landscape, urbanity, networks, the suitcase, and the paper-bag:
BAU592 Qingpu Zhaoxiang Sports Park, Supermarket + Hotel

Qingpu District, Shanghai

BAU592_Image 32
BAU592_Image 31


Landscape Archtiecture


Public park, hotel + retail landscape.


Qingpu District, Shanghai




Completed in 2019


People's Government of Zhao Xiang Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai


Circular fitness greenway, sports equipment field, turfed football field, basketball field, tennis field, BMX field, climbing wall, forest yoga field, children's playground, supporting service building and indoor playground

Landscape and urbanity
Public open space is highly contested within the contemporary metropolis. In Australia, parks are frequently dominated by sports programs at the expense of eco-systems, and social/hospitality programs. In China parks are usually dominated by passive picturesque green landscapes, without provision for more active programs. When parks do include multiple programs, these programs are usually isolated, with users of specific programs relegated to restricted areas without a sense of the full scope of experiences the park has to offer.
This project engages with a series of propositions that question this status quo. What if the large-scale buildings proposed for the site were considered landscape? What if each of the park programs (sports, ecology, hospitality) were spread throughout the park so that each could maintain intensity and continuity, but in such a way that they could reach all areas of the site? Could three distinct user groups enjoy the entire park without compromise? Could people (and native fauna) wanting to engage with nature meander the entire site without distraction of sports, cafes, and noisy playgrounds? Could a highly social person stroll continuously along the busiest places, avoiding quiet areas? Could sports fans exercise their way around the whole site, passing each and every energetic opportunity?

Learning from our own networks approach to urban design, zones for sports, ecology, and hospitality programs have been distributed across the site in three clearly articulated networks. Each network extends to all edges of the site. Each part of each net adapts in width to accommodate its many and varying programs. Each overlaps the other at various locations. And finally, each of the networks are centred on a path or promenade to provide movement through or along the net.

What starts as a networked zoning strategy becomes three distinctly different and continuous formal and spatial landscape experiences: an Ecological landscape, a Hospitality landscape, and a Sports landscape:
• The Eco-net contains a variety of passive programs and facilities, all focused on providing a functioning and continuous ecological environment. It embraces and extends the existing canals and it adds a multi-storied indigenous vegetation to attract insects and native birds. Views out to the surrounding city are limited, the focus being within this network of ambiguous size. A carefully arranged path provides pedestrian access that leaves the opportunity for local fauna to use the net as means of migrating to other larger open spaces.
• The Hospitality-net contains programs that range in scale from the supermarket, to restaurants, tea houses, community clubs, kiosks, bandstands, playgrounds and picnic areas.
• The Sports-net contains among other things a running track with frequent circuit training stations, an indoor sports center with swimming pools, a half football ground, tennis and basketball courts; junior rollerblading track, and a hill of climbing slopes.

At the intersections of these nets, the coexistence of the two intersecting landscapes and programs is explored. One such intersection, where sports and hospitality overlap, results in a hybrid use, a sports clubhouse. Another, where sports and eco overlap, generates yoga platforms immersed in the trees.

The suitcase and the paper-bag
The large scale architecture projects, the hotel and the market, sit within the hospitality landscape, and test and extend two old and quite humorous architectural strategies – the suitcase (a highly ordered, rectangular building refusing to give individual form to the differences in the program) and the string-bag or paper bag (a highly informal arrangement of elements refusing to cease giving individual form to its contents).

The hotel is a highly program-driven architectural brief. The repetition of the hotel rooms and their need for light and ventilation generates a series of long stretched out habitable beams that sit on a podium that contains the reception, and other communal functions and spaces. The sports club program also inhabits this podium. The form is a regular, rigid, and ordered suitcase, but with a large space cut out of it to provide light and fresh air – a filleted suitcase.

Ideally, supermarkets are big, blind, pragmatic boxes with services attached wherever they are needed. Rather than trying to squeeze some formal expression from this large-scale pragmatic box and its attachments, or resort to decorating the box and attachments with advertising, or perhaps breaking down the big-box with what might be considered acceptable human scale elements, BAU wrapped the entire pragmatic lump with a steel mesh screen that disguises the pragmatics with a metaphor, a folded, responsive, slightly expressive, slightly deceptive package – (not a string-bag but) a paper-bag.

Smaller pavilion buildings sit within each of the networks and respond to the forms, spaces, and programs of each of the nets. For example pavilions within the sports-net are rectangular and are oriented north south. Pavilions in the Hospitality-net are circular or have circles removed from their rectilinear forms. While there are no pavilions in the Ecological-net, seating and paving explore organic forms.

Other ideas of order
This park is driven by contemporary understandings of the actions of dynamic systems and the complexity sciences. It is not culture presenting itself as nature (at least not as the singular idea for the park). It is not a picturesque landscape compromised by the pragmatics of program. Nor is it a series of structured outdoor garden-rooms, manipulated to accommodate the sport and service facilities required. By weaving together the co-existence of three integrated but clearly articulated formal and spatial experiences, this park moves beyond the binary oppositions of the dialectic, or the ordering principles of axis, symmetry, or hierarchy. It explores the dialectic as a field of operation, and engages with other ideas of order, the chaotic, the irreducible, and the emergent – contemporary tools to reconcile the conflicting demands on public open space within the contemporary metropolis.





Private Landscapes






Public Landscapes


Structures & Pavillions









Urban Design







Mixed Use









































BAU641 Chonggu Experimental School,Years-1-9

an excessive minimalism:
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more Piazza Navona than Levittown
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clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
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landscape, urbanity, networks, the suitcase, and the paper-bag:
BAU592 Qingpu Zhaoxiang Sports Park, Supermarket + Hotel

more than a frozen moment:
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look! up in the sky!
BAU210 Shanghai Hongxuan Office Building

Made in China, no question – Invented in China, of course:
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a hybrid infrastructure:
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large plains, small grains, and the in-between:
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on reflection:
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Place, typologies, programs, and public life:

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:
BAU544 Shanghai University Campus

clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
BAU119 Jinqiao Sports & Leisure Centre

Journeys AND destination, not just destinations:
BAU569 Nanjing Youfu West Street Primary School

continuous loops and internal courts:
BAU603 Suzhou kindergarten no. 3

weaving and stitching:
BAU616 Jiangyin Greenway Loop (stage 1. Eastern Segment)

a constructed and cultured topography:
BAU269 Jindi Green Land Club

it takes a village to educate a child:
BAU602 Suzhou Sci-tech City Xizhu Kindergarten

city typologies, cultural traditions, contemporary theories, and spaceships:
BAU600 Shanghai Qingpu Newtown 30-class Primary School

artificial plateau:building more site:
BAU599 Shanghai Qingpu Newtown 24-Class Junior High school

it is the least we could do: minimalism in an environment of expressionism
BAU584 Hangzhou Tonglu Office Building

more Piazza Navona than Levittown
BAU618 Tianyou Experimental Primary School and Kindergarten, Suzhou

classrooms AND the in-between: teaching and learning beyond the classroom
BAU610 Taizhou School

other institutions for this new century:
BAU604 Qingpu District People’s Court

building the unfinished:
BAU003M The Victorian Pride Centre

minimal AND maximal:
BAU583 Exhibition Pavilion Gaochun, Nanjing

small in scale large in monumentality:
BAU027 Wyndham Mausoleum

multiple rooms of difference:
BAU253 Shanghai Qingpu Renheng Yunjie Entrance Garden

active cultural edges, passive natural centres:
BAU402 Shanghai Qingpu Qin Yuan Lake Park

intimate, cool, sheltered and lively:
BAU268 Xinqiao Commercial Street + Shop Housing

formal teaching and informal learning:
BAU540 Gaochun New District Kindergaten to Year Nine School

an exercise in robustness:
BAU333 Jiangyin Huifu Office Tower

effortless complexity: learning from water-town:
BAU222-2 Shanghai Qingpu Zhujiajiao Commercial

no longer but not only:
BAU213-3 Jindi Yunhu Market

actualizing the virtual:
BAU 213-2 Jindi Yunhu Sports and Activity Center

geometry, history, art, craft, iconography, and pragmatics: an exploration of intention, coding, narrative, and meaning
BAU021 Olinda Green + Public WC

there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in:
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BAU009 house in the sky

surreal adjacencies:
BAU019 Marymount Residence, Guest Accommodation, Stable + Office

mini-city of culture:
BAU590 Nanjing Pukou Haiqiao Community Service Center

keeping a low profile:
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positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
BAU213-1 Jindi Yunhu Housing

dis-integrated guest houses :
BAU495 Pine Pillow Retreat

don’t look at me, don’t look at me:
BAU436 Nanjing Jiangning Demonstration Kindergarten

new buildings, old topography:
BAU424 Suzhou Qingshan Hotel Phase 2

defining the perimeter, programming the centre, inhabiting them both:
BAU238 Town Plaza, Xinqiao, Jiangyin

turning outside-in:
BAU199-2 Wuxi Fudi Forte Parktown Sales Pavilion

beyond PODS, networks, and nodes:
BAU552 Chengbei Urban Design project, Nanjing

podium and bill(ding)board:
BAU547 Nanjing Yaxi Town Central Hospital

inner sanctuary, outer crust:
BAU546 Nanjing Gaochun Qiqiao Hospital

an excessive minimalism:
BAU478-A U-Park Incubator, Shang Qing Huai, Nanjing

a plane of reference:
BAU474 Nanjing Zijin Gaochun Science and Technology City

rips in the fabric by place:
BAU461 Nanjing Tangshan Tourist Resort South District

other ideas of hospital:
BAU446 Fuding Hospital

architecture AND terrain:
BAU445 Suzhou Hi-tech District Cultural Center

crust: in-between and on the edge
BAU426 Shaoxing Jianhu Keyan Tourist Resort Planning

eco urbanism:
BAU425 Chongqing Eco Valley City

BAU348 Kunshan Hyper Complex

beyond the picturesque:
BAU347 Kunshan White Pagoda Park

don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
BAU310 Hangzhou Changbanxiang Housing

building a community not just housing:
BAU302 Shanghai Ludi Baoshan

upside down program – ‘private’ circulation becoming ‘public’ circulation:
BAU254 Shanghai Wai Gao Qiao Culture Centre

extra-large private space as public space:
BAU199 Parktown, Housing, Fudi Forte, Wuxi

BAU197 Jindi Sanlin Pavilion

BAU191 Wuhan Cuiwei Housing

urban camouflage:
BAU227 Hangzhou Sports Centre

the resort at the end of the yellow dirt road:
BAU543 Emerald Village at Soul Bay

critical regionalism and abstraction:
BAU487 Nanjing Yaxi Citta-Slow

hospital for the ill, health care for the healthy, aged care for the elderly: BAU469 Zhaoxiang Hospital

tear open the package: BAU247 Qingpu NGS Supermarket

urban sponge:
BAU324 Cixi Commercial and Culture Center

lyrical islands in pragmatic seas:
BAU530-1 Nanjing Gaochun Transport Interchange – Stage One

fractured enormity:
BAU281 Chongqing Huarun

ring roads AND peripheral parks:
BAU243 Shanghai Ring Park

simple box OR 3 points in space – you choose:
BAU204-2 Ningbo Wanda Office

many utopias:
BAU129 Xinhu Pearl City Housing Development

a close family:
BAU125 Zhejiang Power Company HQ

stretching, squeezing, bending, trimming:
BAU550 Huanglong Xigu Urban Design

BOTH networks AND objects:
BAU497 Wyndham Cove Eco Sub-urb

ethics, democracy, difference:
BAU470 Towards a Socially Sustainable Canberra

warp and woof:
BAU460 Jingzhou Museum

sustainable technologies for clean living:
BAU396 Nanjing Residential

network of learning:
BAU341 Yushanwan School

not in galleries, but a way of seeing:
BAU338 Jingqiao Ramp Restaurant

shopping sandwich:
BAU321 Jiangyin Wuxing Commercial Centre

celebrating the collective, the intimate, the sustainable, and the local:
BAU312 Suzhou School

21st century Ponte Vecchio:
BAU287 Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bridge

antidote: not another ghetto city:
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at last …finally …some diversity:
BAU282 Jindi Sanlin Office

recycling and beyond
BAU264 Shanghai Jiashan Market

an assemblage of difference:
BAU256 Shanghai Hongqiao Performing Arts Center

streets as shelters, bars as amphitheaters, landscapes as playgrounds:
BAU235 Jinqiao Community Bars

reduce, reuse, recycle:
BAU220 Shanghai Sculpture Space

binary oppositions defining a field of operation – all we wanted was a park:
BAU122 Xiamen International Exhibition Centre

the hotel as microcosm of the city:
BAU018 Marque Hotel

…very strange:
BAU016 Penny Lane

the beautiful and the extraordinary:
BAU013 Hopetoun Bush Resort

a dynamic yet stable vehicle:
BAU510 Suzhou Tram Co. Headquarters

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innovation both inside and out:
BAU433 Zhangjing Nobel Lake Park & Network

exquisite corpse
BAU416 Genetic City Caofeidian

landscape becomes urban design becomes architecture:
BAU390 Duolan Dong Dong Mixed Use Complex

BAU386 Symbiotic City

repetition and difference:
BAU384 Kunshan Pavilions

no longer drowning – waving:
BAU339-2&3 Suzhou Creek Promenade

yet another point of view:
BAU339-1 Suzhou Creek Serpentine Park

ordinary not heroic, symbolic not monumental:
BAU318 Hangzhou Xiaoshan Government Headquarters

woven threads:
BAU234 Jiangyin Arbour Park

private precincts, public networks:
BAU226 Pudong Yangjing

creative networks:
BAU224 Chengdu Fenghuangshan

maximize commuication and cross fertilization:
BAU208 Linping New City Centre