Landscape overrules built elements in nature-focussed urban development
Category: Urban Master Plan (unbuilt)
Jin Sha Zhou is a developing area just outside the city of Guangzhou, soon to be connected to Hong Kong via an upgraded freeway.
Scheduled for completion in late 2010, the 27-hectare site will integrate residential, retail and community facilities over four stages. For client Capitaland Management Consulting, the design objective was to balance the pragmatic and civil requirements of the project while retaining a strong connection to the landforms and the natural environment.
AJ+C (Allen Jack + Cottier) won the limited design competition by retaining the densely forested hilltop at the centre of the site, and designing the facilities around it, while other entrants either destroyed or built over the hilltop.
AJ+C’s master plan made the hilly terrain with its dense forests the most important aspect of the design, focussing the built forms around it. The established waterways and aqua-culture systems were all retained in the design. Balancing the natural ecology of the original site, the landscaping throughout the residential, retail and community facilities was based on the idea of seasonal gardens - spring, summer, autumn and winter - thus bringing the focus of nature into all aspect of the design to create vibrant neighbourhood centres.