palimpsest:
BAU486A Docklands Park, Yangtze River, Jiangyin

Jiangyin City, Jiangsu Province, China

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Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Typology

Public park, sports park, waterfront

City

Jiangyin City, Jiangsu Province, China

Date

2012-2020

Status

Completed 2020

Client

Jiangyin Urban Planning Bureau

Program

Sustainable urban drainage, city garden, wetland, parkland, heritage preservation, plazas, emergency docks, skate park adventure playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, gate ball courts, table tennis courts, soccer fields, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor theater, bike paths, running track, pavilions, commercial and amenities buildings and tourist information centers.

Introduction
Jiangyin is on the Yangtze, the world’s busiest working river. The city is regenerating part of its industrial docklands as a high density live-work district. Stage one of this major project is the creation of a 4km public realm along the river edge. The design was selected through invited competition.

Ambitions
1. re-establish indigenous eco-system corridors;
2. preserve the industrial character;
3. maintain presence of the historic past;
4. introduce leisure infrastructure for the new era
5. link beyond the site for the emergence of a city park network.

1. Soft edges and eco corridors.
The Yangtze at this location is tidal. This project rehabilitates, preserves, enhances and extends a raft of microhabitats. Complexity of the existing river edge is formally maintained, enhanced and secured with loose rock scaled for habitat. A new corridor of indigenous trees and plants weaves through the project’s length to connect the Ebizui mountain ecological node to the east with the canal eco corridor towards the west.

2. Post-industrial poetics
The vast worn concrete wharves are colored by the brown earth washed down the Yangtze. Overlooking the two-kilometer river from the prosaic empty docks presents an overwhelming scale and sense of the sublime. This design preserves even the most brutal of structures. Necessary new interventions on and around the wharves share the scale, robustness and clarity of this industrial context. Whilst the future district promises to be filled with vibrancy, and much of the landscape is rich in complexity, the wharf edges provide a rare escape.

3. Continuity with the Past
Palimpsest – Ship Building Park
Whilst the majority of the site was open and flat for stockpiling raw materials, the eastern portion of the site was recently a functioning ship building facility. The design strategy maintained traces of the site’s history and overlaid a number of ecological, circulation and programmatic layers. The result is a complex palimpsest supporting inclusive and diverse open spaces and activities.

The history layer includes ship slipways; gantry cranes and rails; ship building factory structures; jetties; a Chinese garden; a tree lined road; and numerous other artefacts. Other layers across the site include: connections (pedestrian paths, bike paths, water boardwalk, extensions of views to and from the site, and paths from the new districts – all maximizing links between the city and the water); active leisure (sports courts and skate park); play (children’s adventure playground in the form of a ship, and elderly exercise area); social gathering (large plaza, visitor centre, and large pavilions); relaxation (small pavilions, intimate seating, picnic tables, and ship interpretation installation); and ecological (rain gardens, water edge habitats, eco-corridor).

Three Historic Ports
Jiangyin’s origins as a port city date back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Research revealed the location of three historic ports. The site of Huang Tian Port, reputedly dating back nearly 2000 years, has been developed as the dockland’s major open space for public events. Interpretive mapping of the Yangtze River is integrated in its paving. Historic Jiu Cai Port has been named and restored in its most recent iteration, as industrial port. A new restaurant designed as an urban hill provides a lookout point. Shiyu Port dates from the 1500s and was a renowned fish market. The new landscape here establishes a plaza, park, and fish restaurant. An integrated paving artwork provides further interpretation.

4. new era of leisure
After a hiatus of nearly fifty years China is prospering and its citizens are rediscovering all variety of leisure pursuits. This landscape introduces opportunities for the very young to the very old. It is the city’s largest playground. Linked by a 4km jogging track are dozens of outdoor sports courts and frequent gym equipment stations for public use. A more leisurely path weaves the length of the site and connects several large children’s playgrounds, a skate park, and numerous groupings of exercise equipment for the elderly. Frequent throughout the landscape are dancing plazas, a popular local pursuit. A host of pavilions, tables for games, and lawns for picnics, tents and programs yet to come. The park ushers in a novel, exotic era of health and play.

5. Emerging park network.
The bicycle path in this docklands park has initiated a 20km bicycle loop tracing existing and proposed lineal parks in the city. Linking the disparate parks with this loop, or greenway, brings about an accompanying ecological link. An extensive eco-system network is emerging. Pedestrian paths extend along the Yangtze either way. To the east a narrow boardwalk has been installed to enable people to pass around the steep mountain edge. The docklands park is also designed to smoothly connect to the urban district under construction. The circulation of the foreshore is coupled with the urban circulation. Plazas and city-river view corridors are located on street axis from where landscape paths radiate.

Shenzhen

Public Landscapes

Public

2020

Culture

Culture

Shanghai

2019

Nanjing

Planning

Hangzhou

2000-2005

Urban Design

Hospitality

2005-2010

Huai’an

Xi'an

Xinyu

Education

2013

2012

Retail

Mixed Use

Sports

Education

2018

Private Landscapes

Playgrounds

Suzhou

Infrastructure

Structures & Pavillions

Jiangyin

Yixing

2017

Office

Taizhou

Office

Retail

Melbourne

2016

2011

Residential

Kyneton

Healthcare

Hotel

Hotel

2015

2014

Wuxi

Healthcare

Fuding

Shaoxing

Chongqing

Kunshan

Wuhan

Cixi

Ningbo

Meishan

Canberra

Jingzhou

Chengdu

Hospitality

1990-2000

Xiamen

Residential

Hopetoun

Caofeidian

large plains, small grains, and the in-between:
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on reflection:
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Place, typologies, programs, and public life:
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more than just a technopolis:
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a second network embracing history, smalllness, and complexity:
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a park for everyone and everyone in their park:
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disorder – not randonmness but beyond order:
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mosaics of teaching, networks of learning:
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walled cities within a walled city:
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co-existence without incompatibility:
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space-time conflict:
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clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
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Journeys AND destination, not just destinations:
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continuous loops and internal courts:
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weaving and stitching:
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a constructed and cultured topography:
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it takes a village to educate a child:
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city typologies, cultural traditions, contemporary theories, and spaceships:
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artificial plateau:building more site:
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it is the least we could do: minimalism in an environment of expressionism
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more Piazza Navona than Levittown
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classrooms AND the in-between: teaching and learning beyond the classroom
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other institutions for this new century:
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building the unfinished:
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minimal AND maximal:
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small in scale large in monumentality:
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multiple rooms of difference:
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active cultural edges, passive natural centres:
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intimate, cool, sheltered and lively:
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formal teaching and informal learning:
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an exercise in robustness:
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effortless complexity: learning from water-town:
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no longer but not only:
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actualizing the virtual:
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geometry, history, art, craft, iconography, and pragmatics: an exploration of intention, coding, narrative, and meaning
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there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in:
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surreal adjacencies:
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mini-city of culture:
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keeping a low profile:
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positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
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dis-integrated guest houses :
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don’t look at me, don’t look at me:
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new buildings, old topography:
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don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
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defining the perimeter, programming the centre, inhabiting them both:
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turning outside-in:
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beyond PODS, networks, and nodes:
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podium and bill(ding)board:
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inner sanctuary, outer crust:
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an excessive minimalism:
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a plane of reference:
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rips in the fabric by place:
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other ideas of hospital:
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architecture AND terrain:
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crust: in-between and on the edge
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eco urbanism:
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microcosm:
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beyond the picturesque:
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don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
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building a community not just housing:
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upside down program – ‘private’ circulation becoming ‘public’ circulation:
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extra-large private space as public space:
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mini-me:
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staggering:
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urban camouflage:
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the resort at the end of the yellow dirt road:
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critical regionalism and abstraction:
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hospital for the ill, health care for the healthy, aged care for the elderly: BAU469 Zhaoxiang Hospital

communities as schools and schools as communities:
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tear open the package: BAU247 Qingpu NGS Supermarket

urban sponge:
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lyrical islands in pragmatic seas:
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fractured enormity:
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ring roads AND peripheral parks:
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simple box OR 3 points in space – you choose:
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many utopias:
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a close family:
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stretching, squeezing, bending, trimming:
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BOTH networks AND objects:
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ethics, democracy, difference:
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warp and woof:
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sustainable technologies for clean living:
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network of learning:
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not in galleries, but a way of seeing:
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shopping sandwich:
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celebrating the collective, the intimate, the sustainable, and the local:
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21st century Ponte Vecchio:
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antidote: not another ghetto city:
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at last …finally …some diversity:
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recycling and beyond
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an assemblage of difference:
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streets as shelters, bars as amphitheaters, landscapes as playgrounds:
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reduce, reuse, recycle:
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binary oppositions defining a field of operation – all we wanted was a park:
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the hotel as microcosm of the city:
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…very strange:
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the beautiful and the extraordinary:
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a dynamic yet stable vehicle:
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palimpsest:
BAU486A Docklands Park, Yangtze River, Jiangyin

innovation both inside and out:
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exquisite corpse
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landscape becomes urban design becomes architecture:
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repetition and difference:
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no longer drowning – waving:
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yet another point of view:
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ordinary not heroic, symbolic not monumental:
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woven threads:
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private precincts, public networks:
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creative networks:
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maximize commuication and cross fertilization:
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