turenscape: shanghai houtan park – best landscape project at WAF 2010

milimetdesign updated from www.designboom.com


‘shanghai houtan park’ by turenscape
all photographs by kongjian yu

‘shanghai houtan park’ by beijing-based practice turenscape is the winning project in the best landscape
category at this year’s world architecture festival in barcelona. built on a brownfield of a former industrial site,
the park was designed for the 2010 shanghai world expo to accommodate for a large number of visitors during
the event’s running time and then remain as a permanent waterfront park by the huangpu river.  outfitted with
a series of constructed wetland, the restorative design strategy treats polluted river water and recover the
degraded area in an aesthetically pleasing way.

‘shanghai houtan park is an inspiring high performance, but low maintenance design that could be applied
to many polluted waterfronts worldwide,’ said the judges.


view of the huangpu river

previously owned by a steel factory and a shipyard, the site is a narrow 14-hectare strip that runs alongside
the waterfront. the water in the area was highly polluted, considered unsafe for recreational use, and devoid
of aquatic life. the design integrates through the center of the park a linear constructed wetland that reinvigorates
the huangpu river as a living machine. carefully selected species of plants absorb a wide variety of pollutants
from the water while manmade cascades and terraces naturally oxygenate the river. the treated water was used
throughout the expo for non-potable use and saved an estimated half a million USD over conventional water
treatment methods.


site plan and section showing the water-cleaning mechanism of the tiered wetlands

the meandering boardwalk along the wetland creates a way in which the visitors can be submerged
within the landscape. creating a series of visually interesting vantage point, the project provides
a refuge from the urban life, recreation, education, and research. built between the elevation of
the water’s edge and the elevation of the city road 3-5 meters above, the terraces connect the people
back to the river.


filtrating plants



terraces made from decomposable bamboo

the former industrial life of the site still remains through the reclamation of old structures and materials.
old steel panels are folded and placed along the route to frame views of shanghai’s skyline while others
provide shelters and a space for repose.


crops such as sunflowers and rice are grown to make the landscape productive and educational


hanging garden designed onto the existing industrial structure


deck space built on the cargo pier



platform along the huangpu river


the steel arbor is composed of recycled steel panels from the site


native grasses and wetland plants


floating garden designed around the existing cargo pier


fly-by view


site plan

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