code K2
project sponge city
type water sensitive urban design, research
size 7.4 ha
budget -
client planning bureau kunshan city

monash university, crc for water sensitive city,

jon shinkfield (realm studios)

location kunshan, china
year 2015


Kunshan project 2 was a demonstration project exploring the potential for new urban typologies and sustainability systems in the emerging City of Kunshan, this time as part of China’s Sponge City Initiative. The focus of the design-research was to deliver a site-based response to integrated water management through urban and architectural design that could play a broader strategic role in the city’s plan. It aimed to deliver a new civic, market and park precinct, connecting the existing urban fabric of the city to its cultural heritage and broader ecological framework and at the same time build the foundations for a city-wide water cleansing system.


An important exploration for the team was the water transport and polder system which characterizes the region. Historically established to reclaim and divide land for agricultural use the system uses a network of canals, gates and pumps to manage localized water of the Yangtze River Delta. Importantly, local canals manage water levels and city effluent in a controlled manner whilst connecting canals provide transportation links between polders and to the broader region. With this in mind the proposal explored the adaptation of the existing polder and canal system as an opportunity to provide:


- clean water to the polder community

- improved health

- improved urban microclimate

- improved connectivity and urban amenity

- related damage,reduced infrastructure costs

- improved well being


The research was lead by Markus Jung, Senior Lecturer MADA and director XPACE architecture + urban design, Maud Cassaignau, MADA Lecturer and director XPACE architecture + urban design, and Jon Shinkfield, director of REALMstudios.





k2, waterways
k2, site water filtration strategy
k2, green and heritage linkage
k2, site 01
k2, programs
k2, market
k2, watergarden
k2, masterplan
k2, edge
k2, process model
k2, process sketch
k2, wetlands
k2,team 02
k2, team 01