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PLAT Studio: 20 km northwest of Shanghai lies Kunshan City. With a rich history as a watertown, Kunshan is woven together by its waterways resulting in 8,000 hectares of Kunshan being covered by water. This extensive infrastructure of canals has driven the development of the city from years of irrigated farming to an economy now that produces 70% of its GDP from innovative industries.
▽庙泾河中央水廊西段向东鸟瞰，画面中央双桥处为庙泾河，两侧水道为过去作为输水渠道所需建的南北护堤河。Miaojing River Water Corridor Bird’s Eye West Section Toward East. The central river with twin bridges is the Miaojing River. The protection canals at both sides were built for the aqueduct purpose in the past.
Kunshan West has been a growing region between the natural preserved area of Kuilei Lake and the old town city center. An existing North-South core axis links major public open space amenities that include a large retail center at Central Lake, Forest Park, as well as sports and commerce centers to the south. Yangcheng Lake East Ecological Corridor runs West to East at the north of Forest Park, connecting Kueilai Lake Reservoir to the central old town. Part of the large ecological connection, Miaojing River Central Water Corridor worked as the aqueduct, serving the municipal water to the majority of the population in Kunshan. Two water channels were formed at both sides of the Miaojing River to protect it from the adjacent runoffs and trees were densely planted as the buffer, resulting in this unique and large green area in the heart of the already developed urban setting.
▽昆山城西整体城市框架 Overall Urban Framework of Kunshan West
▽庙泾河改造前鸟瞰，远处为昆山中心城区的地标亭林园，摄于2017。 Bird’s Eye of Miaojing River before the construction toward East, with Tinglin Park and Central Old Town in the background, 2017
在输水渠道地下管线化之后，庙泾河迎来了重新定位并且开放给公众的机遇。2017年规划设计任务启动初期，深入现场的设计与甲方团队都惊艳于城市中自然所带来的空间上与感受上的震撼。但尽管场地当中的绿意丰富，密植的防护林带、单一的林相、以及滨水植物层次的缺乏，都显示了生态重建的需要性。鉴于此，项目不在突出吸睛的设计手法，而在于最大地尊重与保留现有场地的自然、幽静、诗意等特质的同时，合宜地加入服务人群的场所，将其打造为昆山城西具有公共性的生态脊柱，对城市发挥其最大的生态系统服务性 (Ecosystem Services)。
Miaojing River encountered the opportunity to become an open space for the public after the city implemented the piping system to replace the function of aqueduct. However, the isolation of this corridor had produced a variety of issues. Highly dense forests with linear belts of single species of trees compete for resources resulting in low diversity and a lack of accessibility into the understory. An unhealthy riparian habitat can additionally be observed as a result of steep slopes on the banks of each channel.The overall design objective focuses on turning this hidden treasure into a public ecological “spine” of the Kunshan West District, while preserving its existing natural, untouched, and poetic character.
▽庙泾河中央水廊项目往西鸟瞰，连接西部魁儡湖 、森林公园(画面左下)、以及南北地块。Miaojing River Central Corridor Bird’s Eye Toward West. It connects Kuilei Lake, Forest Park (Lower Left), and the north, south neighborhoods.
Entries with parking, bike rental, cafe kiosks, and resting areas are introduced at key intersections to connect north, and south neighborhoods. The continuous trail system connects Kuilei Lake Area to Forest Park, while keeping its distance to the central waterway, to minimize the impact to the existing vegetation. Bridges are designed as part of the trail system. Tunnels and Underpath are placed for areas being cut-off by the city’s street grid. All the surfaces are designed to be permeable, and elevated at the possible areas.
▽全区示意图 Overall Design Diagram
▽通达性策略 Accessibility Strategy
▽双桥：前景为项目所建的慢行新桥，背景为水利农耕时期使用、而后在输水道时期停用的旧桥。Twin Bridges: New Bridge was built by this project for connecting bike trails. The old bridge in the back was used when Miaojing River was an irrigation canal for farming. It was then abandoned during the aqueduct stage.
▽森林栈道概念设计效果图 Forest Boardwalk Concept Rendering
▽森林栈道 Forest Boardwalk
▽慢行系统下穿市政道路 The under-path connecting the trails through vehicular streets
Diverse ecological zones are created in this almost mono-cultured forest. To create healthier forest ecology, multi-layered vegetation is introduced along the trails, and in areas where the existing densely planted trees are thinned out. Variety of grasses are seeded at the open fields to create wet prairie. Selected water edges are re-graded for a gentler slope for additional wetland planting. Bioswales are implemented along both sides of the trails as part of the overall low-impact stormwater management strategy. The overall elevated ecological services improve the resilience of the city and mitigates the urbanization of this region.
▽林地生态再造策略 Reforestation Ecological Strategy
▽水杉林与林下植物层的重新引入 Metasequoia Forest and the re-established under-canopy vegetation.
▽林间开阔区域的湿草甸引入了多样的草本与地被植物 Various of herbaceous groundcover was introduced to the open field between the forests.
▽单一的林相被改造成为多样、复层的林地群落结构 The mono-cultured forest was recreated for a diverse, and multi-layered forest biocoenosis
▽森林教育平台区被打造成完整的湿草甸、疏林、到滨水密林的群落系统。Forest Education Platform was designed as a full spectrum of the habitat from wet-prairie, and transition to riparian.
▽湿地观鸟平台 Wetland Bird-Watching Platform
▽滨水密林、疏林草地、与湿地区域的生态层次 The transition between dense riparian, grassland, and wetland ecological areas.
Miaojing River Corridor is designed not only for improving ecological health, but also envisions a culturally and socially vibrant public space. Program areas are placed according to the adjacent land uses. Play Areas, Picnic Lawns, Ecological Education Center are designed for nearby residential neighborhoods. They are accompanied with supportive amenities like restrooms and bike racks. Forest Amphitheater and Park Cafe along with elevated, hidden viewing platforms provide gathering and strolling opportunities for the education and research institutions nearby.
▽滨水森林剧场 Ｗaterfront forest amphitheater
▽社区活动草坪与湿地休憩平台 Community Lawn and the Wetland Resting Platform
▽多样尺度的场所与配套设施服务多样人群的使用 Places with various scales with amenities serve all
▽抬高的金属格栅平台、金属网护栏、与扶手整合的标示，都是低限介入的设计策略部分。 Elevated metal grate platform, metal mesh railing, with integrated environmental education signages are part of the “minimum intervention strategy”.
After its completion and opened to the public in early 2022, it has become a popular, and well-utilized public space in Kunshan. Community concerts, events, daily strolling, jogging and biking are taking place both weekdays and weekends. This hidden treasure is now being embraced and shared with the public, serving the community ecologically, and culturally.
▽庙泾河晨间跑步 Running at Miaojing River in the mornings.
▽在生态当中的社区体健 Community fitness in the ecology.
项目名称：昆山庙泾河 – 诗意的共享生态水廊
设计团队：Fred Liao, Shih-Lin Lan, Kit Wang, Maggie Kao, Tiger Sui, Pao Sophanut, Angela Tang, Looknum Waiyasith, Xiaoqing Qin, Daniel Wang, Yinuo Sun, Xiangyu Li, Iris Soh, Katrina Ortiz, Ellen Orchard, Can Liu, Camille Gwise, Roulin Liu, Vera Yang, Pan Wei, Qianhu Miao, Daniel Prostak
合作方：上海经纬建筑规划设计研究院 (施工图) / Great Ecology (生态顾问)
摄影：直译建筑摄影 / 昆山城投
Project Name: Miaojing River: From a Hidden Treasure to Ecological Infrastructure
Completion year: Phase 1 built in 2022
Project area: 600, 000 m2
Project location: Kunshan, China
Design company: PLAT STUDIO
Company website: https://platstudio.net/
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design Team: Fred Liao, Shih-Lin Lan, Kit Wang, Maggie Kao, Tiger Sui, Pao Sophanut, Angela Tang, Looknum Waiyasith, Xiaoqing Qin, Daniel Wang, Yinuo Sun, Xiangyu Li, Iris Soh, Katrina Ortiz, Ellen Orchard, Can Liu, Camille Gwise, Roulin Liu, Vera Yang, Pan Wei, Qianhu Miao, Daniel Prostak
Client: Kunshan City Construction Investment Development Company
Kunshan City Construction Investment Development Company
Partner: LDG (construction drawings) / Great Ecology (Ecologist)
Photography: ZHIYI, KCID, PLAT
更多 Read more about: PLAT Studio