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GVL:  Renovation means rejuvenating the old sites that have already been forgotten. Section one of the Port of Zhanjiang has a long history of more than 60 years. Changing the port into an urban plaza will not only promote the port-related business, but also, with a series of innovative designs, create a new attraction for the online celebrities.     




According to the plan, the plaza is created to be a business district, providing tourism service together with the Nansan Island. As for the cultural context, Zhanjiang is a coastal city and the history of Zhanjiang Port is marked by wharves, factories, freight tracks, etc.   





Located at the end of Zhanjiang People’s Boulevard, the site is surrounded by old residential communities which feature limited public spaces and shabby facilities. Therefore, residents here are eager for an open and harmonious space for daily communications and activities.

How to change the historical port into a new urban plaza is really a challenge. When in search of inspirations, the designer was touched by the dance of gossamer “wind”: the dancer’s dancing with a gossamer ribbon flying with the wind. Isn’t the Port of Zhanjiang a dancer of time?   




With the theme “Dancer of Time”, the designer refers to the rhythm of opera and takes into consideration the historical context, the modern requirements and the future development, proposing a space system including Tower of Time, Ocean of Grass, Ribbon of Time, Logo of Plaza, Seaview Gallery, Silhouette of City, Avenue of Stars, etc. Various paces will meets the demands of all ages.   



Prelude: Tower of Time





From zero to one, from simple to superior,

the Tower of Time, from now on,

showing the charm of design.


▼时间塔夜景  Night view of the tower



The Tower of Time is originated from an unknown building, which no one knows when and why came into being. However, since the residents have been used to its existence, the designers decided to change the building into the Tower of Time which carries the memory of the locals together with the Ribbon of Time.  




The designers extend the urban landscape axis with the vertical grass slope in front of the plaza and end it by the Tower of Time. In this way, the horizontal People’s Avenue connects with the vertical Tower of Time, changing the two-dimension landscape into three dimension.  




The LED screen at the top of the tower faces the People’s Avenue, serving as a new name card for Zhanjiang. It is now displaying the words “I Love Zhanjiang”, expressing the feelings of the local residents and showing the respect to Milton Glaser’s logo design for “I Love New York”.  




The original building of Tower of Time is a mystery, which is the starting point of the Ribbon of Time.  




Interlude: Ocean of Grass




In everyone’s heart, there is a field

for peaces, plums and spring wind.




At the entrance of the plaza, the designers planted a field of Chinese pennisetum on one side, which is an artificial design and also a natural choice. In the original design, the designers have planted different plants to create a natural atmosphere. However, only the Chinese pennisetum survives the coastal climate at last. The designers thus added to more Chinese pennisetum and created an Ocean of Grass which is attractive to all tourists.    





Situated among buildings of cement, the grass field is warm and friendly, providing a green space for relaxation and complementing the urban public green system. 

Chinese pennisetum is a kind of perennial grass which is resistant to cold, moisture, shadow and pests. Thus it is an excellent choice for landscaping.  




 Chant: Ribbon of Time


树叶颤动的时候 ,


When the leaves are vibrating,

we know where the wind is.



▼时间飘带 Ribbon of Time


谁也没有看见过风, 但是树叶颤动的时候 ,我们知道风在那儿了。设计者提炼出湛江港发展的关键节点,将相应的年份和事件以“时间飘带”的形式进行体现,生涩的数字变成有趣味性的立体构筑物,使人们在游玩时潜移默化地了解湛江港的历史。

No one has ever seen the wind, but when the leaves are vibrating, we know where the wind is. The designers have recorded the big events and important years in the history of Zhanjiang Port with the flying ribbon, allowing visitors to know its history unconsciously while strolling by.  




The Ribbon of Time is made of rusty red weathering steel. On the one hand, the rough surface matches the site atmosphere perfectly; on the other hand, the material is antirust and can keep its appearance even exposed to the moist coastal air for long. 




The volume of the Ribbon of Time refers both to the size of the plaza and the ergonomics. 




Recitative: Logo of Plaza




Origin means zero,

which is the starting point of coordinates.



项目作为湛江港一区改造工程之一,被赋予了深厚的政治、文化意义,因此被命名为“原点”。正如数学上的原点一般,这个港口可以说是湛江历史发展的转折点,而从港口转向广场,则是这片港湾的一个新起点。设计者将原点广场(Origin Square)与建成年份(2018)组合设计成互动景观标识,其初衷与时间飘带一致:让人们在游玩时潜移默化地记住这个新节点。

As one of the renovation projects in Section one of the Port of Zhanjiang, Origin Plaza is endowed with politic and cultural significance, for which it is named “Origin”. The port is the turning point in the development of Zhanjiang, while the plaza will be a new starting point for the port. The designers integrated the LOGO of the plaza with the completion year (2018), with the purpose of introducing the new node to people naturally. 



All the plaza is paved with PC bricks, which is high strength, durable, abrasion resistant, weather resistant, shock resistant, anti-condensation, fire-retardant and colorfast. It is a low-cost material that meets the criteria for low carbon and sustainable development. 




Considering the function as an open space for public activities, the plaza is designed with no other big buildings except the Tower of Time, which ensures an open view of the surroundings and the sea. In addition, the plaza provides hard pavement for different activities.


▼不同年龄段的来客与标识的互动 People of different ages pose to take photo with the LOGO



Ballad: Seaview Gallery




The world is the changing foam

floating on the peaceful sea.


▼观海廊架日景  Seaview Gallery



As a public space, a plaza should meet the demands of different people. The Seaview Gallery is a gift to satisfy people of different ages and backgrounds no matter what kind of life they want.  



▼观海廊架夜景  Night View of Seaview Gallery



Duet: Silhouette of City




The shape is language, the background is intonation,

and the vertical form shows the feature of the coastal city.



▼入口雕塑城市剪影  Sculpture at the Entrance



The silhouette of the city is used as the pattern on the seaview bar counter to impress the visitors who are standing behind the bar counter or sitting on the benches.  



▼观海吧台城市剪影 The silhouette of the city on the seaview bar counter


▼观海吧台细节夜景 Night view of the seaview bar counter


▼观海吧台细节 Details of the seaview bar counter



Dance Music: Avenue of Stars




I wish I were a watchman of the night,

wandering in the street and chasing shadows of the lights.




Amidst the eternal waves of time, we cannot avoid feeling small, while from the designers’ point of view, everyone is the star of his/her own life and is the creator of history. The Avenue of Stars is not only designed to add to the poetry of life but to provide the experience of the sense of ceremony. 


▼星光道 Avenue of Stars


▼售楼中心夜景 Night view of the sales center


Along the Avenue of Stars there are many landscape items which are transformed or designed according to the original conditions. For example, the dolphins are changed into stools and a huge anchor sculpture is designed, all of which are intended to remind the locals of the old memories and introduce the history of the port to the new visitors. 


▼拴船墩 Dolphin


▼船锚雕塑 Anchor Sculpture


▼规划草图 Planning Sketches


▼平面图 Plan




Project: Poly Origin Plaza, Zhanjiang
Client: Ploly (Zhanjiang) Real Estate Development Co.,Ltd.
Category: tourism planning and urban open space design
Area: 24,800㎡
Time of Design: June, 2017
Landscape Design: GVL


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