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L&A Design:Before explaining the design ideas of this project, there is a point of view to clear first: the design is not just stacking something on the ground constantly, instead it’s building a better environment and space by debugging all kinds of elements such as paths, terrain, trees and water.
Based on this consensus, the design team made full use of the advantages of working on site, followed the trend of the site crowd activities, observed and thought about the design closely, to predict where to put something interesting, where to add a sense of rhythm, and where to hide some surprises. In other words, in the design process, the designer is not thinking about whether the lines on the plan are beautiful or which space can put certain elements, but to put themselves in the imagination of the user to make the atmosphere of the space become more comfortable.
场地现状 Site status
The project is located in Huiji District, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, the intersection of Tianhe Road and Kaiyuan Road where the new office site of Huiji District Party Committee and District Government is located. The whole design scope includes nearly 600 mu of park green space around the government office building of Huiji District. The scope of the first phase is mainly concentrated on the south side of the government building and divided into east and west parks by the original north-south river square with a clear space context and the potential to redevelop into a modern park. Mr.Li Baozhang, chief designer of L&A Design, suggested the team adjusting transformation according to the original clear spatial axis to continue the memory of the place.
▼空间轴线梳理 Spatial axis sorting
Since 2017, L&A Design has been encouraging excellent designers to return to second-tier cities to set up a team and business company, and the establishment and continuous operation of Zhengzhou Company are also among them. The Gushuyuan project is the first city central park project after the establishment of L&A Design Zhengzhou Company.
从古树说起 Start with ancient trees
As a leisure place for citizens in the north district of Zhengzhou, the free place of Gushuyuan Park has long become an indispensable part of urban life. The park has more than 3,700 trees of more than 30 varieties, and hundreds of ancient trees rooted here, which has witnessed the change and growth of the city during the past times. They are just like Zhengzhou’s ancient temperament, extraordinary, thick and tough.
However, due to the long age, many problems have accumulated in the park: plants are too dense growth, too many residual branches and rotten wood, which result in low accessibility and strong depression and hinder the flow of people. Besides, the road network is complex, old infrastructure is prone to cause safety risks, in need of repair.
▼改造前：缺乏停留空间、行人视线受阻、基础设施陈旧，可达性弱 Before the transformation: lack of residence space, sight view is blocked, old infrastructure, weak accessibility
The core and difficulty of the design lies in how to break the original complex ancient tree space layout and sort out the more open and transparent venues to make the site clear, simple and rich, and in the meanwhile to maintain the original space characteristics in the update to meet the needs of different ages.
疏密有致的林地策略 A woodland strategy of even density
“Nature is neither kind or evil. It feeds, nourishes, but it also stimulates, capsized, and even destroys.”
The key to design is how to grasp the degree of human intervention, so that it can achieve the most harmonious state with residents in the city.
The Gushuyuan originally included nearly 900 century-old ancient trees, dozens of more than 500-years-old ancient trees, and three thousand-year-old ancient trees, including cedar tree, poplar tree, koelreuteria paniculata, Chinese scholartree and so on. They are undoubtedly worth retaining. It is not only to continue the history and cultural memory of the site, but also to show the thick and generous side of nature to the urban residents.
▼改造前的公园杂木密闭，人迹罕至 Before the renovation, the park is crowded with dense-growth plants but is rarely visited
▼每逢夏季风大雨急，多处空心柳树倒伏Every summer when it’s rather windy and rainy, many hollow willow falls down
The vegetation redesign of the Gushuyuan is very important. The design team carried out careful seedling combing in the early stage to make every tree in full form be displayed, so that every space can be participatory.
▼保留下来的古树展现自然的美妙，为居民提供在城市中与大自然亲密接触的机会 The preserved ancient trees show the beauty of nature and provide the residents with the opportunity to have close contact with nature in the city.
For the hollow willows that are easy to lodge and under safety risk, the design is targeted to remove them. The problem of insufficient openness is solved by clearing the shrub vegetation in the middle and the lower layer, retaining only the healthy and strong upper trees.
Organizing out the planting space on the north and south sides of the pine forest, sparing the open lawn, removing hollow trees and dead trees, and replanting the ginkgo forest to form a graceful frame effect under the leisure corridor pavilion.
The spare lawn space has greatly broadened the people’s vision of the rest pavilion, and the children are also here to enjoy the joy, run, chase, happily rush toward the adults.
▼移除杂乱植被后空间更加开阔，充满阳光，人们乐于进入使用，为公园增添了新的生机 After removing the disorderly vegetation, the space is wider and full of sunshine, and people are willing to enter, adding new vitality to the park
The design follows the principle of ecological low maintenance, combines the vegetation memory retained by the site, and integrates new species and communities to create a new experience.
On the basis of the original tree species, according to the site space needs, replanted the strong ornamental tree species such as ginkgo, beech, midget crabapple, acer palmatum, P.lannesiana Alborosea, Prunus x yedoensis, etc.
The original understory vegetation is mainly Ophiopogon japonicus and grass, and the species is relatively single, and a variety of local well-adapted species are added to enrich the diversity. In the West Garden, there are a large area of low-maintenance, ecological interesting ornamental grass and flowering herbs, such as maiden grass, Gold leaf carex, Esparto carpet, Woodland sage, Monarda didyma, Iris tectorum Maxim, Tulbaghia violacea and so on.
The East Garden adds many types of ground cover according to the difference of zoning and the degree of upper wood shading. For example, Chinese rose, rhododendron and other wood are added to the major activity space, and in the forest walking area, a variety of low-maintenance shade-tolerant ground covers, such as wintercreeper, lycoris, flowering vine, scallion orchid, Iris tectorum Maxim, jade hairpin, early blooming viola and nandina are added, which greatly enrich the different seasonal viewing experience.
丨留住乡野，留住野构树 Keep the countryside and the wild paper mulberry
The complicated combing process also made the designers encounter some small surprises. A paper mulberry in the plants on the scene caught their eyes. In just a few months at the construction site, new landing seeds are constantly sprout paper mulberry buds.
Designers insist on retaining this rare sense of countryside. Let it breathe with this thick land. Although the tree is not precious, the form is stretch and proud. You can feel the vast temperament from its tenacious vitality when you look far away.
Wild paper mulberry eventually became an important visual center on the north side of the pine forest. The tall trees were very popular, the trunks with low branches satisfied the fun of children climbing, and the open space also became an excellent point for people to take photos at picnics.
东园休闲长廊 Leisure corridor in The East Garden
“Durability itself is a kind of ecology.”
There was originally a 300-meter leisure corridor in The East Garden with strong wisteria on both sides that brings shade in summer, but also covers the winter sun. It has gradually decayed suffering wind and frost.
▼改造前廊架：视线不佳，晦暗荫蔽、甚至有坍塌风险 Before renovation of the front porch: poor sight, dark shade, and even a risk of collapse
This is not only an activity space, but also carries the stories and memories of countless citizens. As the core activity point of the East Garden, it’s design retains the original space position and broadens the spacing of the columns, which not only increases the space under the corridor, but also makes the vision more transparent. The material has also been upgraded to steel and concrete to be durable so that it can accompany people through long years.
When the weather is good, people can walk the dog or take a rest here, and see the light and shadow flow as time goes by. The sun sprinkled in, bringing the space a sense of stage.
The corridor continues the traditional classical elements such as leakage and windows. After removing and arranging the closed middle-level plants on both sides of the corridor, the open square, the large lawn on the south and the dense Goldenrain tree forest on the north are all easily viewed which attract lots of residents walking, running and exercising here.
When the sun set down, the lights flickering, ancient trees waving, leaves flying, all contribute to quiet and beautiful atmosphere.
可行可留的松树林 Pine forest
“Often, we only need to organize one thing, we can affect many things and bring many meanings.”
The complex primitive conditions of Gushuyuan make it become an extravagant hope to see different views within steps. The original forest is in low accessibility, and the bare loess makes it often muddy in the rainy season, so that people can hardly feel the beauty of this forest.
▼改造前的松树林：地面黄土裸露，雨季泥泞不堪，鲜有人愿意进入体验 Pine forest before the renovation: the bare loess makes it often muddy in the rainy season, and few people are willing to enter and experience
Opening up the traffic path, letting the pedestrian flow smoothly, become the design core of the pine forest in West Garden. The design forms a garden road through simple paving. While retaining pine trees, small corridors are set up to protect from wind and rain, so that people can feel the endless fun of nature within the visual range of moving process and have close contact with the pine forest.
This garden path through the forest is no more than a road at any time. Because trees grow, change color, drop leaves, and tree shadows change when light change. people always feel endless fun, which is our experience of landscape, seemingly simple things can bring more tension than complex design.
There are different sizes of the underforest square on both the north and south sides of the pine forest, providing a safe and smooth place for the elderly fitness and children’s activities.
消失的边界 The vanishing boundary
“In addition to bringing visual beauty and ecological improvement, the social significance of landscape lies in that everyone can equally access and use it. Open border treatment is designed to encourage the promotion of social justice.”
With the change of the opening degree of the Gushuyuan and the promotion and application of “dismantling the wall to show up the greens”, the boundary of the park has been changed from the original iron art wall to a short wall that removes the iron art and retains the wall base. The design strives to weaken the sense of boundary, not only to transform the wall into a green wall, but also to fully open the sight of the park by streamlining the middle-level plants, and finally to achieve the transparency and opening of “dismantling the wall to show up the garden”.
▼公园边界改造前 Park boundary before renovation
Landscape not only brings visual beauty and ecological improvement, but also has the far-reaching significance of promoting social equality. Parks are the exclusive medium for us to feel the nature of cities, and it should also be as generous, neutral and inclusive as nature, so that everyone has the right to return to nature.
▼公园边界改造后，消失的墙体同样寓意着文明的进步After the transformation of the park boundary, the disappearing wall also implies the progress of civilization
The Gushuyuan is more popular after opening again. Uncle Li, who got up early for morning exercise, said with us with a smile, ” It is not bad! I see difference everywhere, but I feel the same as before.”
The designer said: ” At dusk after the opening of the park, I see all kinds of people in the venue interaction, resting, running…… I harvest the most happy moment. This joy is simple, is a meaningful release after the event, more real than direct praise and award. After all, for most people, the landscape is a short projection of nature in our eyes in a busy urban life. At some moments, the interaction of urban people and the landscape may be more important than everything else.”
——Designer of the first phase of the Gushuyuan project
In the era of rapid information iteration and “web celebrity” design, the simple design of the Gushuyuan is moving and thought-provoking.
Perhaps this kind of “micro intervention” design does not give a person simple and straightforward visual impact, even contrary to the current popular web celebrity design, but we believe that the landscape is to return to the starting point of “service for the crowd” , this is just a matter of time, only need to let it grow freely, wait for decades later, look back at its style together.
项目地点：河南省 郑州市 惠济区
采写 ：奥雅设计 郑州公司 项目一组
编辑 ：Jennie via
Project Name: Greening Improvement of Gushuyuan (Phase I design)
Location: Huiji District, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Project type: Citizen park
Landscape area: 105849m²
Customer name: Forestry and Gardens Bureau of Huiji District, Zhengzhou
Landscape design: L&A Design
Landscape construction: Zhejiang Xiaojian Group Co., LTD
Design time: 2019.8
Completion Time: 2021.3
Project team and leader: Zhengzhou Project Group 1, Zhengzhou construction drawing Group, Plant group
Contact person of Party A: Zheng Quan
Collection and writing: L&A Design Zhengzhou Group 1
Editor: Jennie Via
Photography and video: honeysuckle
Video clip: Deng Yongjing
审稿编辑：任廷会 Ashley Jen
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