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Atkins to design leisure project in China’s richest city Karamay - 10 January 2013

Atkins has been commissioned to design the new Donghu central leisure area in Karamay, China’s richest city based on GDP per capita. The project, which evolved from Atkins’ masterplan completed last year, will feature landscaped scenic parkland with facilities such as a waterside climbing wall and white water rafting, alongside a lake with boating berths and a single span bridge. The work, commissioned by the Karamay Construction Bureau, is Atkins’ biggest and most complex multidisciplinary project on the Chinese mainland to date due to the scale and the design challenge brought by dealing with local temperatures that range from around -30oC in the winter to over 42oC in the summer.

Clive Horsman, Atkins’ director for landscape in Asia Pacific, said: “Karamay exists in the far north-west of China in semi-desert conditions and the annual temperature swing of over 70 oC between seasons presents us with some challenging design issues. Our technical teams are drawing on extensive local expertise in order to find the sustainable ecological solutions we need and in the choice of materials that will withstand the extreme heat and cold variations.

“This presented particular problems for keeping the area well irrigated in the summer as well as dealing with the winter freeze but we have largely dealt with that by using natural resources from the nearby northern mountains. This will make sure that local plants and vegetation and natural habitats are preserved. In addition, the construction of the bridge had to be carefully planned to take account of the freezing and expansion challenges which meant looking closely at material choices and specifications.”

As well as being Atkins’ largest multidisciplinary project ever commissioned on the Chinese mainland, it is also the company’s first bridge design commission and the most impressive water project Atkins has taken on in Mainland China. Atkins’ design and engineering teams have been involved from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, providing expertise including landscaping, water engineering, highways and bridges, geotechnical, regional consultancy and tourism consultancy.

On completion, the park, which covers an area of 3.41km2, will be the primary location for leisure in Karamay city, with a signature bridge sitting alongside a 1.8km2 lake which connects the future central business district with the city centre.

The area is hugely important to the future development of Karamay, which boasts the highest GDP per capita in China due to its connection with one of the country’s biggest oil fields. Founded 50 years ago, Karamay has a population of 400,000 people and the ambition is to double that by 2050 by encouraging in the engineering and automotive industries, complementing those in nearby Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang province.

Lin Hao, Atkins’ project manager of the Karamay Donghu project, says: “We have developed a very strong and special relationship with the Karamay City government since our success on the masterplan which focussed on a new transport hub, a central business district and motor city zone as well as the new park, lake and bridge. These are exciting times to be part of such a new city development.”


For more information:

Christina Zhuang
Communications manager, Asia Pacific

Andy Winstanley
Group head of PR

Tel: +852 2972 1558 / Fax: +852 2890 6343

Tel: +44 1372 752018 / Mob: +44 7803 259643

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Notes to editors:

Atkins ( is one of the world's leading design, engineering and project management consultancies*, employing some 17,700 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. It has the breadth and depth of expertise to plan, design and enable some of the world's most technically challenging and time critical infrastructure projects.

*14th largest global design firm (Engineering News-Record 2012), the largest global architecture firm (BD World Architecture 100 2012) and the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe (Svensk Teknik och Design 2011).

Atkins is working across urban regeneration, master planning, national energy programmes, major transport schemes, water and environment projects - applying smart design solutions on projects including:

  • Doha Central Planning Office - helping to co-ordinate Qatar’s National 2030 Vision for world class transport infrastructure, which will bring major benefits to the economy;
  • The London 2012 Games infrastructure transformation - as technical advisor to London’s boroughs as the Olympic Park moves into its legacy configuration as a follow-on role to our work as the Games’ official engineering and design provider;
  • UAE’s peaceful nuclear new build programme - providing technical assurance to lenders backing the United Arab Emirates’ most ambitious energy infrastructure projects;
  • North Sea and Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms - extending the operational life of critical oil and gas platforms to allow cost-efficient and safe recovery of fuel sources from mature fields;
  • SSE offshore wind alliance - provision of expert engineering and design support for the UK’s biggest offshore wind alliance with Scottish and Southern Energy;
  • Crossrail - designing the Central London twin tunnels and station architecture for Europe’s biggest civil engineering scheme which will see tunnels passing beneath 470 listed buildings and critical infrastructure;
  • Etihad Railway - providing multidisciplinary design expertise on the 1,200 km Etihad Rail network which will revolutionise passenger and freight transport in the UAE;
  • Denmark ERTMS - providing multidisiplinary signalling expertise on the first countrywide installation of an ERTMS train control and management system in Denmark;
  • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge - lead consultant on this integral part of the new Hong Kong link road scheme which will significantly boost land connectivity in the region;
  • Lowestoft Sixth Form College - design of the ultralow energy consumption Lowestoft College in the UK which aims to reduce operational energy use by more than 60% compared to previous designs;
  • UK National Composites Centre - providing technical expertise to bring the latest lightweight carbon fibre materials to all engineering sectors, helping to develop innovative applications and reduce costs and carbon;
  • US Environmental Protection Agency - providing technical assessment and analysis of national water-related resources and ecological systems in North America.