Jinshui River Project | Zhengzhou, China | FORREC

Water Theatre That Engages Culture, Refines Nature and Connects Community

The importance of the Jinshui River extends back to the city’s origins. Modern development has turned this important river and flood control system into a disposal site for industrial waste. The creation of a landmark urban park that creates a new cultural entertainment district for Zhengzhou and revitalizes the ecology of the river is needed.

The design focuses on a series of landscaped “rooms” created along the length of the river valley. These “scenes” are linked together and to the adjacent neighborhoods, by a sequence of pedestrian routes in the form of raised walkways, bridges, towers and constructed landforms. These formal connections play against the natural forms of the river valley.

The river is the main component and poetic center of the design. For the river to play its role, it’s necessary to integrate strategic remediation into the redesign of the valley to reverse its dilapidated state. A new supply of water has been calibrated to ensure enough flow to move sediment and maintain good water quality. The river flows slowly, functioning as a set of connected pools. A series of weirs and dams modulate the flow, providing aeration and initiating habitat restoration for wildlife.

While visitors will be attracted to specific destinations within the park, the entire site is envisioned to be experienced in the whole. Like a play, there is an intentional rhythm to the sequence of landscaped spaces connected by the river as the linking narrative. 

The design strategy provides a guest-focused, experiential journey through an ecologically engaging sequence of memorable spaces that heed the senses, rich in diversity, fun and educational opportunities.

This project supports the ambition for tourism at a city and regional level. It also provides for the needs of the immediate community by creating a fantastic place for play, walking, or participating in the many cultural events proposed for the park – enriching everyday lives in a safe environment in their own backyard.

Jinshui River Project

Concept Design | FORREC Ltd.

Image Credits | FORREC Ltd.

About Damian Holmes 3292 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/