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2002 Award Winners
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Honor Award -- Design

Zhongshan Shipyard Park
Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China

Kongjian Yu, Center for Landscape Architecture, Beijing University; Turen Design Institute; Wei Pang, Turen Design Institute, Guanzhou Office; Shihong Lin, Turen Design Institute

Kongjian Yu
Beijing University
Center for Landscape Architecture and Planning
Beijing, CHINA 100871
Tel: 08610-62751181
Fax: 08610-62759003
kjyu@urban.pku.edu.cn

Purpose: To build a park on the site of a deserted shipyard for landscape quality, recreation, environmental and historical education, and tourism.

Design Philosophy and Intent: Design is a process of preserving and modifying existing forms, and, if necessary, creating new forms to visualize the significance or functional, cultural, historical and ecological meanings of a site.

The Role of the Landscape Architect: Landscape architects played the leading role.

Special Factors: This project is unique because:

(1) Unique history: The shipyard was originally built in the 19505 but went bankrupt in 1999.
Though small in scale it reflects the remarkable 50-year history of socialist China, including the Cultural Revolution. It is a space to remember and tell stories.

(2) A challenging setting

Challenge 1: fluctuating water levels. With the existing lake connected through the Qijiang River to the sea, water levels fluctuate up to 1.1 meters daily. A network of bridges was constructed at various elevations and integrated with terraced planting beds so that native weeds can be grown and visitors can feel the breath of the ocean.

Challenge 2: flood control versus old trees protection: Regulations of the Water Management Bureau required old banyan trees at the bank to be cut down in order to widen the river channel for flooding water flow. The solution was digging a parallel ditch on the other side of the trees, leaving them intact as an island of preservation.

Challenge 3: Remnant rust docks and machinery -nothing as gigantic or unusual as a gas works or steel factory. These elements, if left intact because of a pure preservation or ecological restoration ethic, might actually be a distraction or nuisance for local residents. Three approaches are taken to artistically and ecologically dramatize the, spirit of the site using these elements: preservation, modification of old forms and creation of new forms.

Significance: Visitors to the parks were deeply touched and moved, it demonstrated the important role that landscape architects can play in urban renovation.

How the project meets judging criteria by category.

  1. Quality of design: Design penetrating into all the processes of preserving and modifying of existing forms, and creating new forms.
  2. Functionalism: Function reigns supreme in this design. This is evident in the network of paths that link unique locations and exits, the reuse of docks for tea houses, the accessible terraces planted with native plants and the light tower made from the former water tower.
  3. Relationship to context. The existing site was well respected. The park merges into the urban fabric through a network of paths and urban facilities being introduced. Water elements merge via the inlet from the sea that fluctuates along with ocean tides.
  4. Environmental responsibility. The principles of reducing, reutilizing and recycling natural and man-made materials were followed.
  5. Relevance to the profession, the public and the environment. This park is a public place that calls people to pay attention to culture and history that has not yet been designated as formal or "traditional." It is about the common people, as well as an environment ethic that states, "weeds are beautiful."

Client statement: The Qijiangpark of Zhongshan was finished in October 2001. It is a great success in terms of its contribution to the city landscape and its fulfillment of the requirements first set by the Planning Bureau. Our citizens love this park because of its unusual features and its recreational, environmental and historical education functions. It is also an attraction for tourism. Now a brilliant and essential part of our city, we are quite proud of it.

2002 Award Winners
Press Releases
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