As a remarkable Chinese state-level New Area, Xiongan development calls for "world vision, international standards, Chinese characteristics and high goals" in planning and construction that has inspired imaginations for its future. Xiongan is located in the hinterland of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle, and meets the environmental problems of water shortage and pollution in North China. Placing consideration of the social trend of population evacuation within Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and development of small and medium-sized cities and towns in China, Vanke and UP+S collaborated and launched the new ecology landscape model - Rainwater Neighborhood in their project. The design and construction was completed in three months from December 2017 to March 2018.
Low Impact Development (LID) strategy is applied as the basic principal in running of the whole project of Rainwater Neighborhood. The design aims to respect of nature, reduce capital inputs and maintenance budgets, as well as placing eyes on humanized natural experience and interactive participation. It makes goals of integrating culture and local characteristics in the design. This model combines landscape with stormwater management as a whole and is potential to be a new type of landscape for the future.
The target of this practice is to explore how to develop of Sponge City in the real world by following concept of sustainable development in landscape design. The Rainwater Neighborhood is well designed to meet functional requirements while creating attractive neighborhood landscape. Taking EPC as a reference, the project design and construction are tightly combined together which is beneficial for keeping consistency, as well as reducing project design-construction cycle and budget cost. Culture experience and technical innovation are well fitted in the environment, which makes the landscape be friendly for people to be involved and participated. In the sense of it, the landscape practice makes life better.
With a perspective of smart and ecological city of Xiongan New Area, Rainwater Neighborhood is a landscape model which is suitable for types of communities, parks and neighborhoods of ten thousand to one hundred thousand square meters in size, to meet sites ecological and cultural requirements.
Rainwater Neighborhood functions as a water treatment facility while keeping to be attractive for people to enjoy, thus it is to serve as an outstanding part in an urban ecological organism in a city. However, the landscape design strategy in Sponge City development corresponds to a complex larger-scale of urban district and watershed that is hundreds of thousands or millions of square meters and above, which obviously calls for close collaboration in multi professions to concentrate and solve compound problems. In order to coordinate with the bigger concept of Sponge City strategy, Rainwater Neighborhood included the following five core elements:
1 Rain Garden: As a practice in Sponge City development, the design of Rain Garden is highly applied with LID strategy throughout the whole site. It contains three water systems, which are visual rainwater pathway in the site, waterway that simulating of water-supply system, and the interesting circular waterscapes.
2 Exhibition Area of Vanke Research Achievements: This area is equipped with self-developed green houses. Fabricated buildings and other featured products are arranged to settle on one side of the neighborhood to minimize impact to surroundings and be smoothly connected with the local natural environment.
3 Garden for Exchanging: The garden includes elements such as sunken plaza with the function of rainwater retention and discharging and permeable FRP platform. The integration of landscape design and local culture context increases the participation and interaction of people to enjoy their arrival in the Garden.
4 Balcony for Flower Border Experiment: Flower species and shrubs are planted in elevated terrace. This treatment not only provides seating area in streamlined space and gives communication privacy in the enclosed area by plants. In the meanwhile, it also reaches the requirements in the depth of soil that is necessary for plant establishment and growth. People who love of flowers are facilitated to take photos, smell flowers and to feel the beauty of flowers in this place.
5 Color Terrace Garden: The application of colorful organic mulch has effectively controlled dust flying from the bare soil, reducing water consumption and thus cut down the total maintenance cost.
The design, construction and completion of Rainwater Neighborhood have successfully created a new model, bringing new concept and new experience for the future development of city. It provides ecological landscape space as well as convenient and green lifestyle for people. It has become the first significant completed project in the Sponge City development of Vanke. The traditional solo commercial value of the landscape is expanded to a multidimensional vision. The green technology related with the demands of Sponge City development is applied effectively in this project, which also meets requirements of LID strategy, which makes it to be an important reference for the future project development in Xiongan New Area. In the future, this model is targeting to be promoted in other cities as well.
Name of Project: Vanke Rainwater Neighborhood - Replicable Landscape Organism in Sponge City Practice
Location: County of Xiong, Xiongan New Area
Time of Design: December, 2017
Completion Time: March, 2018
Client: Vanke Green Research and Development Center Xiongan
Design Company: UP+S
Construction Company: Haomen Gardening Co. Ltd
Chief Designer: Yubo ZOU
Principal Designer: Lisha LIU
Design Team: Kai WANG, Lin XIAO, Binjie TAN, Xiaohui YANG, Lingmin GAO, Cunlin SUN, Chaokai WANG
LID Consultant: Yizi LUO, Hong WU
Photographer: Wenzhong GAO