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SCUTAD：The Hundred Steps at South China University of Technology’s Wushan Campus were constructed in 1936, situated in the middle of Banshanxi Road. The design of this historic landmark is attributed to the renowned modern architect, Mr. Yang Xizong, known for his contributions to Lingnan architecture. The primary intent behind building the Hundred Steps was to inspire students to pursue diligent studies, stay grounded, and be courageous in their journey. The overall environment exudes a robust and unadorned ambiance, bearing resemblance to the traditional Chinese mountain practice terraces. Over the years, the Hundred Steps have stood witness to the university’s trials and triumphs, marking the journey of South China University of Technology students as they scaled the peaks of knowledge. Today, it serves as an emblem of the university’s spirit of determination and advancement.
▽整体鸟瞰，Aerial View of the Site
▽项目概览，Overall of the Project
After enduring 86 years of weathering, the vegetation on both sides of the Hundred Steps at Wushan Campus has lost its ability to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. The slopes have started to deform and become unstable, leading to soil exposure and increasing soil erosion. In recent years, landslides have occurred multiple times, posing a threat to the safety of Building 22 at the pinnacle of the slope. To prevent further deformation and collapse of the slopes and ensure the security of the surrounding structures and environment, the university initiated preparations for slope reinforcement and emergency work in 2019.
▽百步梯历史照片，Historical Photos of the Hundred Steps
▽百步梯两侧山体滑坡险情，Perilous Situation of Landslides on Both Sides of the Hundred Steps
Stone Steps Forge the Path, Long Stairs in New Greenery:
设计理念 Design Concept
The slope reinforcement and landscape restoration project on both sides of the Hundred Steps is guided by the principles of “eliminating dangers and preventing risks” as its foundational concept, and “seamlessly integrating with nature and restoring the ecology” as its landscape vision. This plan is dedicated to preserving the environmental space and temperament formed by the historical accretion of the Hundred Steps. It adheres to the principle of “repairing and preserving the old” to safeguard the historical traces of the site while continuing to nurture the lush, original green environment.
▽百步梯路灯基座历史文物，Historical relic of the Hundred Steps’ street lamp base
▽百步梯俯视，Top view of the Hundred Steps
The support system of the beams is combined with the material technology of three-dimensional greening. Through meticulous planning, it fully leverages the natural terrain’s contour to achieve the required stepped disposition. Due to the proximity of Building 22 to the southern side of the top of the Hundred Steps, the support construction could potentially disturb the existing structures. As a result, the design team conducted multiple on-site surveys, detailed calculations, and developed a comprehensive solution that ensures both the safety of surrounding buildings and the realization of the design’s intent.
关键技术策略 Key Technological Strategies
To attain green coverage on the slope structure and plant mature trees on steep slopes to form a canopy of trees, the design team conducted in-depth research and developed the following technical strategies and landscape plans:
The slope surface is divided into multiple 3m x 3m slope support units within the scope of slope protection structures. The length of the grid beams can be adjusted based on the slope’s requirements and the balance between filling and excavation within this unit scale. Subsequently, a three-dimensional grid beam model was created, distinct from the conventional anchor rod retaining system.
▽设计思路 Design Idea
▽三维立体格构梁完成效果 Three-dimensional lattice beam finished effect
A harmonious coexistence between artificial support structures and three-dimensional greening was established using innovative materials and technologies like solidified matrix nutrient planting soil. This is a modular planting soil that gradually degrades and solidifies. It is characterized by its lightweight properties and high construction efficiency, fitting well within the 3D and intricate grid beam planting cavities. After the solidified soil and grid beams are secured, they form a closely fitting planting area on the slope surface. Vegetation seedlings are planted in the soil cavities, with their roots directly contacting the slope’s soil to enhance soil stabilization.
▽固化基质养分种植土示意图，Diagrammatic Drawing of Solidified Matrix Nutrient Planting Soil
A gentle transition zone facilitates the planting of selected trees, enabling them to have a stable and workable planting zone. During planting, the soil in the tree holes is improved for hydrophobicity and air permeability, enabling 18 selected sweet osmanthus trees to recover quickly.
▽百步梯剖面图，Section of the Hundred Steps
These two engineering designs create the conditions for both slope protection and planting, ensuring that the transformation of the Hundred Steps’ slopes not only guarantees safety but also achieves the desired spatial effect.
▽修缮设计后，百步梯与山坡自然衔接，环境绿意盈盈，成为热门打卡地。After the renovation, the Hundred Steps connect seamlessly with the hillside, surrounded by flourishing greenery, making it a popular attraction.
In terms of drainage design, water interception ditches are positioned at the top and bottom of the slopes to prevent rainwater erosion. An intelligent monitoring irrigation system is utilized for greening irrigation, ensuring that the planting soil maintains the appropriate moisture levels and nutrient content, promoting rapid root establishment and soil stability.
For night lighting, the design accommodates both daily and festival lighting modes. Five pairs of courtyard lights are installed on the flat section of the Hundred Steps to provide basic illumination and fulfill energy-saving requirements. Additionally, wall wash lights are added on both sides of the stairs to illuminate the slopes and greenery, enhancing the spatial sensation of the passageway, and meeting the demand for creating a festive nighttime atmosphere.
▽百步梯鸟瞰，Aerial View of the Hundred Steps
▽淡雅明快的灯光设计为攀登者照亮前路，Light and bright lighting design to illuminate the path for climbers
设计图纸 Design Drawings
▽百步梯格构梁平面图 Plan of the Hundred Steps’ Beams
▽百步梯格构梁定位平面图 Location Plan of the Hundred Steps’ Beams
▽百步梯格构梁立面图 Elevations of the Hundred Steps’ Beams
Project Name: The Slope Repair and Reinforcement Project on Both Sides of the Hundred Steps at South China University of Technology (Wushan Campus)
Project location: Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Project type: Landscape
Project location: Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Design: First Institute of Environmental Art Design,Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT Co., Ltd.
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design year: 2020-2021
Completion Year: 2022.10
Site area: 1056㎡
Leader Designer: Yang Ni, Zhong Yan, Zhaohui Wu
Landscape Design: Lingfeng Chen, Xiaoting Lin, Yixin Chen
Structural Engineering: Yi Jiang, Weiwen Yi, Xiao He
Water supply and Drainage Design: Xinyan Chen, Zongtai Li
Electrical Design: Yang Yu, Shijia Guo, Jincong Ou
Lighting Design: Shenzhen Guangyi Planning and Design Co., Ltd.
Photo credit: Beyond The Vision
Client: South China University of Technology
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