设计单位 华南理工大学建筑设计研究院有限公司 何镜堂院士团队 景观与规划工作室
The architecture and landscape of the Guangzhou Baiyun International Conference Center, which led by academician Jingtang He and designed by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT Co., Ltd (SCAD), has been recently officially debuted and is now in operation. The landscape design was undertaken by the Landscape and Planning Studio of SCAD. The entire process, from conceptualization to completion, spanned over a period of three years. The design proposal underwent several rounds of evaluation by a panel of experts. Taking into account various expert opinions, the optimal theme and design were meticulously chosen from an array of proposals. The final design seamlessly blends architectural space requirements, embodies the essence of the new Lingnan culture, and showcases the distinct features of Southern Guangdong.
The project is located at the western foothills of Baiyun Mountain. The site borders Guangzhou Baiyun International Conference Center Phase I to the south, the Dajinzhong Reservoir to the east, and Yuncheng East Road to the west. The site spans approximately 385 meters from east to west and 510 meters from north to south, totaling 170,000 square meters for the whole area. The landscape design aims to create an international-level conference venue and show the Guangdong story to visitors.
The landscape design of the site highlights the distinctive cultural features of the Lingnan region through a carefully curated relationship between the building and its surroundings, the form and characteristics of the architecture, and the utilization of internal space. The ties between the site and the buildings are meticulously crafted based on the fundamental principles of "integrating the architecture into the mountain terrain, optimizing the waterscape system, bringing in greenery, and creating visual corridors", resulting in a remarkable social venue that is gracefully enriched by the nearby mountains and rivers.
Integrating the mountain terrain: the design of the site is thoughtfully interconnected with the adjacent Baiyun Mountain, establishing a seamless link between the urban and mountain landscapes. Optimizing the waterway system: the landscape water system resembles the watercourse of the Dajinzhong Reservoir, forming a picturesque environment that highlights the natural beauty of Baiyun Mountain and the Pearl River. Incorporating greenery: the convention center boasts a wide array of lush vegetation that effortlessly complements the verdant Baiyun Mountain. Creating visual corridors: scenic corridors are formed by integrating the beauty of Baiyun Mountain.
The design, inspired by "National Essence and Cantonese Charm," seamlessly combines external surroundings, inner courtyard, and viewing terrace to create a multi-dimensional landscape, evoking a sense of "welcoming," "unity," and "openness."
The first scene, named “National Custom Greeting”, welcomes guests with a grandeur environment. While meeting the varied circulation requirements of conferences and serving attendants such as honored guests, logistics personnel, media, security, etc., the design of the exterior landscape also serves to accentuate the magnificence of the building.
The second scene showcases scenic beauty infused with Cantonese charm. By utilizing the space of three main interior gardens, we have shaped new Lingnan-style courtyards that fuse the past and present with an elegant and exquisite design.
The third scene reveals the awe-inspiring nature of Baiyun Mountain. The landscape design of the second, third and fifth floors has been consciously crafted with a minimalist approach, using landscaping method such as "interface blending" and "elevated viewing angles" to guide visitors' sight toward the breathtaking mountain scenery. This creates an immersive viewing platform where visitors can indulge in the beauty of the greenery and get a panoramic view of the magnificent landscape.
With architecture as the centerpiece, five external landscape nodes have been strategically placed throughout the southern plaza, southern garden, eastern plaza, western plaza, and northern plaza. These nodes, which are named "National Custom Greeting", "The Beauty of Curves", "Misty Mountains and Cascading Clouds", "the Grace of Kapok Blossoms", and "The Fusion of Mountains and Forests", respectively, add a touch of beauty to the site and enhance its overall appeal.
The ceremonial plaza was designed to accommodate a range of activities, including red-carpet parades, outdoor photography, and flag-raising ceremonies. Based on the maximum angle of view of a wide-angle lens which is between 94° and 114°, the scale and proportions of the Southern Main Entrance Plaza are designed to frame the whole architecture. The plaza features a total of 45 flagpoles, with five flagpoles arranged in a single row at the center, each standing 20.20 meters high, symbolizing the time of the project's launch. Additionally, to enhance the sense of ceremony during the main guest convoy's entrance, the landscaping design incorporates various techniques such as strategically placing stones at the Qifu intersection, arranging Silver Date Palms in arrays, and using magnolia-shaped lamps as decorative elements.
To soften the imposing presence of the main building, a shallow reflective pool is placed outside the boundaries of the structure, creating a gentle transition between the architectural and natural elements. The illuminated water surface mirrors the building, producing a grand, refined, and pure atmosphere.
Drawing on the refined meaning of the ancient literati's "enjoying liquor by the winding stream", meandering waterways have been integrated into the site, combining with dry creek and rain gardens which echo the water system of the Jinzhong Reservoir to create a courtyard for the convention center. Furthermore, the astute use of elevated platforms preserves the subsequent resources of ancient trees facing the plaza, achieving a balance between the natural environment and the site. A welcoming atmosphere is created, and the unique characteristics of the exterior landscape are showcased by native plants.
The VIP entrance is located on the eastern side and is designed to offer a progressive experience through three layers of scenic views that gradually unfold from the interior. The first scenic view presents the picturesque "South Guangdong Danxia landform" courtyard and landscape. The second scenic view features a waterscape with the welcoming pine as the focal point. The third view showcases a richly layered landscape design that gradually shifts from dense to sparse vegetation, culminating in a stunning backdrop of Baiyun Mountain.
Kapok is widely recognized as the "Heroic Tree of the South" as well as Guangzhou's most iconic flower. By planting clusters of Kapok trees at the western plaza, the west entrance plaza aims to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that showcases the unique landscape of the China’s southern region.
Through the creation of mountainous forests, the topography of Baiyun Mountain is extended to form a Fengshui pattern where the entire site is backed by mountains and faces water. This design also serves as a visual background for the northern plaza.
Based on the core concept of "Scenic Beauty Infused with Cantonese Charm", three inner courtyards have been created, each with a different theme and tailored to meet the needs of functional and visual barriers. The design is exquisite and elegant, displaying the essence of the Cantonese culture. These courtyards with their distinct features are linked by the storyline of "Nation-Hometown-World", facilitating the clear identification of various conference areas on the ground floor.
Design concept: Features of the Danxia Landform and Verdant Greenery in South Guangdong
Inspired by the Danxia Mountain landform, which is the only World Natural Heritage in Canton. A unique courtyard is designed to showcase Chinese natural beauty while highlighting the distinctive characteristics of the Canton region, where verdant greenery complements the red sandstone formations. By parametric design and modeling，the landscape simulates the steep, flat-topped, and gentle-sloping foothills of the Danxia Mountain landform to create a landscape scene that features a striking color palette reminiscent of the rich hues of Danxia Mountains.
The courtyard features five artificial hill peaks, symbolizing the south of the Five Ridges where the Lingnan culture originated. The highest peak stands at 7.5 meters, and the second highest at approximately 4.5 meters. To convey the essence of the Danxia landform, the design team, client, and construction team conducted extensive on-site inspections, material comparisons, and selection processes. Eventually, the teams chose the sturdy Ningde red sandstone as the primary material. A series of techniques were used, such as hand drawings, parametric-modeling design, 1:50 scale mud models, 1:20 foam models, and 1:1 partial physical models, to reproduce the mountain's texture and details and to recreate the charm of the Lingnan Danxia landform.
The design uses Ningde red sandstone as the primary material, with individual slabs of rock weighing in at approximately 1.2 tons and twice secured with steel components. We split the slabs into over 375 irregularly-shaped segments which comprised planting slots and water-falling outlets, and assigned each a grid positioning and size to facilitate the manufacturer’s cutting, processing, and installation of the rocks. The design of the courtyard at the eastern entrance adopts advanced technology and artistic expressions to unify modern construction with the surrounding natural environment.
Design concept: Discovering the Beauty of the Cultural Landscape of Guangdong
The design of the courtyard took inspiration from the Fenglai peak at the Qinghui Garden, one of the four renowned gardens of Lingnan. It presents the core elements of traditional Lingnan gardens to visitors. In the courtyard, we incorporated scenic paths such as steppingstones through water, flat bridges, and rockery path, which add depth and richness to visitors’ experience. Despite its small size, the courtyard stretches extensively and encapsulates mountain and Lingnan's unique characteristics, evoking a strong sense of nostalgia for one's hometown.
From the hand drawings to the digital 3D models, from the 1:50 scale mud models to the final on-site measurements, the design team made multiple trips to Yingde natural stone to discuss technical aspects with the client, construction team, and craftsmen. The courtyard features a rockery made of Yingde stone which serves as obstructive scenery to avoid direct line of sight between the conference rooms and VIP lounges. Atop the rockery is the “Wuwo Pavilion”, which is designed in the common hexagonal style of Lingnan gardens, with a graceful and delicate curved roof and high-arched corners. Unlike the heavy and luxurious pavilions in northern China, the Wuwo Pavilion is more lightweight, abounding in poetic grace and refined allure. In addition, the courtyard also includes elements such as stone bridges, steppingstones through waterscape, a waterfront terrace, and traditional Lingnan garden plants, which add to the flavor of the traditional garden. The zigzagging and meandering space in the courtyard offers a playful and immersive experience for visitors.
The artificial hills are located right above the roof which can only withstand an extremely light load limit of 500 tons. To address this challenge, the design team opted for a slab and beam structure with external dry-hanging Yingde natural stones to construct the hills. Parameterization modeling and calculation was first used to exclude the hollow parts of the hills and accurately determine the overall volume of Yingde stones. The roof beneath the hills was then divided into 5 parts, with structural reinforcement based on the load condition of each part, thus achieving a balance between the landscape effect and the load.
Design concept: Abstracting the Hisgtorical Map of the Maritime Silk Road to narrate Canton Trading Story
The western courtyard landscape serves as the reception area for foreign guests with the theme of "The Ancient Maritime Silk Road and the Community of Shared Destiny for All Continents". The courtyard's layout incorporates an abstract representation of the ancient Silk Road map. Employing a modern and minimalist design approach, the courtyard features well-spaced and lively trees along with dynamic lighting, creating an engaging layout.
The stone material used in the western courtyard is grey granite, with more than 300 pieces of stone custom-processed using precise CNC (Computer Numerical Control) cutting technology to outline the contour of the ancient Silk Road map. The turf slopes are complemented by shade-tolerant plants such as Osmanthus, Podocarpus, and Wintergreen based on lighting analysis of the courtyard.
Incorporating landscape views both internal and external space of the architecture, the minimalist design of the multi-level observation platform roof garden creates an integrated and grand atmosphere that extends from the interior to the exterior. With limited soil coverage, the second level roof garden features simple paving and micro-terrain landscaping that leads visitors along a winding path with constantly changing scenery through the use of small trees and shrubs. The third and fifth level platforms offer views of lush greenery, presenting a panoramic view of Baiyun Mountain and Dajinzhong Reservoir and a visual effect whereby Baiyun Mountain appears to have half emerged with the site.
The design team collaborated across multiple professions to achieve an integrated architectural and landscape design, creating a high-quality and high-standard landscape for the New Lingnan Convention Center. The project also sought to seamlessly blend contemporary design techniques with Lingnan garden culture, providing valuable insights for similar future landscape projects and inspiring further design in the new Lingnan landscape.
景观设计团队：华南理工大学建筑设计研究院有限公司 何镜堂院士团队 景观与规划工作室
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