The South Sea Pearl Eco-island

International competition to design the masterplan and flagship buildings for South Sea Pearl Eco-Island
Dates:10.08.2016 – 31.08.2016
The competition has finished
The South Sea Pearl Eco-island
Held by: HNA Infrastructure, CBC (China Building Centre)
Strategic vision for the island devised by:Vicente Guallart
Jury member: The Chief Architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov

The competition, announced by Hainan Airlines Group, attracted teams from China, Europe and the United States to create an eco-tourist hub with an area of 250, which includes residential complexes, hotels, tourist sites and a port with capacity for two large cruise ships.

Construction on the island is expected to start in 2017; the completion date is projected for 2027. At the moment, additional research is going on to determine the potential of other islands in Haikou Bay.

Participants of the Competition:

  • Foster + Partners (UK)
  • Morphosis Architects (US)
  • Office of Architecture in Barcelona Carlos Ferrater Partnership (Spain)
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US)
  • IROJE Architects & Planners (South Korea)
  • UNStudio (The Netherlands)
  • KuiperCompagnons (The Netherlands)
  • The Jerde Partnership Inc. (US)
  • CCDI (China)
  • Boston International Design Group, LLC (China)


The Jury

  • Chairman of the Jury: Song Chunhua, a former vice minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development of China;
  • He Jingtang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the rector of the Architectural Design and Research Institute of SCUT, chief architect, the honorary chairman of SCUT School of Architecture;
  • Meng Jianmin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the chief architect of the Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research;
  • Zhou Chang, the vice president of the Architectural Society of China;
  • Benedetta Tagliabure, a member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, master of architecture, founder of EMBT Studio;
  • Donald Bates, a master of architecture, the chairman of Melbourne Architecture Committee, founder of LAB Studio;
  • Sergey Kuznetsov, the chief architect of Moscow;



  • Peter Poulet, the chief architect and city planner of Sydney, the chief architect of New South Wales
  • Margaret Jover, an urban ecology expert, the chief planner for ecology, landscape and road traffic;
  • Horacio Werner, an expert at Smart City, the vice president of Smart City and International STRATEGY;
  • Aaron Betsky, an architectural critic, curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale;                 



First place: Diller Scofidio + Renfro

DS+R architects designed compact residential development with single residential zone and a smooth height transition. The project creates a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, and shapes the island into a continuous structure with effective solutions for resort, retail and housing. The design leaves the remainder of the island for aquaculture and agriculture, recreation, resort and cultural facilities.

Second place: Foster + Partners

The jury recognized the centrally positioned park as a major factor in attracting visitors. In addition, attention was paid to innovative technologies that would contribute to the intensive development of agriculture and efficient use of natural resources. The jury also praised the skillful combination of learning, recreation and life functions.

Third place: Morphosis

The jury liked the shape of the island which creates an undulating surface of the park, location of the residential structures along the island’s edges, and development of the cruise terminal and the inner harbor.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Publications on the topic


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