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Thanks CQU Inter-Space Studio for authorizing the publication of the project on mooool, Text description provided by CQU Inter-Space Studio.
CQU Inter-Space Studio: A community is a collection of people, where countless stories take place. This time, our little garden is both a witness and a participant in the story. “Time Never Abandon” is the vision and prospect of our team for the co-construction of the community garden: flowers will wither, but the story between people will never fade in time…
01 项目背景PROJECT BACKGROUND
The project is located in Huanongli residential quarter, Zhongxinwan Community, Shijingpo Street, Shapingba District, Chongqing, which was formerly used as a Chongqing Specially-made Steel Factory workers’ community with a long history. The middle-aged and elderly residents in the community account for a large proportion, most of them are retired workers, and they have a high enthusiasm to participate in community activities. “Time Never Abandon” Garden is located on a soil slope between residential buildings, covering an area of 34 square meters, with a height difference of about 4 meters from the surrounding site, and is connected by stairs. This is the only place which must be passed for residents to travel daily, but it is idle due to the negative environment and mosquito breeding, and the community residents have a strong desire to transform the site.
2022年9月，重庆大学建筑城规学院肖竞与罗丹副教授带领“空间之间”（Inter-Space Studio CQU）营建团队在沙坪坝区住房和城乡建设委员会、沙坪坝区规划与自然资源局、沙坪坝团区委的组织协助下，联合中心湾社区发起“时光不弃”花园营建项目。
In September 2022, urder the organization and support of Shapingba District Housing and Urban Rural Development Committee, Shapingba District Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Shapingba Youth League Committee, our team of Inter-Space Studio CQU led by Xiao Jing and Luo Dan, associate professors of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of Chongqing University jointly launched the “Time Never Abandon” Garden construction project with the Zhongxinwan Community.
▽场地改造前后，Before and after site renovation
We hope that the residents of Huanongli will participate in creating a beautiful community garden, and make it a diary that can store the emotional stories and memories of the residents and record the life of the residents in the neighborhood. It will also be an artistic flowerbed for creative collisions, a mini-garden to experience the joy of planting, and a colorful platform to promote emotional exchange among all co-builders.
▽花园的多方式使用，Multimode uses of garden
02 零废弃更新理念ZERO WASTE RENEWAL CONCEPT
After the field research, we were attracted by the strong community atmosphere of Huanongli: some retired elderly people spontaneously formed voluntary service organizations around the community to provide various help to residents in this community where most young people go out to work during the day. At the same time, in the interview and questionnaire survey of community residents, we captured the enthusiasm of residents to participate in community construction and the need for emotional communication in the community. Therefore, we hope to extend the theme of “zero waste” on the basis of the concept of “material waste recycling and ecological environmental protection”, and realize not only “zero waste of material”, but also “zero waste of talent” and “zero waste of emotion”!
▽零废弃理念框架，Zero waste concept framework
▽零废弃理念落地示意，Zero waste concept landing schematic
03 设计策略DESIGN STRATEGY
1）空间激活：借助高差打造分台立体空间 Spatial activation: Use the height difference to create a three-dimensional space
In the face of the renewal goal and existing problems of zero waste site, our team proposes the renewal strategy of the garden from three perspectives: spatial activation, functional implantation and memorial rejuvenation.
The internal terrain of the plot was high in the southeast and low in the northwest. There were two natural gas pipelines extending from the high retaining wall at the back of the garden site, roughly following the original slope of the soil in the site, and stretching across the whole garden at an Angle of about 45 degrees. So, our team decided to add a platform to cover the gas pipeline.
▽地形改造示意图, Topographic reconstruction diagram
Since the traffic space between the two platforms would occupy more existing activity space, and the elevation difference would need to be resolved by soil slope, which could cause landslides and make it difficult for plants to grow in the land with high slope, our team overturned the plan to connect the platforms inside the site by steps, and finally chose to make the platforms inside the site disconnected to broaden the depth of the site and increase the activity space. In addition, a new step was built outside the west low wall to enter the site from south to north to enrich the path experience. In this way, the platform is relatively flat, the plant coverage area and crowd activity area are larger, and it is convenient to organize more activities.
▽周边社区功能, Surrounding community functions
2）功能植入：与社区功能互补的复合利用空间Functional implantation: Composite utilization space to complement the functions of the community
The surrounding public spaces are mainly open rest spaces, and some have the functions of small activities and public discussions. In order to avoid being similar to the surrounding spaces, our team combined with the needs of residents, and finally positioned the main function of the space as a platform for gardening, emotional memory sharing, creative art, and small-scale communication.
Due to the small spatial scale and the contradiction between time and space, the garden performs different functions in different time periods. It can be used as a rest and gardening space in daily life, and can be used as an exhibition and activity promotion space during gardening or handicraft activities in the community.
▽“时光不弃”花园平面图，“Time Never Abandon” Garden plan
In addition, the design also focuses on the aging of the space. Since the existing characteristic space in the community emphasizes industrial temperament and lacks affinity, and the residents are mainly the elderly, the garden uses friendly materials (plants, gravel, wood, etc.), and considers the use scale of the elderly in the hardware basic design (stair steps, handrails, platform floors, chairs, etc.) to fit the physiological characteristics of the elderly.
3）记忆焕活：承载“特钢记忆”和邻里交流的精神空间Memorial rejuvenation: Spiritual space to carry “special steel memory” and neighborhood communication
Considering that most of the elderly people in the community are former workers or family members of the special steel plant, our team designs nodes in the garden that can promote the memory sharing and emotional exchange of the community residents, so as to retain their memory and sense of belonging to the special steel plant.
The original sewage well had a certain height and was smelly due to incomplete sealing. However, as a marker of site memory, we decided to retain the sewage well after optimized treatment: the sewage well was raised to the level of the second-floor platform, the well was sealed, and set as the [Time Machine] with three layers of storage drawers, which was used as a storage space for residents’ memory and emotional communication. We hope that after reading other people’s memories (objects, photos, stories, etc.), residents will also be inspired to store their own memories (old objects from the past, photos of the present, wishes for the future, etc.), and ultimately plant seeds to continue the future of Huanongli.
Hang photos and notes on the pipe beside the [Wall of Time Never Abandon] with the rope, so as to more intuitively tell the residents’ understanding of life, memories of the past and wishes for the future. We hopes to transform the memory into a readable, observable and exhibitable landscape, and continue the future of Huanongli by “showing the memory content”.
The magnetic whiteboard is set as the [Garden Bulletin Board] to display the garden user manual, activity announcements, garden activity process and residents’ life photos, so that the co-construction and sharing characteristics of the garden can be displayed more intuitively. Residents can obtain community information through the garden bulletin board, and can also publish and share information, which becomes the BBS platform of Huanongli community.
▽在花园中焕活社区记忆, Revitalize community memories in the garden
04 社区参与COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
In the view of our team, the core of community garden construction is the coordination between landscape architects, community managers and residents. From the plan generation, construction implementation and organization of co-construction activities, residents are involved to ensure the implementation of residents’ wishes. In the subsequent construction process, inviting residents to participate in the garden construction is not only a revival of community exchanges, but also a guarantee for the interests of residents.
Huanongli is a community that has undergone several community micro-renewals. Community residents have deep feelings for their homes, and have formed a mature community volunteer service organization relationship. The self-management, self-education and self-service model of the residents provides a fertile ground for the realization of the co-construction of the garden.
In the process of generating the plan, we first drew up a questionnaire based on the understanding of the site situation and the historical background of the community after field investigation to investigate the residents’ needs and preferences, willingness and attitude to participate in activities, and solicit their suggestions on the garden as a supplement to the perspective of “community experts”. Team members also visited Huanongli for many interviews and exchanges with local residents, and further understood their views on the site and transformation intention through conversation.
▽居民访谈, Resident interview
In order to introduce the concept of co-building a garden based on the previous analysis and to absorb the opinions of all parties, we organized an open discussion on the co-construction of the garden in the community. The members of the discussion included the resident representative of Huanongli community, the head of the subdistrict office and the director of the Zhongxinwan Community. There was a full exchange of views, which was used as feedback to adjust the final design of the garden.
▽开放式漫谈, Open discussion
In the stage dominated by the construction team, the initiative of the community residents was fully mobilized, and the residents supervised the implementation effect to a certain extent, forming a tripartite mechanism of implementation-design-resident supervision.
▽施工-设计-居民三方监理机制, Tripartite mechanism of implementation-design-resident supervision
Adhering to the renewal concept of “zero waste material, zero waste talent, zero waste emotion”, our team worked with Zhongxinwan Community, combining the skills of the residents and the theme of the competition, planned colorful workshop activities such as “Time Never Abandon · Co-construction”, ” Time Never Abandon · Blooming Forever”, “time does not thank · Mark”, which became the fertile material for the success of the garden co-construction plan.
▽社区共建工作坊, Community co-construction workshop
05 使用指引USER GUIDE
Considering the public nature of the community garden, this project needs to inform more residents about the use of the garden as much as possible, so as to avoid discouraging residents in the actual use process. So, we create a garden manual with plain text and illustrations to explain the garden, as well as the encouraged and discouraged behaviors of each scene for residents’ reference. The form is four folding pages on both sides, which has low printing cost and is easy to spread widely.
▽花园使用手册正面, Front of the garden manual
▽花园使用手册背面, Back of the garden manual
The manual is available in several forms for different purposes: during the construction and the ribbon cutting ceremony of the garden, it is printed in a size that can be read by the residents; Print it into a larger size and post it on the garden bulletin board for passers-by to understand the details of using the garden; The electronic version is displayed online to assist the publicity of the garden on platforms such as WeChat official account.
▽居民学习如何使用花园, Residents learned how to use the garden
In order to ensure the continuous operation of the garden, the project builds a set of daily management and maintenance system of the garden. Zhongxinwan Community grass-roots organization is responsible for the organization of activities and management related to the garden; Community voluntary organizations such as “Special Steel Sage” service Club and Hongyan “Lend a Hand” volunteer service team are mainly responsible for the daily maintenance of the garden (such as carrying water from residential buildings for irrigation and coordinating the maintenance of garden facilities); Our team provides advice on the future use of the garden (for example, a seedling replacement table to change the plant in case of poor growth); Set up surveillance at the street lights across the site to prevent garden tools from being stolen.
▽花园的日常管理维护，Daily management and maintenance of the garden
06 建造日志CONSRUCTION LOG
07 花园绽放GARDEN BLOOM
On April 27, 2023, the opening ceremony of “Time Never Abandon” Community Garden was held. Relevant leaders of Shapingba District Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Shapingba Youth League Committee, workers of Zhongxinwan Community, our team members and community residents witnessed the opening of this beautiful community garden.
▽开园仪式合影，Group photo of the opening ceremony
▽开园仪式上社区书记向营建团队授予铭牌，At the opening ceremony, the community secretary awarded the nameplate to our team
“Time Never Abandon” Community Garden is a seed that we plant in Huanongli. The emotional cohesion of the residents is not only in the design and construction process of the garden, but also in the subsequent use after the completed construction. We hope that this garden can become a place for residents to neighborhood intercourse and emotional communication in the future. Nowadays, people’s cities increasingly emphasize the guarantee of public interest. At the community level, more and more micro-renewals are practiced in the community and show good results; The co-construction of the community garden, as an important means of the community micro-renewal, has important demonstration significance and promotion value.
设计方：重庆大学建筑城规学院“空间之间”营造团队CQU Inter-Space Studio
摄影版权：重庆大学建筑城规学院“空间之间”营造团队CQU Inter-Space Studio
Project Name: “Time Never Abandon” Community Garden
Design: CQU Inter-Space Studio
Leader Designer & Team: Xiao Jing, Luo Dan, Cai Wanxun, Lu Yiji, Shao Wenyi, Fu Mengjiao, Lu Siwei, Li Ruochen, Yang Xinxiu
Design Time: September 2022 to December 2022
Completion Time: April 2023
Project Location: Huanongli residential quarter, Zhongxinwan Community, Shijingpo Street, Shapingba District, Chongqing
Project Area: 34㎡
Photo credit: CQU Inter-Space Studio
Partner: Shapingba District Zhongxinwan Community Huanongli residential quarter, Shapingba District Housing and Urban Rural Development Committee, Shapingba District Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Shapingba Youth League Committee
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