The Kaisen Ancient Tree Wellness centre and retreat international design competition is supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), organised by Kaisen Holding Group, executed by RIBA WFOE and delivered by designverse and Young Bird Plan. The competition is open to all designers and architects both in the UK and international to deliver a new model of eco-hotel and guest houses while retaining the natural forest and protecting the ancient native trees of this popular attraction.
The site is part of the Guandong Xiangtoushan National Nature Reserve, the area selected for this competition is located at Kaisen Thousand Year Ancient Trees Garden in Pingan Village, Baitang Town, Boluo County, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. The project will focus on the Thousand Year Ancient Trees Garden, and the surrounding land of 1333.33 hectares, including three villages – Gudong Village, Pingnan Village and Jiaomu Village, all with good transport links.
The entrants' (individuals or groups) design proposals are expected to fully consider the relationship of the buildings within the site and numerous ancient trees, to protect and enhance the site while providing services for visitors, and to clearly express the competition's themes of protection, return and inheritance. Designers also need to focus on the design principles, design methods, and technical routes of sustainable and ecological architecture, and fully consider the specific ecological and cultural environment of this ancient tree garden.
- 11 January 2021: Call for entries
- 11 April 2021: Registration and submission deadline
- 20 April 2021: Release of top 100 shortlist
- 20 April 2021: Release of top 30 shortlist
- 30 April 2021: Release of top six shortlist
- 11 June 2021: Release of top three shortlist and competition winner
- Azlina Bulmer - Director of International, RIBA
- Jianmin Meng - Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering
- Benedetta Tagliabue - Jury member for the Pritzker Prize, Co-founder of EMBT and 2013 RIBA Jencks Award recipient
- Nishizawa Ryue - 2010 Pritzker Prize winner and Co-founder of SANAA
- Chien Chung Pei - Founding Partner, PEI Architects
- Thomas Heatherwick - Founder, Heatherwick Studio
- Roberto Bannura - Partner, Steven Holl Architects
- Steven Smit - Director, MVRDV Asia
- Yibin Yang - Design Director, Kaisen Holding Group
Visit the designverse page for more information about this competition’s champion and top six shortlist.