Landscape Architecture - Honours
This project uses the language of the landscape to improve the material environment of a residential area's outdoors. It uses adjusted measures for local conditions and promotes a habitable zone, as well as communication between people. Tracks of the seasons and adaptation of site facilities are considered, giving more people psychological benefits and different levels of participation, increasing the vitality of this residential area in the north of China.
Split the existing road into three mobility types: sidewalk for pedestrian, bikeway for a cycler, road for vehicles and separate by landscape plants to ensure pedestrians, bikes, and cars are non-interfering by each other. The clearer road provides people with more convenient and safer services. In terms of snow storage in winter, the green belt between each lane offers enough area to stack snow from the road.
Due to the storefront being occupied as a business from the ground floor to the second floor, the sidewalk is divided into frontage, pedestrian, and landscape/furniture zones. The frontage zone is part of the stores and always be used in the outdoor seating area. The pedestrian zone is used for people to walk. The landscape and furniture zone consists of a street seating area for pedestrians and a green belt to decorate the street.
In the landscape and furniture zone, because most buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, the new residential buildings after reconstruction lost local character and became similar and simple. The memorial brick sculptures are designed to bring the memory of previous residential buildings to people. And the primary material is stone and brick that reference the previous buildings before the earthquake. It also can be a seating area for pedestrians and a playground for children.
Additionally, the shape of the sculpture is designed like ruins in the earthquake, which is another way to remind people to remember the earthquake. This contrasts with the surrounding high-rises and bustling streets, highlighting Tangshan’s rapid development after the earthquake and the harmonious scene of the people living and working in peace and contentment. The whole Tangshan is like the rebirth of the phoenix. It also lets today’s children bear in mind history.
The interactive paths are only for pedestrians and cycles and do not allow vehicles to come in.
The shape of this red interactive structure represents the residential building styles of Tangshan in different periods. At first, it is the residential building style before the earthquake, which has a triangular roof. Then there is the building after the earthquake in the city reconstruction period. To speed up construction while preventing the earthquake, all the residential buildings were designed to be low-rise and simple. In 21century, most residential buildings gradually become high-rise and modern style.
In terms of colour, the colour of the structure also echoes the northern architecture. The architectural style of the north is more upright, majestic, and mostly dark red and brown. In addition, red has a different emotional status in the hearts of Chinese people. It is a cultural totem and spiritual conversion of us, which represents joy, excitement and peace. Since modern times, the history of Chinese people has been a red history, bearing too many red memories of Chinese people.
In the winter, the bright colour can also attract people to walk or play outdoor to increase the community’s vitality.
The circle structure references the tunnel shape of coal mining. The economy of Tangshan has been supported by coal mining for a long time. This historical culture relates to many people’s lives and has become one of the characteristics of Tangshan. In response to the historical culture, fuse the streetscape with the coal industry to bring back past memories.
In terms of the shape, due to the cold winter climate’s limitations, waterscape becomes challenging on landscape design. To give people the cool feeling of water in the sense of vision and experience, the main path is designed to a river shape, and the colour is blue to further close to the water.
Additionally, the street is where people carry out normal communication activities, belongs to the domain space of the residential area, which is related to residents’ sense of security. To improve the sense of security, using the human scale on the tunnel structure can break down or subdivide visually to lighten the sense of the mass of surrounding buildings and the roads. It also helps people experience the environment at the scale of their bodies in space. The flowers and grass on the path also make the trail more interesting and attractive.
Compared with other residential landscapes, the courtyard landscape is more private. It does not have high mobility and sufficient open space. It is more like the residents’ exclusive garden and opens to a certain number of people.
As mentioned before, the whole Lugang housing estate consists of many “small” housing estates that generally have 5-6 residential buildings enclosing an area and a courtyard in the middle. The fences around this area with a security room on the entry ensure the residents’ safety. In terms of CPTED(Crime prevention through environmental design), the plants and lights are designed to use the human scale to ensure visibility and surveillance of the courtyard to the residents who live in the high-rise building. In addition, the adequate lighting system and the infrastructure’s attractive colours on the courtyard also maintain a safe atmosphere for residents.
The courtyard landscape area is relatively limited in terms of space, but it also needs to include different landscape experiences for residents. A using a circuitous route and layout design provide a sufficient long footpath.
The courtyard landscape needs to meet residents’ privacy space while providing enough personal space distance. The design method is the dynamic and static combination. The core area of the main path is relatively open and provide some outdoor fitness equipment which is convenient for people to do some outdoor exercises. The surrounding space will be split into small rest sites to ensure privacy and make the courtyard environment show a space feeling of active central and quiet peripheral.
According to the research, the number of permanent residents in Lugang Housing Estate is 25 thousand. The surrounding schools range from kindergarten to high school, which means the number of children and students is very high. The high population means the need for sufficient activity space. Additionally, in terms of local culture, people in Tangshan prefer to do some activities or go for a walk after dinner, so the evening in Tangshan is the busiest time of the day.
Therefore, the project aims to create a multiple-functional open space with local culture and seasonal characters. The design method of open space also uses dynamic and static combinations. The central area is the activity zone which includes the sinking square, basketball court and children playground. The surrounding space will be split into small rest sites to make the environment feel active central, and quiet peripheral.
The open space uses layered design in many areas, including the layered sinking square and layered lawn. They have referenced the layered coal mine of the coal industry to bring residents a sense of belonging to Tangshan. in the past, coal miners found coal in the layered coal mine. Now, residents find happiness and fun in the same place, which also responds to the previous glorious achievement and historical culture.
The layered sinking square in open space will be designed to provide different functions in different seasons. Consider the lack of waterscape on the site; the sinking square can collect rainwater and be a water play area in the summer. Some channels connect the square that is used to collect rainwater from residential buildings and ground for the square. When it is dry, a sufficient place can be a playground for people to do activities. In the winter, the cold temperature will freeze water, create a skating rink, and provide people with different kinds of fun. The canal is also multifunctional on rainy days and sunny days. When rainy, the channel is used to collect and transport rainwater while as a water play area. When sunny, it can also be used as a small skateboard area or a children playground.
Children playground consists of a sandpit and a sinking fountain. The pavilion near the playground provides a seating area with shading for adults to better look after children.
According to human behavioural psychology, when looking for a place to rest in a public place, people tend to prefer a more private place with a wider view. The location of the rest area can ensure that people have their personal space in public places while they can take most of the space on-site in their eyes. The layered plants around the seats form a natural barrier to ensure the privacy of the area further.
Plant’s selection adopts the theory of ecological design. Native plants are selected according to the local climate to ensure the beauty and colour of the four seasons and let the natural process accompany the life of residents. The green landscape of spring and summer is undoubtedly beautiful, but the cold seasons of autumn and winter are also essential for landscape design in the north. The best interpretation of the landscape is to have a beautiful view of each season.
Yuhan Jia is a final year landscape architecture student with a minor in architecture. Her passion for landscape architecture is demonstrated by balancing regional character with the natural space. She thinks the landscape is dynamic and flowing. As a carrier of culture, the landscape collides and communicates with the surrounding environment in the historic development, forming a story that condenses time, and the designer is the storyteller and reader of the story.