Woods Bagot recently won a competition held by China Southern Airlines (CSA) to design their new global headquarters in Guangzhou, China. Teaming with Hargreaves Associates and Sherwood Engineers, Woods Bagot developed a proposal that focuses on drawing water and landscape through the site to unify the different precincts included in the program. The 41-million-square-foot master plan includes an industrial zone dedicated to CSA’s aviation maintenance, residential areas, a university with adjacent housing, and an executive park overlooking a man-made lake at the heart of the new metropolis. With a project of this scale, it was important both to the designers and the client that the sustainable aspects of the design, such as new freshwater wetlands and restoration zones, become deeply embedded in its identity. “Flying over Beijing, you can read the concentric rings of the city,” says Richard Marshall, joint CEO and director of urban design at Woods Bagot. And in an effort to create a similar readability for Guangzhou, the design team seized on the opportunity to capitalize on the city’s position directly beneath the flight path to Guangzhou airport. “Flying across the site on approach, you’d see the site from the air with a clearly identifiable image,” Marshall says. For a city based around the airline industry, the oft-ignored aerial view is an important consideration.