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SWA Group：As cities around the world reconnect with their waterfronts, designers are taking stock of sea level rise, urban density, the need for adequate public space and re-imagining how best to use the potential bound in coastal landscapes. This park exemplifies the benefits of visionary partnering of government, developer and designers to serve both the needs of people and the environment to create a more livable world.
For over two decades, SWA has worked with local government and leading developers to create Shenzhen’s world class waterfront parks including Shenzhen Bay Park, OCT Bay, She Kou Park and Prince Bay. These parks address the issues of ecological vitality while meeting the growing demand for public space and enhanced urban living. Our latest work, OCT Baoan Waterfront Culture park, has redefined a unique coastal experience by integrating a city park with an entertainment and leisure destination, adding a significant mark to our continuous endeavor in Shenzhen’s waterfront public space.
Design Overview——The intersections of urban and nature, a diverse presentation of the bay area life
Baoan Waterfront Culture park lies along the interface of the city and its inner harbor, facing the ocean scenery of Qianhai Bay on the south side and backed by the rapidly developing Qianhai regional center in the north. Urban life and natural ecology meet in the park. The central axis of the civic core, which connects City Hall, the Library, Youth Center, terminates here with the Performing Arts Center, bringing vitality and popularity of the city into this coastal space. Two commercial complexes are built on each side of the center; the park wraps around and above the buildings and to create a contiguous carpet of green.
▽总平面图 The total floor plan
With the main axis of Qianhai in the center, the entire park is divided into three pockets: the cultural pocket, the play pocket, and the experience pocket. The cultural pocket is in the center of the park, with the Performing Arts Center as the focal point, a central water plaza and a bay plaza are created for gathering and celebrations. The play pocket is on the west side with all kinds of recreational activities in: resting on the beach, having fun in the playground, racing in the skate park, overlooking on the waterfront, and wandering in the magic forest… Everyone can find their place. The experience pocket in the east is the most active and dynamic area in the park, with various spatial layers in the pocket, people are able to explore between hills, forest, waters, terraces, shorelines, pavilions, and an iconic Ferris wheel, shifting between natural landscape and diverse sensory stimulations.
▽滨海休闲空间 Coastal leisure space
设计语言与空间结构 —— 以海洋为灵感
Design Language and Physical Framework—— Inspired by the ocean
Urban life and natural ecology meet at Baoan Park, and people’s aspirations and desires for urban coastal life reach their climax here. The park is built by the sea, lives with the sea, therefore the sea has become the prominent inspiration for the whole park design. The rhythms of tides inspired the flowing lines of the park’s landforms, paths, waterways and sculptural elements, and the flowing motion create a sense of fluidity that blends the language of the city and that of the sea into an interconnected realm.
▽设计灵感来源于海洋，激发场地的流动感 The design is inspired by the sea and stimulates the sense of flow of the site
This flowing motion is more than a planar expression, it is also applied three-dimensionally. It blurs the boundary between landscape and architecture, providing great conditions for our innovative investigation of spaces. Like undulating reefs washed by waves, the designers created rolling land forms on this formerly flat barren land, and combined them with water features, groves, gardens, and plazas to maximize the spatial experience in the park.
▽在三维空间上表现出流动的线条感 It shows the sense of flowing lines in three-dimensional space
Such multi-layered landscape blends with the building, bringing the park, urban functions and street life close together, transforming this multi-layered space into a multi-functional one, and creates a more pleasant and efficient urban environment as a result. Tucked between the hills and waterways lie restaurants, galleries, and all kinds of shopping venues, while parking lots, subway stations and other functional spaces are hidden underneath. People can walk along the ramp to the sky corridor and further into the shopping street, or they can overlook the sea from the rooftop garden. The architecture and landscape are intertwined, and the vitality of the city flows and spreads between the park and the park-wrapped building.
▽宜人的城市环境 ，人们在此聚集 A pleasant urban environment where people congregate
Creating the Unique “Marine Shanshui”– A design response to Guangdong’s local culture, and our thoughts about the relationship between people and ocean
广东独有的地形地貌，广邈的海洋岸线，热带风情的植物风貌对设计产生了深远的影响。由于公园位于城市天际线与海洋的广阔风景之间，代表着深圳的特色风貌，设计师希望将广东的各色典型风景在这片场地上重现，作为对公园所在地文化的一种回应。陡峭的海岸线，沙滩，热带森林，连绵的草地，海角。梯田、湿地、蜿蜒的小溪和倒影的池塘被独特的设计语言重新演绎，成为了一个个具有本土特色的 “园中园”。设计师通过对本土文化景观的引用以及对空间的精心营造, 专属于宝安公园的 “海洋山水” 应运而生，这样充满想象力的景观在回应本土文化的同时又展现了明显的城市色彩。
The rich topography, vast shorelines and tropical vegetation of Guangdong have had a profound impact on the park. As the park lies between the vast scenery of the city skyline and sea, representing a characteristic landscape of Shenzhen, the designers created a collage of archetypal Guangdong landscapes in response to the park’s unique local context. Craggy shoreline, sand beach, tropical forest, rolling meadow, promontory, terraced farmland, wetlands, meandering streams and reflecting ponds were reinterpreted into a series of “parks within a park”. By referencing cultural landscape, the ‘Marine Shanshui’ was created，and these imaginary scenes reflect the essence of the region with a decidedly urban flare.
▽蜿蜒流线型的小溪代表了城市独特的地形地貌 The meandering and streamlined streams represent the unique topography of the city
▽梯田型的草坡和水景颇具本土特色 Terraced grass slopes and water features are quite local characteristics
This “ Marine Shanshui” have redefined the relationship between people and water in Shenzhen, a city of mountains and the sea. Here in Baoan Park, water is not only something to be appreciated and looked at, but also something to engage and enjoy. On the one hand, the designers made full use of the spectacular “Bay Water” in Qianhai Bay, created an open waterfront and viewing spaces so that people can enjoy the unique and magnificent view of the bay in different areas and from different angles in the park; on the other hand, a “Play Water” was created inside the site. The designers introduced a “water ribbon” to maximize the water-friendly interface, meanwhile combining different functions to give characters to the water. With these two types of water in the site, the water in the park is not only scenic, but also interactive, accessible, and thematic.
In addition to the introduction of the “water ribbon”, the designers also have made different kinds of attempts to further enrich the water experience in Baoan Park. In the central celebration water square, in order to make people fully experience the joy of water when the water show is not open, a circular interactive fountain were set up in the square. The heights and lighting are constantly changing to produce various floating and rotating effects. maximizing people’s sensory experience with water all the time, reflecting both the marine inspiration of the park and the spinning Ferris wheel in the distance. In addition, the designers set up highly interactive water features combined with resting areas, which are havens for children. Children are exploring the water in all aspects in the front, while parents are resting in the elegantly shaped pavilion, such scenes are the best notes about the intimate relationship between people and water in tropical Shenzhen.
▽旱地互动喷泉 Interactive dryland fountain
Shaping the City’s Cultural Landmarks——embracing the city’s modern culture and experiencing the charm of the city
Beside such a locally derived ‘Marine Shanshui’ base, the designers were also committed to embrace the open, trendy and innovative urban culture of Shenzhen in Bao An Park. From the very beginning of the design, a ‘O Ring’ Ferris wheel was proposed in the most eye-catching position of the park’s waterfront as an icon to represent the Qianhai Bay as well as the city culture. The Ferris wheel has always been an integral part of the design, echoing the views from all parts of the park; and after its completion, it keeps bringing constant flows of vitality and popularity to the park. Sitting in this spinning wheel, people are able to enjoy the prosperous scenery of Shenzhen City as well as the natural beauty of Qianhai Bay, experiencing the unique city charm of Shenzhen.
▽代表城市文化地标的摩天轮 Ferris wheel represents the city’s cultural landmark
With the Ferris wheel as a centerpiece of the city’s culture, designers also proposed other nine distinctive structures within the park, and these icons together further enhance the attractiveness of the park’s shoreline. The structures are inspired by coral, clams and squid. By carefully studying the forms and motions of these ocean creatures, designers artistically abstracted them into pavilions, and integrated them into the park’s key areas to provide perfect resting spaces for people. As one of the many highlights in the park, the designers worked closely with the structural units to ensure that the elegant forms of these structures were perfectly rendered. These charming structures are not only a symbol of Shenzhen’s open and diverse culture, but also a throwback to the ocean culture of the city.
▽以贝壳、珊瑚等海洋生物为灵感来源，设置钢结构的艺术装置 The steel structure art installation is inspired by sea creatures such as shells and corals
A graceful but powerful landscape bridge has been introduced to the park, not only connecting the building and the landscape, but also providing an excellent view of the entire park as well as the bay. As people gradually walk from the building into the park, the designers’ carefully constructed “marine shanshui”, the city’s new landmark “Bay Light” Ferris wheel, the symbolic structures of the ocean, the coastline, and the Performing Arts Center plaza are panoramically under their eyes. All the spaces are connected by the bridge, and the multi-dimensional charm of the park is revealed.
▽景观连桥串联园区所有空间，全方位地展现公园的风景 The landscape bridge connects all the Spaces of the park, showing the landscape of the park in all directions
A Message from Designers
Since its completion, Baoan Park has been well received and welcomed by all walks of life. It has not only become a preferable place for people’s daily recreational activities, but also a hot check-in destination for citizens and tourists from far and near. We have discovered Baoan Park in various TV shows, advertisements, and social medias, and it is nice to see that people are using the park in different ways and appreciating the park from different angles. This is the most successful presentation of Shenzhen’s open and diverse culture. We are delighted to find that the new paradigm of urban coastal living that SWA Shanghai proposed, which integrates culture, commerce, entertainment and public services in one park, has been perfectly practiced in Baoan Park.
▽开展水上活动 Start water activities
From 2015 to 2021, SWA has been honored to see the great transformation of Baoan park from a barren land into a coastal park, an art landmark, a celebration place, and a business paradise. Baoan Park will be the latest chapter in Shenzhen’s enduring legacy of creating a green, livable, and friendly city, and SWA will continue to make our efforts in the creation of a more livable urban environment.
Park Designer and Project landscape Architects: SWA Shanghai Studio
PrincipalLead Designer: David Thompson
Project Manager and Designer: Haifeng Ren
Special Contributor: Shuyi Chang
Design Team: Siying Xu, Xiaodong Yuan, Chenghao Zhang, Todd Strawn, Ying Zhang, Yi Li, Zhongyi Zhang, Yu Pang
Commercial Architect: Laguarda.Low Architects
Performance Theater Architect: Rocco Design Architects
Construction Record: AUBE
Article by Wenxin Deng
审稿编辑: Ashley Jen
更多 Read more about: SWA Group