23 Mar 2011

Post-Industrial Landscapes - China

The site of Millenium Mills, London Docklands, which I chose as the site for my final third year studio project, has pushed me to look into more post-industrial designs. These types of site are very interesting as there is far more involved than just design, like with many projects, as the sites are often contaminated, covered in rubble, in difficult areas, & many other factors. The whole process is far more indepth & time consuming, involving many teams of expertise. I will be continuing to post about post-industrial landscape when I come across any that catch my eye. Here is the first one:

Project: Tianjin Bridged Gardens
Landscape Architect: Turenscape (Beijing Turen Design Institute)
Location: Tianjin City, China
Area: 22ha
Completion: 2008
Project Type: Urban regeneration/renewal

Regenerative design transformed this former derelict shooting range, used as a rubbish dump, into a low maintenance urban park. Rapid urbanisation in the area turned the former shooting range into a rubbish dump & storm water drainage basin for the city, making it a heavily polluted, deserted, littered site. The overall aim for the designers was to create a park that provided a large diversity of nature for the city & its residents; including the ability for the site to purify urban storm water, improve the saline-alkali soil, provide educational opportunities (environmental issues, native landscapes, natural systems, landscape sustainability & storm water management).

The regional landscape is typically flat & used to be rich in wetlands & marshes before it was all destroyed by large scale urban development. The design for the park was inspired by the adaptive vegetation communities that used to cover this landscape & the region. The park was designed in such a way that it is very low maintenance & it just allows nature to work. The top image shows the site at the top centre, surrounded by high density urban sprawl. The second image shows more clearly the state of the site before its regeneration.

The transformed park is unrecognisable from its former derelict, rubble strewn state. Twenty-one "pond cavities" were dug in the landscape, varying in size from ten to forty meters in diameter, & from one to five meters in depth. Depending on the weather, & the height above ground level, the cavities all take on different appearances, some becoming seasonal pools, some water ponds, some wetlands, & some remain as dry cavities. There are wooden platforms stretching out across some of the cavities, enabling visitors to see right inside them.

Storm water is collected in the water cavities, allowing vegetation to grow & creating diverse water communities. Mixed seeds of native plant species were sowed initially to get the vegetation started, but after this plant species were allowed to grow & develop wherever they naturally occured. Different seasons provide different appearances as plant species establish at different times depending on the states of the cavities, whether they are wet or dry during the seasonal changes.

Red steel walkways run through the park, allowing higher views across the landscape

All images courtesy of Turenscape.com


Rashed Khan said...

I found your website the other day and after reading a handful of posts, thought I would say thank you for all the great content. Keep it coming! I will try to stop by here more often.

ketz said...

One of the best transformation I'd seen. Good thing that they save this place for a better area of living.

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