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AECOM: The redevelopment of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda historical district is an urban renewal project that respects the historical remains of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and protects and enhances the surrounding environment. The project provides a broader vision for the renewal of historical blocks. From overall planning to spatial design, it systematically expounds how to ” Re-Defining ” the spatial order and reconstruct the relationship between cultural relics, cities, nature and people by taking landscape as a low intervention means.
1 设计缘起 DESIGN BACKGROUND
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an was built in the Jinglong period of the Tang Dynasty to store buddhist scriptures. The thousand-year-old pagoda records the cultural memory of Chang’an City. However, the area where it is located has gradually declined from the historically prosperous core of the Tang Dynasty capital to an old urban area which is not in harmony with the development of surrounding modern communities. Therefore, how to balance urban development and protection of historical and cultural heritage has become the first priority of design.
▽轴线视角夜景 Axis perspective night scene
▽从小雁塔遥看南广场 Looking at the South Square from the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
2 场地困境与设计策略：四重维度的再构建 SITE PROBLEM AND DESIGN STRATEGY: RE-DEFINING IN FOUR DIMENSIONS
The site lacks overall linkage with surrounding urban areas due to the damage of the historical spatial pattern, the cluttered landscape, insufficient supporting infrastructure and poor walking experience. The design team believes that the historical area should not only be a destination for tourists, but also be a part of the city and the life of citizens. In the landscape design of west garden, south plaza and municipal roads in the reconstruction project of the historical and cultural area of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the project team is committed to balancing the relationship between modern urban development and heritage protection of the historical area, sorting out the sequence of landscape space, and darning the entire area in order to realize the vitality revival and modern remodeling of the historical area space.
2.1 第一重：历史文物，从被框定到无边界 Strategy 1: Re-Defining the relationship with historical relics
The innovation of the design is opening the original closed wall, so that the cultural relics are no longer in a framed state, the sacred and beautiful main entrance of Jianfu Temple is opened to public. At the same time, the materials, colors and plantings are extracted from the site, and the overall style of the historical and cultural area is controlled from the above three aspects. In south Plaza of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a progressive, open and closed landscape space sequence is organized from south to north. Strolling in front of the pagoda, looking at the exquisite and beautiful figure of the thousand-year-old Small Wild Goose Pagoda, people will feel the youthful vitality of the historical and cultural area of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda after thousands of years of vicissitudes.
▽由南往北，组织递进式的、开合有致的景观空间序列 From south to north, organizing a progressive, opening and closing landscape space sequence
▽“栖荫望雁”、“雁归里坊”、“雁景花园”、“雁影浮动”四重空间 Landscape space sequence: Watch the Pagoda under the shade, Wild Goose Back to Residence, Pagoda scene garden, Pagoda Shadow Swaying
The prototype of space creation is the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and pagoda shadow, the entire south plaza and Pagoda Shadow Swaying area are used to interpret the large and small pagoda shadow, which is the extension of the cultural heritage memory in the new era and interpretation of the cultural connotation of the pagoda. Meanwhile, guiding the sight from multiple directions and building a multi-angle Small Wild Goose Pagoda viewing corridor can create a unique viewing experience of the place, establish a memory connection between ancient and modern time and space. Last, the dense eaves-style architectural language characteristic of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the Tang Tri-Color Glazed Ceramics and other cultural features are integrated into the spatial details, where people can perceive the culture context.
▽改造前的荐福寺路 Jianfu Temple Road before renovation
▽改造后的荐福寺路 Renovated Jianfu Temple Road
▽铺装灵感来源古车辙印 Pavement Inspired by Ancient Rut Prints
▽景观坐凳灵感来源于唐三彩 Landscape bench is inspired by the Tang Tri-Color Glazed Ceramics
▽景观细节中融入小雁塔密檐式建筑语言 The dense eaves architectural language of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is integrated into the details of the landscape
▽铺装细节 Pavement details
▽景观台阶 Landscape steps
2.2 第二重：城市，从被割裂到归属感 Strategy 2: Re-Defining the relationship with the city
Optimizing the walking experience in the urban interface is the focus of the project’s street renewal efforts. Multiple considerations were taken into account, including the surrounding communities, schools and the cultural display of historical blocks. The design broadened the original 1.5-meter-wide sidewalk to 3 meters, with flexible resting spaces to create a comfortable walking experience and enhance the sense of spatial belonging.
▽街景界面与周边社区整合联动，为社区居民提供舒适荫凉的等候空间 The street interface is integrated with surrounding communities to provide residents with a comfortable and shaded waiting space
▽拓宽原有人行道，根据不同城市功能界面采用相应的设计策略，营造舒适的步行体验 Extending the original sidewalks and adopting different design strategies in combination with different urban functional interfaces to create a comfortable walking experience
▽街角花园 Corner garden
2.3 第三重：自然，从纯粹景致到生态韧性 Strategy 3: Re-Defining the relationship with nature
The Chinese Honey Locust tree group witnessed the historical changes of the area, which is the primary difficulty in the reconstruction. Residents, designers, and clients went through extensive studies and discussions to come up with three design strategies to revive the trees and add greenery to the street, while also extending the site’s memory.
Meanwhile, the inspiration of the planting design comes from the Chang’an (the city where the site is located, which was once the capital in the Tang Dynasty) depicted in ancient scrolls. The design retains 704 existing trees and adds 1101 trees, so that the carbon sequestration of the site can reach 444 tons per year (The landscape architect conducted an initial analysis of the site’s 1805 existing & added trees using the i-Tree and National Tree Benefits Calculator). While creating a sacred mood, the environmental benefits of the plants are maximized through the selection of local characteristic plants.
▽通过微地形缓和了土球与周边绿地的高差，增强了历史文化片区的浑厚气势的同时延续了场地记忆 The design reduces the height difference between the earth mound and the surrounding green space through micro topography, enhances the vigorous atmosphere of this historic district and extends the site memory
▽设计创新优化了大树支撑结构，使广场空间更安全，活动空间范围更大 The design optimizes the traditional big tree support structure, making the square space safer and the activity space larger
▽光将斑驳的树影斜斜地投在广场上，好似一幅浓淡相宜的剪纸画 The light casts the mottled tree shadows on the square, like a paper-cut painting of suitable shades
2.4 第四重：人，从遥看片区到产生联结 Strategy 4: Re-Defining the relationship with people
Small Wild Goose Pagoda South Square and West Garden features a 14,849-square-meter activity plaza, with three types of characteristic benches to promote social interaction and one accessible ramp that runs through the South Square.
People can enjoy morning exercise under the shady trees, practice Tai Chi in the lakeside and the pagoda shadow, meditate on the characteristic bench under the swaying tree shadow, and feel the cool breeze under beautiful willow trees on ecological waterfront. Meanwhile, the widening of the sidewalks and the placement of characteristic benches also provide a comfortable social and resting space for surrounding residents.
▽鹅黄色的灯光温柔的洒在广场，一点点黄晕的光，为广场的夜生活增添了一份温馨恬适 The goose-yellow light is gently sprinkled on the square, and a little yellow halo light adds a warm and comfortable nightlife to the square
▽历史文化在新时代下的空间演绎 Spatial interpretation of history and culture in the new era
The design has redefined the Small Wild Goose Pagoda’s relationship to the city and people by transforming a cultural scenic spot into a cultural civic and community space.
▽崭新开放的活力场所 A new and open place
▽设计使场地从极少被利用的文化片区空间转变为有温度的、承载多元市井生活的公共空间 The design transforms the site from a seldom-used cultural area into a warm public space that carries diverse urban life
3 结语 CONCLUSION
The project provides a broader vision for the modernization and renewal of historical blocks. In the collaborative dialogue between the new and the old, it has realized the modern reconstruction and revitalization of the traditional historical blocks, and provided a forward-looking and exemplary experience for the practice of organic renewal of historical area.
▽在日常与神圣的协同对话中，项目解决了城市有机更新与历史文化片区保护的矛盾，实现了城市老旧区的现代重塑与活力复兴 In the collaborative dialogue between everyday life and the sacred, it has successfully resolved the contradiction between the urban organic renewal and protection of the historic districts, realized the vitality rejuvenation of the old ward in the city
▽总平面图 Master Plan
Project Name: Collaborative Dialogue between Everyday Life and the Sacred: “Re-Defining” Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Project location: Chang’an Road sub district, Beilin District, Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province
Project Area: 8.85ha
Date of completion of design work: 2020.8
Design Firm: AECOM
Clients: Xi’an Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area Operation Management Co., Ltd.
Construction Company: Shaanxi Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd
Construction Plans Company: CCETG Chongqing Engineering (Group) Co., Ltd, Xi’an Huaxi Garden Municipal Construction Co., Ltd
Photo credits: Chill Shine, Xi’an Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area Operation Management Co., Ltd.
更多 Read more about: AECOM