CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY is a high-rise residential community with a landscaping area of 38,000m2. The project is located in Luzhi Town, Suzhou. The town is surrounded by 5 lakes and rivers there directly lead to 6 watercourses. It is an ancient Chinese water town with a history of more than 2,500 years and embraced by typical Jiangnan gentle charm. Definition of "Sense of Community" "Sense of Community" refers to a collective feeling of interrelated life formed by several social groups gathered in a certain field. It is the most basic element of a social organism and an epitome of macroscopic society. Since the community life is greatly changed due to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, residents have more needs and expectations for community activity space. It should be a safe, reliable, joyful and diversified public space. Through landscape design, functional layout and event operation, CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY enhances residents' sense of belonging and community, filling this residential area with the special softness and warmth of Jiangnan towns. Long and Narrow Landscape The residential area is long and narrow with a rectangular central landscape belt (270m x 40 m). Surrounded by high-rise buildings on both sides of the north and south, it is the main interactive communication space in the community. To avoid presenting a monotonous scene with a tedious tour route, designers are inspired by the abundant water system of Luzhi Ancient Town and adopt a landscaping method suitable for the characteristics of this site - to use natural meandering curves. The inner paths of the community are intertwined in free style, and the curves are reflected in various ways such as interactive waterscape, planting layout, outdoor furniture, etc., softening the boundary between the physical interface, rigid pavement and landscape space, and enhancing the fluidity and interest of the space. Meanwhile, several sub-landscape activity spaces with various functions are created, such as a water-playing plaza, central lawn, children's activity area and elderly fitness venue. Child-friendly Community As a child-friendly community, CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY has a free and open space for all-ages children to stimulate their exploration interests from three dimensions. 1) Sensory dimension: stimulate children's five senses, allowing them to unconsciously develop their sensory potentials and enhance sensory integration abilities while playing. The landscape provides a wonderful environment and becomes a memory container for children, besides, it expands the limited space of children's playing venues, letting them play in non-restricted areas and think outside the box. 2) Activity dimension: The multifunctional recreational facilities stimulate children to run, jump, roll, slide and hang so as to liberate their nature and cultivate a positive attitude while exercising, and set Generation Z free from virtual worlds such as mobile phones and immerse them in various unpowered play facilities to improve their physical fitness and abilities of balance and coordination. Facilities with high safety performance can reassure parents and incorporate them into children's world. 3) Time dimension: Different seasons have different scenery, for example, one can enjoy flowers in spring, listen to cicadas in summer, pick leaves in autumn and watch the snow in winter. In this small world, they stay close to nature, observing, recording, thinking, growing and portraying beautiful childhood memories in four seasons. Ecological Measures "Jungle+" Plan INNER PEACE COMMUNITY is one of the practices of CIFI Group’s “Jungle+” plan: the understory is supposed to be an activity space rich in species. It should include all relevant elements such as a sandpit, pergola, wooden platform, seats, etc. There are more than 1000 trees in the community jungle, most of them are native plants and fast-growing trees. In order to avoid any impact on the lighting in the winter and to achieve the effect of the landscape and environment, the designers plant the evergreen trees and deciduous ones in proportion 3:7, with the flowering trees and coloured leaf trees alternately planted. When the entire community is “jungle+”, it will converge into a real "jungle home". The Rain Garden is an important part of the "Jungle+" plan, which helps to maintain and protect the natural functions of the site, and mitigates the accumulation of water and pollution caused by increased impervious areas to fulfil the goal of rainwater storage and plant habitat construction. The design adopts a natural concave treatment method and uses herbaceous plants, aquatic plants and perennial flower border plants for plant cluster matching, combining with the gravel belt to form a rain garden. It not only enhances the landscape effect of the residential garden but also facilitates the drainage of the building and the rainwater collection in the surrounding green space. The plant palette of this project consists of umbrella palm (cyperus alternifolius), hardy canna (thalia dealbata), canna generalis (Cannaceae generalis L.H.Baiileg cv.Striatus.), water iris (iris laevigata), etc., all with strong resistance to humidity and shade. In the rainy season, plant leaves would keep part of the rainwater and reduce the drainage pressure, meanwhile, they act as a filter. The water that cannot be completely absorbed by plants would be re-filtered and intercepted again by freestone, and pooled in the water storage area. When the storm comes and rainfall exceeds the load of the storage area, the rainwater would be drained into the municipal pipes through the overflow opening. The connection between hard pavement and green space is also considered. Ground paving materials made of concretes, ecological bricks and grass-planting bricks are breathable and permeable, which can help with drainage and storing rainwater while avoiding water accumulation on the sidewalk.
Mr Bo LI, born in China, is the Chairman and Chief Designer of L&A Design Group as well as a travel writer. He obtained a bachelor of architecture from Tsinghua University and a master's degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Mr Li has been specializing in landscape design, planning and urban design with 25-year professional work experience in Vancouver, Hong Kong and mainland China. He has always adhered to the design concept of "preserving the Chinese context and creating a contemporary landscape".
Mr Hailong JIANG is the Vice-president and Design Division General Manager of L&A Design Group. Mr Jiang has more than 20 years of experience in project management and operation in domestic first-line design companies. He has a professional background in landscape, architecture and planning and is committed to "warm design" in creating a more warm community experience, focusing on the integration of humanities and art in urban public spaces and spiritual places.