Kunshan Studio

Jon Shinkfield co-lead the Masters of Architecture Design Studio with Markus Jung from MADA (Monash University). www.kunshanstudio.com.au

The Kunshan Studio was a real time project examining new urban typologies and form for the emerging city of Kunshan in China.

The focus of this urbanism studio was a city precinct 4 times the size of Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid and closely associated with the existing high-speed train station and the adjacent developing city quarter. Through the consideration of new urban form and typologies the project sought an integrated development transect through urban agriculture, urban ecology and the city core.

An important exploration for the studio was the historical, cultural and physical condition of Kunshan. The city’s low-lying, regularly inundated topography is the site of China’s earliest rice production, and the network of constructed canals has been central to the city’s early development. Kunshan is evolving from its agricultural past to an urbanised community but continues to maintain strong ties to its agricultural roots. This transition presents a current challenge – to develop urban typologies and models that demonstrate an integrated position in both architecture and urbanism – a successful urban ecology.

The studio has been a trans-disciplinary collaboration between the Department of Architecture MADA, Monash University and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. Inputs have been drawn from a spectrum of specialists operating in the fields of architecture, urban and landscape design, urban climate, urban ecologies and water management.

The Kunshan Studio was led by Markus Jung, Senior Lecturer MADA and director of XPACE architecture + urban design, and Jon Shinkfield, Senior Research Fellow, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and director of REALMstudios.

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Jon Shinkfield