New BaJiao Amusement Park is located in Shijingshan District, Beijing, China, which is an important landscape node along Beijing Winter Olympics Landscape Avenue. Facing the special location, the restrictions of high-voltage towers, and the needs of residents, the design aims to bring the Winter Olympics spirit and sports into the community while optimizing the urban space and improving residents’ quality of life.
The site was the existing local morning market crowded with vendors. With illegal structures exposed to two 220kv pylons, the market’s potential safety hazards were the locals’ great concerns. In 2017, this area launched a project to renovate fire evacuation facilities and improve the local urban environment. The existing market was demolished due to traffic congestion and poor hygiene, leading the site to be a 38,000 square meters wasteland. Meanwhile, the lack of public open space became a key issue for neighboring residents.
After site investigations and resident questionnaire surveys, the design team finally established an “urban stitching” approach. By stitching “urban islands” isolated by infrastructures like roads and high-voltage corridors together, the design is expected to reactivate the site and make it a new all-aged playground for Winter Olympics.
Referencing the existing site situation with comfort test, the design divides the site into two areas, north and south, according to their suitability for activities. For the high-voltage wire area, the ecological system is built with low-maintenance wildflowers, creating a city oasis with natural and rustic charm. While the safe zone away from the pylons serves as the main event space planted with large-scale trees. An iconic structure is the heart of the entire site. The structure, in the shape of a “snow mountain” and “snowflake” inspired by the elements of the Winter Olympics, sets up safe climbing, slides, lying nets, swings, wind-powered facilities and other game space. According to the concept of “design for children”, a joyful playground is created to liberate kids’ natural instincts, to increase their courage. At the same time, a viewing platform is designed using the “snow mountain” image of the structure, and technological elements such as fog spray and projection lighting are used to create a dream scene in the world of ice and snow, creating a creative block space.
As the winning entry of the 2018 Beijing Public Space Urban Design Competition, New Bajiao Amusement Park is the first landed project among ten public space plots in Beijing. During its trial opening in May 2021, it attracted an average of about 2,000 visitors daily, with a maximum daily reception of over 8,000, ranking among the list of hitting places on major media platforms. A good urban public space does not exist just for the sake of existence but people wish it to exist, people are willing to come here and stay here, and the activities that happen here together make the space meaningful. Everyone manages the city and shares the regeneration.
Bajiao Amusement Park | Beijing, China | L&A Design
Landscape Architecture: L&A Design
Director of Landscape Architecture: Baozhang Li, Guangyi Xiu
Project manager: Wen Zhao, Xi Zhang
Landscape Architect: Zhen Zhao, Tongyu Jia, Xuan Du, Wenting Wen, Kunyuan Ji, Li Zhang, Hao Zhu, Xiaolu Song, Junyu Pang, Lijuan Song, Zheng Yang, Yingying Tan, Siyu Li, Zongwen Huang
Planting Designer: Yanli Cao, Xin Xiao
Equipment Designer: Yanqing Zhang, Changwang Zhao, Zhenlong Lv
Photographer: Tuanwei Lu, Guangyi Xiu
Clint: Bajiao Sub-District Office of Shijingshan District of Beijing Municipality