The competition “imagining the southern extension of Beijing’s central axis” was launched by the Territorial office of Beijing in the cities of Fengtai and Dongcheng. This project intends to define a territorial strategy for the southern part of the capital by respecting its original axial system. Over 800 years, the central axis of Beijing has guided the development of the city. Yet over the last decade unprecedented urban growth has created inevitable expansion outside city boundaries, far away from the historical axis.

This proposal to extend the north-south axis presents several opportunities. Beyond organizing the urban growth of Beijing as it reaches a new urban airport in the city’s south, it has the capability to test new principles for ecological urbanism. In integrating historical aspects of the axis within the contemporary development of the metropolis, the proposal would also plan for their inclusion as UNESCO world heritage sites.

The project proposal is formulated around the redefinition of the axis as a modular public space system, as an element of local culture and as a succession of gates and structural squares for new neighborhoods. In the South, the project defines a new urban edge between the dense city center and the periphery through the design of a new gate to the capital. The gate is accompanied by a park of 900ha that creates the scenographic staging of city and nature. The new urban fabric is designed based on historical local geometries, the large imperial park (Nanyuan) and its original access road.

  • Program / Project: BEIJING / South Axis
  • Client: Territorial office of Beijing, City of Fengtai, City of Dongcheng
  • Project management: Tondji (lead architect) + Agence Ter + AND Architecture
  • Area: 740 ha
  • Date: 2018
  • Location: Beijing, China

BEIJING / South Axis