Sasaki - Living with Ficus: Bai’etan Exhibition Center Landscape
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Living with Ficus: Bai’etan Exhibition Center Landscape

Sasaki

Public Space  /  Completed
Sasaki

The design concept, Living with Ficus, inspired by the existing site conditions, connects the bay’s past with its future via its most distinctive landscape feature. The existing Ficus grove along the canal is preserved for shade, habitat value, and site identity. Patterns inspired by Ficus, warehouses, and the river are applied to floodwall panel and railing designs.

Its success attracted large capital investment to develop eleven parcels nearby, catalyzing the overall urban regeneration of the Julong Bay Area.

Julong Bay was once an industrial waterfront occupied by large warehouses, factories, and docks. In 2020, the area started its regeneration to transform the former industrial site into a new urban district mixing office, cultural, commercial, residential, and recreational uses. As a pilot phase, the 3ha site, located at the conjunction of the proposed Lingnan Life Corridor, Urban Robust Corridor, Industrial Heritage Corridor and Pearl River Blueway, will become a public waterfront, providing rare opportunities to access the river as well as a variety of spaces and programs serving nearby communities.

The large area of preserved existing trees and newly planted native plant communities will also serve the site as a stepping stone for migratory birds.

As the first SITES platinum project in China, the project is pioneered in carbon footprint reduction, habitat restoration, and increased resiliency.

Existing bricks, concrete, and wooden beams are salvaged and reused on site; former floodwalls are integrated with bar tables and benches; most existing trees are preserved providing habitat value and shade.

Fast renewable material, bamboo lumber, was used for all benches, bar tables, handrails, and decking. Local materials and contractors were sourced to decrease the project’s embedded carbon and help the local economy.

All new plants are native to the region, which not only reduces the urban heat island effect but also provides valuable habitats. Rain gardens and permeable paving help control 82% of runoff on site.

The project sets a new model for post-industrial regeneration with its unique character, diverse programs, and sustainable initiatives.

  • Celebrate site’s unique character

The spatial design establishes a conversation between the contemporary landscape and industrial history. The Warehouse Plaza extends the historical building facade configuration, and the restored Chongkou Landing recalls the busy working riverfront while providing a unique focal point and access to the river. Red bricks salvaged onsite were reused in the plaza to recall the site’s memory, and wooden beams dismantled from demolished warehouses were milled into dozens of iconic benches.

  • Provide diverse programs for all groups

The entire site is made universally accessible, free and open to all. Groves of native trees in the plaza provide much-needed shade while allowing for various uses, and the salvaged concrete pavement at Michelia Yard acts as a casual outdoor party venue. Besides serving as morning exercise sites for seniors, the Riverview Platform also boasts spectacular views of the river, and the Ficus Overlook provides an intimate experience near Chongkou Canal.

  • Create an environmentally conscious place

The project reduced 365 tons of carbon emissions and saved 12% of material costs during construction while cutting down 60% of electricity usage and saving $8,000 in stormwater management costs annually after occupation, compared with conventional design.

Since completion, the project has received extensive coverage in local and national media. The client has expressed high regard, describing it as "the onset of the largest sustainable urban regeneration project in Guangzhou.” It has become a successful case for urban regeneration of industrial brownfields, not only environmentally but also from a social perspective, as it “encompasses a full-cycle of redevelopment and management of historic factories, villages, and cities in the area.”

Credits

 Guangzhou
 China
 Guangzhou Zhujiang Industrial Park Invenstment Co., Ltd.
 Public Space
 12/2021
 26850 mq
 Confidential
 Mark Dawson, Dou Zhang, Yu Zhu, Tianwen Zhou, Yue Zhao, Zhangkan Zhou, Jing Liu, Yi Song, Yuwei Zhao, Victor Vizgaitis, Yifaat Ayzenberg-Shoshan, Shaelena Bigelow, Zhiqing Yu, Yu-Ang Hsiao, Zhiqiang Zeng, Qin Fang, Dawei Huang, Ergys Hoxha
 Mark Dawson, Dou Zhang, Yu Zhu, Tianwen Zhou, Yue Zhao, Zhangkan Zhou, Jing Liu, Yi Song, Yuwei Zhao, Victor Vizgaitis, Yifaat Ayzenberg-Shoshan, Shaelena Bigelow, Zhiqing Yu, Yu-Ang Hsiao, Zhiqiang Zeng, Qin Fang, Dawei Huang, Ergys Hoxha
 Pubang Landscape Architecture Co., Ltd.
 Sasaki

Curriculum

Sasaki is a leading design firm based in Boston, Denver, New York, and Shanghai. Founded in 1953, Sasaki has grown into a multi-disciplinary practice including Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Architecture and Interior Design, Ecology, and Civil Engineering. Over the past 70 years, Sasaki has won over 900 design awards worldwide. In the Bai’etan Exhibition Center project, Sasaki led the entire design process and provided on-site reviews during construction.

Guangzhou Zhujiang Industrial Park Investment Development Co., Ltd., one of the leading developers in the Great Bay Area, is responsible for developing state-owned land and constructing industrial parks. It is the client of this project.

Pubang Landscape Architecture Co., Ltd, is one of the leading local landscape design firms in Guangzhou. It is responsible for preparing construction documents and executing site construction.


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