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ZAP Associate：滴答，滴答，踏在石板上清脆的脚步声，是这样的清晰。行走在十丈红尘，总会遇到一些困惑与挫折。每当因此翻来覆去睡不着的时候，只要一回忆走在石板街的情景，心里就暖暖地踏实，安然入睡。这条街，这就是掘港老街，一条深深烙印在我内心的石板街。—— 作家:白向阳
ZAP Associate: Tick, tick, the crisp footsteps on the SLATE, is so clear. Walking in ten feet of red dust, there will always be some confusion and frustration. Whenever I can’t sleep because of this, as long as I recall the scene of walking in the SLATE street, my heart will be warm at ease and fall asleep peacefully. This street, this is the old Diggang Street, a stone street deeply imprinted in my heart. — Writer: Bai Xiangyang
In Rudong County, Jiangsu Province, lies the historic location of “Juegang” along the Juekan River. It served as a vital salt transportation route in the southern region. During the Qing Dynasty (1794 to 1819), wealthy local merchants generously funded the construction of three stone-paved streets to promote the salt industry and trade. These streets, known as “North Street” (Main Street), “South Street” (Riverside Street), and the connecting “Vertical Street,” have since become enduring historical landmarks. Each stone slab on these streets measures approximately 1 meter in length, 33 centimeters in width, and 18 centimeters in thickness. The streets are about 2.80 meters wide, with horizontal stone slabs in the center and vertical slabs along the sides. These streets were once vibrant hubs where traders, merchants, grand buildings, carriages, and horses converged, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere that reflected the local area’s prosperity and culture. Over the centuries, these streets have borne witness to the region’s rich history and have become invaluable historical relics.
▽老街历史 History of old street
The ancient streets, once filled with stories, are gradually fading away. Today, the spatial layout is chaotic, and our precious cultural heritage lacks care. Traditional customs are also on the brink of extinction. Therefore, to protect and pass down the history of this ancient street, our ZAP team is collaborating with the local government, FORTE Group, and Woods Bagot Architecture to work together on the revitalization of “Juegang Old Street” in the No. 3 historical district of Nantong’s Rudong County. We are creating a large urban complex called “Shanghe Yinxian,” spanning 125,000 square meters. This project will blend historical commercial districts, high-rise residences, cultural townhouses, and natural waterfront, forming a vibrant urban space.
▽掘港老街的历史风貌 Historical style
The white walls, gray tiles, and winding cobblestone pathways of Juegang Old Street resemble a childhood painting, etched in the memories of the elderly in Rudong. However, with the continuous development of the city, the charm of the old street has gradually dimmed. The old cloth shops and traditional names from memory have slowly faded away, and the moss-covered old street with its cobblestone roads has quietly fallen silent, becoming an obscure corner of the city, known to few.
▽石板老街 SLATE Old Street
“双街”和“九巷”就是这座城市的精髓。这个项目汲取了百年来街巷文化的精髓，重新演绎了“双街九巷”：· 双街，是历史石板街的还原，旨在传承和保护这一重要的历史文化，同时也构建了场地发展的主干道；· 九巷， 延续了历史巷道的名称，使石板街在两个方向上相互连接，打造出独特的巷道空间。
The ‘Twin Streets’ and ‘Nine Alleys’ are the essence of this city. This project draws from a century of street and alley culture, reinterpreting the ‘Twin Streets and Nine Alleys’ as follows:
‘Twin Streets’ aims to preserve and protect the historical stone-paved streets, serving as the backbone for site development.
‘Nine Alleys’ continues the historical alleyway names, connecting the stone-paved streets in two directions to create a unique alley space.
▽石板老街的巷弄记忆 Schematic diagram of SLATE Old Street
The new site, while preserving the original layout, cleverly divides the space into different directions, including a central historic commercial district, two high-rise residential areas, and four cultural and commercial residential areas. This creates a multi-level and well-arranged garden landscape combination that complements the riverside scenery. The comprehensive upgrade of this historic district will once again showcase the unique features of the past, reviving the cultural memories cherished by the local residents, reminiscent of the historical scene where “streets led to countless households, shops and alleys were bustling, and there was a vibrant atmosphere for miles around.”
▽上河印巷夜景鸟瞰 Shanghe Yinxiang night view bird ‘s-eye view
掘港街坊的过去HISTORY OF THE SITE
Juegang Old Street is like a postcard of Rudong, once a favorite destination for locals. Each old building here is a tangible page of living history, connecting the past and the present. In the past, this place bustled with crowds, and traditional shops lined the streets. However, as time passed, its charm faded, and the streets were nearly forgotten.
▽早期场地踏勘文保古建单位 Early site reconnaissance cultural preservation units
The new design aims to preserve the street’s cultural heritage: protecting the old cobblestones, passing on the traditional texture of the streets, and recreating scenes from the past memories of the old street.
Restore two stone-paved main streets, “Zheng Street” (South Street) at 365 meters and “An Street” (North Street) at 400 meters in length, by extending them eastward through the Juegang site. This preserves and passes on the thousand-year-old stone-paved heritage and establishes the main development axis for the site.
Preserve the intricate network of streets and lanes, restoring nine north-south thoroughfares, with vertical streets connecting three lanes. Create a cultural heritage tour path connecting the city and waterfront, featuring six distinct scenic lanes that intersect both ways, shaping the spatial structure of these lanes, and preserving the traditional street culture.
Protection and restoration efforts are undertaken for ten heritage structures within the site. These historic buildings, combined with the preserved ancient architecture, create six lively squares infused with historical charm. Two cultural exhibition squares seamlessly interface with the urban context, revitalizing the city’s cultural ambiance. The four neighborhood folk square spaces inside each have their unique characteristics, recreating scenes of old streets from bygone memories.
▽场地设计策略 Site design strategy
石板老街 REBIRTH OF THE STREET
ZAP, in collaboration with Woods Bagot architects and heritage preservation units, conducted research on the shopfronts along the traditional East Stone Street. These shopfronts feature varying rooflines, creating a diverse streetscape. They also incorporated elements from traditional architecture, such as hardscapes, ridge lines, blue bricks, and doorhouses, into the new commercial storefront design, resulting in a blend of traditional and modern styles for a fresh look.
The overall appearance of the commercial district seamlessly blends traditional Eastern style, innovative fusion design, the classical Yu Garden style from F Group, and common modern architectural elements. It preserves the essence of the local traditional streets while catering to modern commercial demands.
▽石板商街的建筑立面打造 The building facade of the flagstone shopping street
The designer, taking into account the traditional scale of the old stone-paved streets, widened the streets with the same D/H ratio to create a new type of historic street that better suits modern commercial use. They used landscaping techniques to soften the spatial interfaces and blended modern design methods with the traditional material textures, resulting in a more pleasant and comfortable street space.
▽石板商街景观打造 Stone street landscape building
▽仿古建筑与复原的石板街道融合 Antique buildings are integrated with restored SLATE streets
▽石板街道 SLATE street
The ancient stone slabs laid during the Ming and Qing dynasties are engraved with various patterns such as ancient coins, tiles, deer, bats, and more. These engravings not only carry good wishes but also serve as anti-slip features. After enduring over 200 years of weathering, these patterns have become blurry, and the existing old stone slabs are less than half a century old from the 1990s.
▽石板街道的保留与复原 Preservation and restoration of SLATE streets
To better replicate the old stone street’s appearance, during the initial site leveling, well-preserved stone slabs were cleaned, cataloged, and stored. After the site’s foundation and buildings were constructed, the stone slabs were reassembled one by one, following the historic 1.7-meter layout, with drainage space on both sides. This ensured a seamless connection between the stone pathway and the commercial pedestrian space.
▽石板老街的街道平面 Street plan of SLATE Old Street
▽铺装放大做法 Paving amplification
▽仿古商街与复原的石板街道 Antique commercial streets and restored SLATE streets
▽石板街道 SLATE street
▽历史文保石板街老石板 Historical preservation of SLATE street old SLATE
▽老石板的收水细节 Water collection details of the old SLATE
After restoration and rejuvenation, the two stone-paved old streets, “South Street” and “North Street,” run through the entire third block, preserving the original parallel structure of the old city. These two streets, each over 300 meters long, have been bustling with crowds since their reopening. The two ends of the streets connect to People’s Road and Jianghai East Road, the two major urban interfaces, attracting a constant flow of local residents and tourists, adding a vibrant atmosphere to the old streets.
▽商街内多个特色互动及艺术化构筑装置 A number of interactive features and artistic construction installations in the commercial street
Walking along the commercial street, in addition to the stone-paved road, designers have ingeniously created various distinctive East-themed landscape features: entrance salt pond water scenery, old stone slab LOGO wall, East dialect knowledge mountain wall, and ancient tree blessing tree enclosures, and more. These thematic structures and display installations, combined with the cultural characteristics of East China and historical folklore, not only enrich the diversity of the landscape space but also create a diverse commercial space where folklore and culture coexist.
▽石板老街特色雕塑 Stone street characteristic sculpture
▽石板街道的入口仿古牌坊 The entrance to the flagstone street is a replica of the archway
▽夜幕下连绵的石板街道 The SLATE streets under the darkness
交互广场 SIX INTERFACE PLAZA
The ZAP team, deeply immersed in Rudong’s historical customs, has created six major square spaces based on the historical context of these ten ancient buildings. Each square encapsulates the stories of Juegang’s past, portrayed through diverse landscape techniques in six traditional living scenes.
▽六大景观广场 Six landscape squares
盐兴广场 Salt Prosperity Square
The ZAP team, situated on Renmin Road, has chosen the renowned historical industry of “salt transportation” in Rudong as its starting point. Combining the area’s cultural and historical features, they are creating a “Salt Prosperity Square” with a salt transportation theme. The design takes into account the height and visual relationship of the commercial interface on the site, considering transparency and visual focus from both pedestrian and vehicular perspectives. It divides the vertical space on Renmin Road interface, with the central Zhang Jian Museum building area as the core and the two side archways as secondary focal points.
▽盐兴广场景观轴侧 Yanxing Square landscape axis
▽广场视线研究 VIEW ANALYSIS
On the plaza base, a simulated tidal flow texture and accumulated salt pool mounds create a dynamic paving vocabulary, naturally dividing the plaza into display, leisure, passage, and gathering spaces.
▽盐兴广场平面放大 Yanxing Square plane enlargement
▽集展示与集散为一体的盐兴广场 Yanxing Square integrates display and distribution
The square exhibition space features three main “Salt Pond” themed water landscapes. On both sides, there are mirrored water features. At the rear, the “Eaves Waves Salt Tide” scenic wall simulates the architectural style of ancient buildings’ roofs, creating a unique charm with its natural texture. In the water features, twinkling stars and layers of stacked stones resemble the traces of salt tides. This flowing central water feature harmonizes with the background of the Zhangjian Office (Shu Gongguan Ancient Building). It is the only modern-style structure nested within ancient architecture on the square, forming the core of the square’s landscape.
Entrepreneur Zhang Jian was an early pioneer in China’s cotton textile industry, leaving a significant mark in Rudong’s history. The ZAP team creatively designed a unique interactive installation resembling a weaving shuttle on the central water feature, incorporating elements of “textiles.”
▽盐池水景与织梭装置 Salt pond water feature and weaving device
▽盐池水景 Salt pond water feature
▽盐池水景与织梭装置 Salt pond water feature and weaving device
▽水景装置细节 Details of water feature installation
The ZAP office, in collaboration with the FORTE Group, extensively discussed and repeatedly tested the “Weaver” device. They changed its operating mode from the original complex combination of wind-driven movement with left-right opening and closing to a fixed single-axis rotation. An electric motor beneath the water feature drives the rod’s rotation, and the rotational angles of the blades welded onto each metal rod are standardized, testing the interlocking relationship of the blade positions on each metal rod to ensure optimal rotation performance.
▽织梭装置左右移动效果 Weaving device left and right movement effect
▽织梭装置单轴转动效果/GIF图 Single axis rotation effect of weaving device /GIF image
▽探讨对比叶片错位效果 To explore and compare the effect of blade dislocation
▽织梭互动装置 Interactive weaving device
跳马夫广场 Horse Jumpers Square
The city square located on Jianghai East Road is a distinctive space inspired by the traditional folk performance of “Jumping Horseman” (跳马夫). Jumping Horseman is a traditional male group dance from Rudong County, which depicts the bravery and resilience of the ancient people of Rudong, as well as their hopes for warding off evil, avoiding disasters, and welcoming auspiciousness. It is now recognized as a national-level intangible cultural heritage.
The architectural layout of the space naturally encloses a central plaza, creating a focal point for various activities. At the front of the square, there is a replica of an ancient three-story archway, creating a symmetrical structure with the ancient stage in the center of the rear building. The central old stone slabs and distinctive paving define the performance space. During festivals, when the Jumping Horseman dance begins, the square comes alive with the sound of drums, and it becomes a place for the exchange of Rudong’s folk culture. Visitors can not only enjoy the historical streets but also experience the charm of the Jumping Horseman culture.
▽跳马夫广场景观轴侧 Jump horse square landscape axis side
▽城市展示界面广场 City display interface square
▽夜幕下的跳马夫广场 Jumping Groom Square at night
▽历史悠久的古戏台与跳马夫广场 The ancient stage with a long history and the dancing groom square
Located on the west side of Commercial Street, the Ancient Well Square houses three major cultural heritage buildings. This area is the most concentrated with historical structures on the site. It is designed around the century-old renowned “Zhao Yongsheng” ancient well as a cultural element. A new well enclosure has been added above the original ancient well, covered by the Ancient Scenic Pavilion, with a pavement of fragmented stones that encircle it, creating a unique historical landmark.
▽古井广场文保建筑 Gujing Square cultural preservation building
▽古井广场鸟瞰 Bird ‘s-eye view of Gujing Square
▽古建景亭现场拼装过程与建成效果 The assembling process and completion effect of ancient building pavilion
The “Hui” shaped square enclosed by buildings, known as the ” Memory Square,” is themed after the shimmering starlight on the Juekan River in Rudong. It creates an inward-facing 360° panoramic performance and viewing space.
▽中心特色古韵广场 Central features ancient rhyme square
银杏广场 Ginkgo Square
On the south side of the commercial street, it connects to the urban waterway, the Juekan River waterfront. The central building on the site originally housed the City God Temple of Rudong County, known as Juegang City God Temple. Today, only the City God Goddess Hall and some of the courtyard walls remain, making it a preserved historical architectural site. Next to the temple, a ancient ginkgo tree, over 400 years old, still stands, and during festivals and special occasions, the people of Rudong come to the tree to burn incense and pray for blessings, which is one of the local traditions in Juegang.
▽银杏广场与城隍娘娘殿 Ginkgo Square and Town God’s Goddess Hall
▽银杏广场与“回归之河”掘坎河 Ginkgo Square and the “River of Return” Digkan River
Today, the newly renovated commercial street square, centered around the Niangniang Palace, naturally divides the area into a front prayer space and a rear temple fair performance space. Passing through the entrance arch of Gingko Square, visitors can, like the people of old Juegang, write and hang their beautiful wishes on the prayer tree, allowing the ancient ginkgo trees to capture the joy and emotions of this moment in their hearts.
▽银杏广场景观鸟瞰 Aerial view of Ginkgo Square landscape
▽银杏广场入口牌坊 Ginkgo Square entrance arch
▽银杏广场与娘娘殿 Ginkgo Square and the Temple of the Maiden
This ancient ginkgo tree has a history of over 400 years, enduring the elements while still flourishing, symbolizing Rudong’s enduring cultural spirit. To protect it effectively, ZAP chose to depart from traditional railing methods and instead used an enclosure inspired by ancient blessing trees. This approach minimizes soil disturbance during construction, prevents visitor-induced damage to the ginkgo tree, and cleverly continues the traditional practice of Rudong residents praying for blessings under ancient trees.
▽见证掘港四百多年风云变幻的古木 The ancient wood that has witnessed the changes of the excavation Harbour for more than 400 years
▽银杏古木下的祈福树围 Prayerful tree enclosure under ancient ginkgo trees
After renovation, the Niangniang Temple has been revitalized and now serves as a cultural center in Juegang. It tells the history of Rudong, the culture of Juegang, and the stories of the ginkgo trees to every visitor who comes to Juegang.
▽银杏广场的保护与修缮 Protection and restoration of Ginkgo Square
▽掘港文化的守艺人 The keeper of the excavating culture of Hong Kong
商业与居住的交融 INTERMINGLING OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL
With the rejuvenation of the old street, the surrounding plots have also been renewed. Especially notable are the new residential areas on the east and west sides of the project. These consist of two modern minimalist-style high-rise residential areas and four clusters of modern Chinese-style low-rise commercial villas.
▽高层潮汐花园 High-rise tidal garden
▽花园入口 Garden entrance
▽层层流动的潮汐归家花园 Layers of flowing tides return home to the garden
住宅的入口以当代感性的设计手法揉捏出传统肌理的理性空间：天然的景观条石倒映在镜面水景之上， 上实下虚的画面随着光影荡漾， 慢慢呈现出宁静和谐的氛围。错落有致的火山岩景墙采用格栅的样式延续建筑现代中式风格肌理，形成渐变式的景观造型， 在变化之美中多了一份沉稳内敛的韵味。
The entrance of the residence combines contemporary sensibilities with traditional textures: Natural landscape stones are reflected on the mirrored water feature, creating a serene and harmonious atmosphere as the interplay of light and shadow evolves. The well-arranged volcanic rock walls, styled in a grid pattern, extend the modern Chinese architectural texture, forming a gradient landscape design that adds a touch of understated elegance amidst its beauty of transformation.
▽倒映着建筑的水景与条石 Reflecting the building’s water features and stone strips
▽特色格栅景墙 Feature grille view wall
▽格栅景墙设计策略 Grid landscape wall design strategy
Beneath the commercial mansion cluster dominated by blue tiles and white walls, modern Chinese elements narrate the charm of Jiangnan architecture. The high-density residential spaces ignite ZAP team’s passion for maximizing land utilization, cleverly dividing them into small areas. This is achieved through stone walls, tall green hedges, interwoven stone pathways, and strategically placed decorative stones, creating a series of ever-changing landscapes.
▽商墅组团景观 Villas group landscape
▽组团入口景观 Group entrance view
▽小中见大的精致组团景观 Small to large exquisite group landscape
▽商墅入口景观 Villa entrance view
记忆·特色巷道 COMMERCIAL ALLEY
In the alleys connecting the entire stone-paved commercial street with the residential space, the ZAP team cleverly blended modern landscaping techniques with traditional textures, successfully recreating the scenes of the old streets of yesteryears. Each alley has its unique treatment, ranging from paving materials, cultural elements, to distinctive installations, creating diverse and enriching landscape spaces.
▽巷道景观策略 Roadway landscape strategy
▽夜幕下的景观巷道 Landscape laneway at night
The central area of these nine lanes is known as the “One Horse Through Three Lanes.” It extends from the Guoqing Temple ruins all the way to the southern end of the Juekan River, serving as a horse-riding route during the Ming and Qing dynasties for the Juegang Garrison and military training grounds. Along this route, it passes through Mayou Lane (Ancient Well Square), Wumiao Lane (Ancient Temple Square), and Junmiao Lane (Ginkgo Square), ultimately reaching the City God Temple by the Juekan River.
▽景观巷道 Landscape roadway
The alleyway features vibrant curved paving, creating a flowing scenic path. As night falls, antique-style lanterns within the alley emit warm light, illuminating the place and enhancing its rich historical and cultural ambiance.
▽流动的“一马穿三巷””One horse wears three lanes”
Through the bustling heart of the street, you’ll find a series of narrow and tranquil alleys. Cozy seating invites lingering, and some are hidden behind cleverly designed walls, offering a peaceful refuge. These places provide us with serene and comfortable resting spots that uplift our spirits.
▽通向银杏广场的郡庙巷 County Temple Lane leading to Ginkgo Square
▽静谧的巷道休憩空间 Quiet laneway rest space
一段寻找记忆的经历A JOURNEY TO REDISCOVER MEMORIES
Over the course of more than three years, the ZAP team personally experienced the entire journey of a historically significant cobblestone old street, from its decline to its revival. This journey included initial site surveys, the preservation of ancient buildings and trees, and the gradual completion of the project.
The concept of “Preserving Millennia-old Stone Slabs, Maintaining Traditional Street Culture, and Reviving Memories of the Old Street” is deeply etched onto the blueprint for the renovation of the Stone Slab Old Street landscape. The design team restored the main north and south streets, retained the original street network, repaired precious cultural heritage, achieved the protection and continuation of the millennia-old stone slab tradition, and brought back the former bustling glory of Juegang’s old streets for its people to relive.
▽曾经的街道 Former street
▽现在的街道 Present street
While preserving historical heritage, the project ingeniously creates modern aesthetics, reviving the old street’s commerce and thriving alongside an excellent living environment. Six ancient folk squares showcase a rich cultural tradition, while nine distinctive commercial lanes evoke deep memories of the past in Rudong. After years of silence, the old streets once again resound with long-forgotten shouts, and the smoky stone-paved old street, deeply etched in the memory of Juegang’s people, finally welcomes its rebirth.
▽烟火的老街复现 The old street of fireworks reappeared
▽暮色下的掘港老街 Digging Harbour Street at dusk
▽重新焕发生机的石板老街 Rejuvenated SLATE street
In the ever-changing cycle of city life, some things fade away, while certain memories are deeply etched. Only the ancient stone slabs, quietly laid upon this land, bear witness to a thousand years of transformation on this old street and gaze into the future. As a landscape designer, I am profoundly moved by the history of Juegang Old Street, and I hope that through our design, the demolished buildings and ever-evolving surroundings will leave their mark in the hearts of citizens. May this land, amidst the modern urban jungle of steel and concrete, continue to embrace its past charm and historical roots. May the objects of the past, historic structures, and cultural heritage flourish anew under our care. In this journey of design spanning over three years, we’ve searched for the footprints of history in ruins and witnessed the bustling streets of today. It’s as if this design process has been a journey back in time for Juegang Old Street: Juegang Old Street, she has returned…
摄影团队：琢墨建筑摄影 / ZAP 周军
PROJECTNAME: FORTE Shanghe Yinxiang
Project type: Commercial/ Urban Renewal
PROJECT LOCATION: Intersection of Jianghai East Road and Renmin Road,Rudong County, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province.
CLIENT: Nantong FORTE Group
SITE AREA：125000 ㎡
DESIGN TIME: 2020
BUILT TIME: June，2023
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT：ZAP ASSOCIATES
ARCHITECT DESIGN: Woods Bagot
PHOTOGRAPHER: ZOOM Group/ ZAP JUN ZHOU
更多 Read more about: ZAP ASSOCIATES