Wangjiadun CBD North Park
Location: Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR China
Date of Completion: Ongoing
Total Landscape Area: 12 hectares
Located in the downtown of Hankou district, Wuhan, the planned Wangjiadun CBD occupies an area of 7.41km2. It is one of the key projects in the Wuhan “Eleventh Five Year Plan”. The plan aims at building in central China a downtown core, providing modern facilities for business and office space, commercial, cultural, entertainment, exhibition and fair, as well as residential areas.
The Masterplan for the new Wangjiadun CBD is based upon traditional Chinese Feng Shui principles: it is anchored by two poles – in the south, a large park which features a man-made Lake; and in the north, another greenspace that uses the materials excavated from the lake to create dramatic Mountain Park. WAA was commissioned to provide design services for the latter
The new Wangjiadun CBD is designed upon a strong concept of balance – it is a balance between a mountain and a lake; a city life and nature; a place of business and a place of pleasure. At the northern point of this balance is one of the CBD’s landmark, the Mountain Park.
Coming close to the North Park, from all directions whether it is from surrounding streets or the pedestrian mall from the CBD, the visitors discover a surprising feature. Similar to the pleasure of admiring a beautifully drawn landscape the park reveals a complex but simple natural harmony of mountain and nature. What appears at first glance as a single mountain reveals itself as multiple naturally disposed mounds organized in an ever-changing harmony of hills, meadows and forests. As visitors move around the park, or within it, they catch a glimpse of a landscape made up of a harmoniously disposed system of mounds and valleys. These five mounds interact together or separately to constant renew the experience of the visitors.
Within the park are a number of thematic areas which recall the various different landscapes associated with mountainous regions. At the eastern end, the “Floral Plateaus” is a typically urban space, offering a series of multilevel terraces with colourful, diversified planting. Near the park’s 30m peak is the “Summit Lake”, which provides visitors with a teahouse and lookout station, offering dramatic views of the entire park and surrounding neighbourhood. The lake atop the summit acts as the water source to both the 12m natural waterfall in the “Great Lawn” area – which can be seen from along the CBD’s central axis – as well as to the “Wetlands” area which features a real working wetland, thereby adding an ecological aspect to the design. Other themed areas, based around valleys, meadows, and rockeries offer plenty of other activities and further enforce the unique identity of this Mountain Park.
One of the most innovative features of the North Park is the shopping and eating area embedded in the aptly named “Retail Canyons” area. In this small, but vibrant niche, the designers have proposed an open-air shopping and entertainment complex seamlessly integrated within the mountain’s canyon landscape. This multilevel retail arcade features small shops built into cliff faces, quaint restaurants tucked into cozy ‘grottos’, and café terraces perched on rocky outcrops. Larger proposed facilities, such as a cinema and car park are located deep within the park’s 30m mountain. The thoughtful integration of these commercial activities into the design allows the “Retail Canyons” to offer a viable and marketable commercial aspect to the Park, without compromising its natural mountain identity.
Wuhan, Hubei, China