'Flower city' masterplan unveiled by West 8
International architecture firm West8 have unveiled an ecological masterplan to transform Guangzhou Huadi Fangcun (the Flower City) in China. The Guangzhou Huadi Sustainable Masterplan was the winning entry of a local government competition and represents a sustainable vision for the city. Covering an area of 20.5 sq km, the site contains more than 450 hectares of wetland area with the masterplan including an ecological water system network and various water cleaning sections to help cleanse the polluted local eco-system.
The division of the various areas of the site is a key component of the masterplan to help create better urban development. With the architects proposing a ‘zoning plan’ as part of the project, there will be clear divisions between the horticultural land and the urban areas, while recent housing developments and historical monuments will be carefully preserved.
However, new residential spaces are still an integral part of the scheme with 6-storey housing blocks surrounded by green areas being constructed to house resettled people from nearby villages, as well as the modernisation and renovation of housing, schools and roads on Huadi Island. A new designated horticultural area will be attached to the new housing developments located in the South East of the site, which will contain research centres for horticultural and herbal medical uses.
The public realm is also an important aspect of the design as West 8 Architects explains: “All canals, roads, sidewalks and paths are part of the public space of the Huadi competition area. That gives these spaces of movement also the task of creating a certain atmosphere in the area. Roads become boulevards; canals become first addresses for housing, and nice and comfortable spaces to move through....All together a coherent recreation and mobility network is created consisting out of boulevards, squares and parks, which fulfill both excellent access and a high quality of life.”
As part of the project, a central park will be created in the first stage of the project’s development which will host the Guangzhou International Flora Expo. The Flora Expo design contains various different themed areas including Flower Fields, Romance Gardens and Hidden/Secret Gardens with main building of the flower show, the Palace of Flowers, located at the centre of the expo.