founding partner, Winy Maas.

Explaining the Green Dip concept, Maas uses the analogy of dipping ice cream in chocolate to enhance its flavor.

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