This park was conceived when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited the Building Research Establishment Innovation Park in Watford during 2010. The development of new codes for sustainability based on the BREEAM system required the design of an Innovation Park representing not only the best of emerging technology but new approaches to urban masterplanning.
The site contained several thousand cubic metres of rubble. The idea was to incorporate this into the western mound as an acoustic buffer and microclimate enhancement. Abandoned factory buildings were repurposed as a bio-fuel processing centre.
The park addresses issues such as energy, waste, water, food and sustainable materials. It also addresses public realm issues such as play, allotments and a community centre. Most Chinese parks are not free to enter; this park will not only be free but provide community food production gardens in order to ensure access to the land and to pass on traditions and skills being lost as people migrate to the city.
Strange fact: the rubble on site, which the landscape architects wanted to use for the mound, was removed because the contractor wanted to provide ‘good new material’. The idea of re-using existing site resources - vegetation, buildings, materials or ecology - is only slowly filtering into guidelines and the thinking of developers.
Credits as supplied:
Masterplanner: Wilder Associates
Policy Advisors: BRE Globl
Sustainability Consultant (China): Ecointel
Developer: China Vanke Co.,Ltd
Visitor Centre Design: Bogle Architects
Sustainability Consultant, Visitor Centre: ARUP