Zigong Dongxingsi Waterfront, Sichuan, China

Location: Sichuan, China
Client: Zigong City Construction Investment and Development
Photographer: Terrence Zhang
Size: 50,000 square meters
Status: completed 2019

The site is located along Fuxi River in a hilly area of Sichuan between Chongqing and Chengdu. It currently consists of derelict housing on top of a steep unusable embankment along the river, and a road that separates the city from the water. The new landscape aims to enliven the waterfront by providing a striking place to connect the city back to the river through the provision of amenity space and identity.

The landscape concept draws inspiration from the meandering nature and complex patterns of Fuxi River, and the dragon which not only serves as a spiritual symbol to China but alludes to the Dragon Boat Race, one of the major events of this area. This translates into a fluid landscape concept that correlates with the topography of the site, creating a dynamic nature of landscape corridors which flow through the site and provides unique moments, spaces and elements, incorporating functions and spaces to respond to the festivities, neighborhood amenity and a site that embraces its cultural heritage. The ‘dinosaur ribs’ are a striking sculptural element that repeats along the promenade to celebrate the vast quantities of dinosaur fossils that were excavated in the Middle Jurassic era.

The water edge promenade provides a series of accessible terraces to address the local flooding occurrences, allowing access to the upper levels when lower level flooding occurs. The first level timber deck located in close proximity to the water allows interaction with the water’s edge, including the lantern festival activities. Narrower paths expand to pocket parks and plazas where people can gather and engage with festivities, or contract to smaller rooms for private gatherings. The highest level of the promenade announces destination points where the road terminates at the waterfront junction; all levels are connected with a series of steps and ramps for easy access.

The residential development adjacent to the waterfront park includes a sponge park that absorbs, filtrates and attenuate site storm water run-off to address the recurring flooding concerns of sub-tropical monsoonal rain events. This water feeds the waterfalls along the promenade to create surprising moments that are revealed along one’s journey along the promenade and promotes ecological education.

The outcome is a world class destination that provides a diverse range of attractive uses that engage communities and celebrates the connection between the river and city as well as Zigong’s cultural heritage.