River Beat

Yu Ting (Julie) Wu (website), Safei Gu (website), Lauren Mackenzie, Parisa Mard Mehdiabadi, Brianne Papendick, Justin Ping, Ken Secco, Tyler Smith, Sam Tremont, Robyn Wolochow, Di Wu (website)
University of Michigan, Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning
Global Design Studio


River Beat begins from an intense, six-day international workshop in Zhengzhou, China, where students from the University of Michigan collaborated with Beijing urban design firm, SPD, and selected participants of Beijing University Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) to design a new development from tabula rasa.

The proposal envisions a pedestrian-oriented urban fabric that integrates different programmatic elements to the central recreational district by the waterfront. Efficient reorganization of green buffer zones allows for dynamic public spaces to permeate through the grid, providing intimately-scaled and walkable blocks that promote a healthy and densely vibrant lifestyle.

Landscape + Hydrological Concept
The hydrological design aims to purify water through a series of retention ponds, sedimentation basins, and constructed wetlands. These elements of a wetland not only serve a biological process but also generate a unique ecosystem of its place, enhancing the users’ experience. As the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, wetlands play major roles in water
purification, flood control, and shoreline stability – all of which are important factors to consider in designing our waterfront district. The process of water treatment thus becomes the main concept behind our landscape design.

River Beat’s landscape responds to changes in water level while maintaining their functions and aesthetics. In particular, the water surface and bottom of the river bed are designed to anticipate water fluctuations, as they create an ever-changing experience.




seasonal variations – summer


seasonal variations – autumn



river beat central transit station


dancing dragon commercial strip


water street district


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