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WMLA：“The sponge city and waterfront landscape upgrading of Dameisha Outlets focus on the integration of facility function and landscape experience in the whole process. The design could improve the ecological process of rainwater, the quality of the spatial environment, and reshape the living scene, to effectively gather the popularity of the waterfront commercial town and activate the value of the commercial space, thus achieving a win-win situation for the ecological, social and economic benefits of the sponge landscape.”
Since being listed as a pilot city in 2016, Shenzhen has integrated sponge city construction with water and urban governance and made many successful ecological projects such as rivers, lakes, and parks, so Shenzhen got good grades in the performance evaluation of the second batch of pilot cities. With the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the proposed vision for 2035, sponge city construction in China turns into a new phase of systematically promoting across the whole region. When completing the large-scale regional sponge projects, Shenzhen begins to focus on site-scale sponge construction and the integration of public space-qualified improvement with sponge facilities.
Making sponge landscape as daily life –Sponge city and waterfront landscape upgrading project of Dameisha Outlets， Shenzhen
Located in the eastern coastal zone of Yantian District, Shenzhen, with rolling hills, open sea views, and the Dameisha River winding through it, Dameisha Outlets, together with Dameisha Waterfront Park, Eastern Overseas Chinese Town Scenic Area, Vanke International Convention Centre, Dameisha International Water Sports Centre, and Dameisha Art Village, form an important city card of Shenzhen.
With a good natural background and many years of continuous environmental improvement projects such as mountains, forests, lakes, and seas, this area has gradually built an ecological pattern, and the ecological service value and environmental quality have been greatly enhanced.
▽山海之间的大梅沙奥特莱斯Outlets Dameisha Outlets between the mountains and the sea
Built-in 2010, the Outlets town has already run for nearly 12 years. After years of use and typhoon impact, the quality of the environment has significantly deteriorated, the ecological service value is lacking, and the spatial layout cannot meet the daily leisure needs of the shopping and leisure crowd and the surrounding residents in the new era, so the popularity of the town has significantly declined.
▽大梅沙奥特莱斯Outlets现状问题 Many issues in Outlets before the upgrade
By comprehensive regional analysis, find the key nodes to shape the landscape sponge scene
With a regional perspective to study the ecological process and the site conditions to accurately identify the key nodes. The design combined the sponge city concept and work methods with landscape design by reconstructing the rainwater process.
The landscape sponge scene will help this area turn to be a sponge demonstration area with coastal characteristics, a high-quality commercial public space with hydrology, landscape, and ecology functions. After the transformation, the commercial people, tourists, and leisure residents will come back to the town again, and the sponge landscape scenes will become part of daily life.
▽大梅沙奥特莱斯滨水商业空间海绵化景观总图 The general plan of this upgrading work in Dameisha Outlets
▽大梅沙奥特莱斯滨湖景观与海绵改造效果 The photos in Outlets after upgrading work
滨水岸线 | Shoreline Platform
This section of the shoreline has the highest landscape value from the perspective of the shoreline of the outlet business town. The originally stepped barge enters the water vertically and can be seated for long-distance viewing, but it is not convenient for the waterfront. The design takes the comfort of the water as the core starting point, using the shaded square as a shelter, retaining the corner observation pavilion, and replacing the step barge with a “two-step wide step + suspended platform” approach. The clean and sharp platform reinforces the character of the peninsula, and the lighting at night enforced the tranquility of the island.
▽两级落座宽台阶+悬浮平台 two-step wide step + suspended platform
▽宽台阶可落座远望、平台可亲水互动 Wide steps for seating and viewing, the platform for water interaction
The renovation of the floating table provides a good place for fish to hide and shade; the water attracts black swans to stay, and their interaction with people forms a new hot scene in Outlets, which increases the flow of people and effectively activates the surrounding business.
▽夜晚灯光的勾勒更显半岛的静谧 Evening lights add to the serenity of the peninsula
▽轻倚水岸，亲友畅谈，与天鹅合影，成为奥特莱斯最新的网红体验 Leaning on the waterfront, talking to friends, and taking pictures with swans become the latest famous sensation
▽改造后的滨水岸线吸引黑天鹅的到访 Renovated waterfront attracts black swans
林荫广场 | Shaded Plaza
The original site included a landscaped water feature, flower ponds, and display fixtures, and was laid out in a way that was not conducive to a full experience of the commercial scene. After years of use, the site suffered from subsidence and unevenness in many places, and the lack of infiltration led to frequent waterlogging and deterioration in quality. In the aftermath of Typhoon Mangosteen, the trees were left intact and the underlying ground cover was severely degraded, which not only lost its ecological value but also affected the commercial function and made people reluctant to stay or pass through the site. The design preserves the original trees and replants the vacant trees, which form a natural waffle. Smoothing out the site to achieve a tidy and orderly place where people can pass and stay.
▽黑白灰透水铺装重塑整洁有序广场 Three colors of permeable pavement reshape the tidy square
▽保留原有乔木、点植空缺乔木，形成自然华盖的林荫广场 Retaining the original trees and planting vacant trees to create a natural wooded plaza
The sponge system of “permeable paving + permeable tree holes + open linear ditches + rain gardens” is built by redrawing the water catchment zones. High-quality ceramic permeable tiles in black, white, and grey are used to replace concrete blocks to aid natural infiltration.
Many rain gardens layout dispersedly and they can absorb and purify rainwater in the neighborhoods. The underlain infiltration pipes connect to the open infiltration channels, and the purified rainwater will be directed to the ecological pond for terminal purification.
▽林荫广场提供多样生态系统服务 The tree-lined plaza provides diverse ecosystem services
▽透水铺装、渗透树池与渗渠形成完整的海绵系统Permeable paving, infiltration tree ponds, and infiltration channels form a complete sponge system
The performance of the site has been greatly improved after the renovation. Visitors can move around after the rain immediately, and the trees give the site shade. All-day comfort has quickly increased the number of shoppers and attracted neighborhood residents to come here to enjoy their life under the trees.
▽林荫广场为购物休闲人群提供活动空间 The plaza provides space for shopping and leisure activities
▽广场也成为周边居民生活的重要组成部分 The plaza becomes an important part of the daily life of the surrounding residents
渗透型儿童场地 | Permeable Children Playground
The hard-bottomed pond on the site has fallen into disuse for many years and made safety and health hazards, while there is no children’s playground in the town. So design transforms the disused pond into a playground, intending to make effective use of the site and increase attraction. With a rain garden set within the undulating playground and a large-bellied cottonwood, children can play in nature.
▽渗透式可呼吸的儿童地形游乐场地 Permeable terrain playground
Traditional non-permeable children’s activity areas commonly suffer from waterlogging, which causes deterioration in quality soon after use and causes problems in maintenance. This project has changed the traditional approach by adopting an integral permeable EPDM flooring process, which can improve the infiltration speed, and prolong usable time. The sponge grounds nourish warm parent-child time.
▽地垫与雨水花园交错处理凸显场地特色，并更利于径流组织 The staggered treatment of mats and gardens is good for runoff organization
下凹绿地 | Sunken Green Belt
In front of the library on the west side of the waterfront, there was originally a hard-paved square and scattered dotted concrete tree ponds. Due to constant waterlogging, the old and worn paving was prone to siltation, which seriously affected the useful functions such as access, sitting, and the image of the shopping area.
The hard paved area is transformed into a sunken green space, with a lawn as the core of the site, enclosed by steps and gabion seats for seating and relaxation, and surrounded by a paved plaza as a public activity space. The original trees are retained and replanted with linear tree formations to outline the boundaries of the site and enrich the vertical landscape experience.
▽阳光草坪与完型大树形成风景画卷 The sunny lawns and trees form a landscape
▽透水铺装+下沉绿地+带状雨水花园共同组成的海绵场景 A sponge scene consisting of permeable paving + sunken green space + strip rain gardens
生态停车场 | Pervious Parking Lot
The layout of the original car park was confusing, and the hard surface lacked permeability, so the rainfall took a long time to drain. The design optimizes the layout and flow lines and upgrades the original car park pavement to a permeable asphalt material. The rainwater from the pavement is channeled into the rain garden through the vegetable zone, where it is purified and transferred to the end of the ecological pond for storage and purification for reuse.
▽兼具海绵功能和艺术美感的生态停车场 Eco-parking with sponge function and artistic aesthetics
▽中央雨水花园作为生物滞留设施Central rain gardens as bio-retention facilities
▽生态停车场的海绵过程 The eco-parking sponge process
生态池塘（原荷花池） | Ecological Pond
The ecological pond is located on the east side of the island. Before the renovation, it was a hard bottom lotus pond, which lacked self-purification ability. The design preserves the original tall trees, expands the water-friendly platform, and adds gabion seats. A series of technical solutions such as mulching, disinfection of the substrate, and construction of vegetable and microbial communities are used to reconstruct the “underwater forest” system, helping to maintain the water quality. The rainwater can be used for watering the gardens and washing the roads. The pond now attracts children to play and adults to enjoy a slower pace of life at the edge of the pond, and the pond turns out to be a precious urban public space.
▽生态池畔，时光清浅，一步一安然 Leisure along the ecological pond
▽生态池塘的水生态修复过程 Water ecology restoration process in ecological ponds
入海口湿地 | Estuary Wetland
The original inlet point is combined with hard river bottom and concrete block barges, and the aquatic plant community has not yet been formed, with insufficient purification capacity and poor landscape effects. The artificial wetland is composed of a microbial colony system, porous blind pipe diversion system, surface flow wetland system, reinforced gravel substrate system, and functional aquatic plant system. The functional aquatic plants can retain, filter, degrade, and absorb organic matter such as nitrogen and phosphorus through the gravel and plant roots, which can control the surface source pollution, and enhance the ecosystem service value of the site.
▽人工湿地完善入海口生态系统服务功能 Artificial wetland completes the ecosystem service function
▽钢筋砾石基底，功能性水生植物和微生物群落构成的人工湿地 Artificial wetland with reinforced gravel substrate, functional aquatic plants, and microbial community
After the renovation, the total site runoff control rate is increased from 55% to over 70%, and the surface source pollution control rate can be increased from 45% to over 60%, effectively reaching the improvement target. To test the construction effect, the team came to the Outlets in May, July, and August 2022 to observe the rainfall, and found that the facilities were working as expected, truly achieving the construction effect of “no wet shoes in light rain and no flooding in heavy rain”. The trees, lawns, gardens, and wetland plants have been tested by several heavy rains and are now growing well. Nowadays, the rain does not affect the interest of shoppers and the surrounding leisure crowd, and people can be seen strolling around the square under umbrellas, playing on the waterfront, and playing with swans.
The team has been working on sponge city construction projects in high-density development zones for many years. With the “Five Cans” principle of work, the design team has already completed many demonstrated sponge city projects such as Vanke Cloud City, Qianhai Enterprise Mansion, and Shenwan Park, and developed fruitful research results. The successful practice of Dameisha Outlets is one more breakthrough in integrating sponge technology with life and aesthetics. This project not only forms the immersive experience of a sponge landscape but also contributes to the experience of sponge transformation of the landscape of high-density commercial projects in Shenzhen.
Project Name: Sponge city and waterfront landscape upgrading project of Dameisha Outlets，Shenzhen
Project Location: Dameisha Outlet Commercial Town, Yantian District, Shenzhen
Construction unit: Shenzhen Yantian District Water Bureau
Sponge City whole process technical service: Shenzhen Wandu Times Green Building Technology Co., LTD
Landscape Design Consultant: Shenzhen Weiming Design Consulting CO., LTD
Construction unit: Shenzhen Penrunda Holding Group Co. LTD
Supervision unit: Shenzhen Henghao Construction Project Management Co., LTD
Photography: Shrimp Studio, Shenzhen Weiming Design Consulting CO., LTD (WMLA)
审稿编辑 王琪 – Maggie
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