"Cities are places where people live together, and urban construction must give top priority to making people live in peace and security, and leave the best resources to the people." This is the speech of the General Secretary at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the development and opening up of Pudong. Adhering to the concept of "people's city built by the people, people's city for the people", Pudong Peony Park has been renovated and upgraded after years of closure to return space to the city, green space to the people, and public supporting services to the society.
Peony Garden is located in Gaohang Town, Pudong, Shanghai, and the core business district of Senlan Waigaoqiao. It was originally built in Jiefang Village, the only national civilized village in Pudong New Area, covering an area of 78,000 square meters. The current situation of the garden is characterized by dilapidated buildings, invasive plants encroaching on the entire garden, serious water pollution and damaged roads. In order to avoid the way of big demolition and reconstruction, the main focus is to retain and utilize the park for upgrading, and to implement small-scale and progressive "acupuncture" micro-renovation, in order to promote the organic renewal and transformation of the Peony Garden in the midst of all kinds of wastes.
There are six characteristic local private residential buildings (about a hundred years old), including Jingyuntang, Zhoupu Old Mansion, Yu’s Mansion, Xi’s Mansion, Ma's Mansion and Chuansha Old Mansion, which have been relocated from different parts of Pudong, and serve as a base for the protection of Shanghai's modern architecture. Before remodeling, the Peony Garden served in all aspects of corporate meetings, displays, etc., and was not open to the public. The remodeling shall transform the private garden into a comprehensive public park.
The current Peony Garden is surrounded by water on three sides, separated from the neighboring communities by only one water, and the east side of the city road is separated by a wall, forming an isolated green space pattern, which is difficult to be reached by the neighboring residents and tourists. The buildings in the garden were originally privately owned by wealthy merchants, and as a private garden for the owner's use only, symbolizing the owner's identity and social status, the buildings and courtyards form a cohesive layout through the clear boundaries of the wall, water system, and trees.
In the process of renovation, the first thing to do is to open the fence along the north and south sides of Langu Road, link the original waterfront greenway, and utilize the public greenway to connect the original closed Peony Garden with the Sunland green space on the east side, Baolian temple on the north side, the office park on the south side, and the neighboring communities. The main entrance of the original foyer on the east side is renovated to form the main open boundary, and the Peony Garden with "one entrance and two channels" becomes an open and convenient community park.
Combining the current topographic height difference, architectural layout, water system, plants and garden paths, the overall landscape skeleton is organized to form an open space structure. The southern part of the park is a dynamic area, the central part is an ecological area with a green background, and the northern part is a leisure area with a quiet background. Under the overall layout of the integration of the three districts, the open layout of "three districts and nine attractions" is formed to meet the different activity needs of people in different seasons.
The original road linking the main courtyard of the single building is downgraded to a secondary garden road, and the point-like buildings are linearly strung to the main garden road. According to different types of activities, there are four levels of trails: a one-thousand-meter circular fitness trail, an ancient building experience trail with centuries-old buildings and waterfront pavilions, a water-friendly trail linking different water features such as the central lake, water streams, water corridors, lotus ponds and shallow ponds, and a walkway connecting the various activity nodes in the park.
The owners of the garden were originally Yu Chunhua, the transportation businessman on the Huangpu River, a merchant surnamed Qian of the commercial storage battery, and Xi Zhangqing, a salt merchant in the early period of the Republic of China, etc. The buildings and courtyards were only for the service of a specific minority, and the environment just satisfy the individual's will needs. As a leisure environment for the masses, the transformed Peony Garden needs to represent the will of the public and meet the daily needs of different people.
In the renovation design, through the plant clearing, forest phase transformation, building repair, water quality improvement, etc., it creates a variety of activity scenes such as open grassland, picturesque lotus pond, quiet bamboo forest, elegant corridor, gorgeous peony, leisurely waterfront, etc., and shapes different activity such as walking in the mountain forests, having fun in the grassland, watching the lake and playing, touring the ancient constructions, etc. The "four seasons of green, three seasons of change" landscape provides all-season activities. After opening, the Peony Garden combines the needs of different groups of customers such as residents, tourists, neighboring offices and internal staff.
How can the ancient buildings, pavilions, courtyards, horse-head walls, bricks and timbers, which are about a hundred years old, be integrated into the lifestyle of contemporary people? The modernization expression of classical gardens is one of the core issues in this Peony Garden renovation. "Being new with the ancient, respecting the ancient and preserving the true" is not only catering to the tradition, but also adding new contents on the basis of respecting the tradition. Based on the current situation of mountains, water and forests, the modern approach of using large lawn, large water surface, plant communities and other modern methods is used to create a multi-functional modern park that repairs the old and carries the new.
The existing central lake divides the park into two parts, with residential buildings on the south side and green landscape on the north side, corresponding to nature and humanity. The buildings are hidden in the woods, and the internal layout is different. The pavilions and platforms are built along the waterfront with winding corridors. In the process of renovation, through the reorganization of different topographic features such as vertical flat land, lake, slope, valley, hilltop, etc.,
with the existing ancient wood and ancient buildings as the content, the improved open plaza, large water surface, multi-functional grass, pavilion buildings and other public spaces as the carrier for public activities to meet the activities of the users of sports and fitness, outdoor camping, social gatherings, recreation and enjoyment, group meetings and cultural exchanges. It realizes the transformation of seeing and being seen into a participatory and interactive space.
The current building is in a state of disrepair, with doors and windows eroded, which is basically unused. Renewing the old buildings including restoration of the pavilions and other structures, repair of the old building surfaces and sitting facilities. In addition, replacing functions through the operation and management of the Huatang Building as a park service station (Coffee Museum), the Jingyuntang as a cultural exhibition hall, the Zhoupu Old House as a catering service (one-foot garden), the Chuansha Old House as a painting and calligraphy center, and the rest of the buildings are restored and used as a flexible use. After the renovation, the old buildings can provide comprehensive services such as district-wide basic services, conference services, performances, exhibitions, light meals and tea breaks.
The Peony Garden used to have 9 color families, 160 rare species and tens of thousands of pots of peonies, which once became the largest peony garden in Jiangnan. However, there are only a few peonies in the garden. The current situation is occupied by the invasive species such as golden-rod and vines, etc., and the road pavement is covered by weeds, which not only affects the aesthetics, but also make roads impassable. Due to the lack of maintenance and pruning for many years, the plants in the shrub zone grow in a messy way, blocking the activity spaces. In addition, the plants are overly confined, which results in space confinement and visual occlusion, then park's "gray space" appeared. Meanwhile, the plants near the water encroach on the river, which waste water quality.
The original water texture is preserved, renovating and dredging the north and south water outlets in the garden to connect with the water system outside the garden, which form a living water system. Purify the water through dredging, repairing green islands, adding aquatic plants, and installing additional waterfalls. Add rain gardens, wet ponds, undercrofts, streams, etc. to form water ecology. Clean up infringing plants and replant community plants to enrich the forest phase. It will interweave blue and green with the surrounding water system and green areas to penetrate into the city, transforming the specialized garden featuring peonies into a comprehensive ecological garden with city-green intermixing and ancient architecture clustering.
"A true national color that moves the capital when in bloom", peony carries the poetic life and noble spiritual trust of the garden owner, which is the self-writing of the literati. The peony garden renovation builds three-dimensional space through landscape, expresses four-dimensional time through seasonal changes of plants, and conveys five-dimensional emotion through the natural spirit of humanism.
Under the general concept of "people's city built by the people, people's city for the people", the Peony Garden has been renovated and upgraded in an "acupuncture style", breaking the private gardens of seeing and being seen to satisfy personal interests, forming an open urban forest, and providing a good place for sports, leisure, gathering and rest for the residents of the surrounding high-density communities, which becomes an open stage for citizens' daily activities. The pavilions and corridors after the renewal carry comprehensive functions such as communion site of calligraphy and painting, exhibition halls, opera performances and service station, and become a cultural sharing platform for the public to enjoy. The Peony Garden after the reshaping of the landscape pattern creates a multi-seasonal node with "scenic views in four seasons and changes in three seasons", which creates a multifunctional way of all-season activities, also has a natural ecological environment for touring and enjoying, which greatly increases the people's satisfaction and happiness in the city.