Situated on the west bank of Xiang River in the city of Changsha, this ambitious 2.45 km waterfront park creates a vibrant public domain which combines recreation, commerce, cultural and ecological restoration. The project stems from Changsha’s 3000-year relationship with the river. Recently, rapid urbanization has resulted in a diminishing relationship between the city’s residents and the river, the project restores this connection by injecting multiple recreational, commercial and cultural programs along its bank. The waterfront domain effectively draws the adjacent districts to the river. The designer’s envisioned the landscape as a filter to the new downtown financial and commercial area, providing a contemporary promenade along the riverside. The design proposed creative solutions for waterfront activation and celebrates the local culture through a variety of people-orientated spaces.
Bounded between Tanshan Road and Yinpenling Bridge, the 14-hectare linear site enjoys expansive vistas of the old city and includes a wetland river walk, central civic space, fishing boat docks and an elevated promenade walk. These additions enable new public recreation, art, events and resting spaces. Iconic elements such as sculptures, water play and an urban beach provide experiences that are unique in Changsha and have consequently become popular with local residents and visitors. Additionally, the cruise terminal and promenade seamlessly integrate with waterfront restaurants to generate a memorable experience for tourists dining and resting throughout the day.
Looking from a historical perspective, the site is where Yuxiang Cotton Mill and Changsha Shipyard were once located. Since the 1950s, both factories were essential to Changsha’s industrialization. Materiality was important to the team and weathered steel panels, salvaged timbers and wharf-inspired furnishings were chosen in reference to the original shipyard. The design team also drew inspiration from local crafts. By looking at local Hunan “Xiangxiu” technique (Hunan Style Embroidery) they created a series of sculptures with these interwoven patterns in the public plazas.
The new public domain has become a successful community catalyst to reconnect Changsha with Xiang River. Changsha Riverside Park is a landmark public domain project exemplifying the city’s aspirations to become world-class metropolis.
Photo credit GVL (Gossamer)