Taiyuan Fen River Waterfront Landscape Design | Tiayuan China | AECOM


Fen River is the mother river of Taiyuan City. It runs from north to south through the city and fosters the history, culture and development of the region. The project site is located at the joining point of old town and new urban area with a total of 2.57km2 (50 Hec­tares) riverfront landscape area. The project connects existing community on the east with Changfeng Business District, a new civic and business center west of Fen River. Being built in the spring of 2013, Fen River Park is now a popular public space and a new landmark of Taiyuan City.



The landscape design for the east river bank focuses on communal spaces for local residents, including community garden, playground, water feature, etc. The east park aims to create new life experience and new celebration spaces, and to enhance social interaction and community.  On the west river bank, the designed geometries embrace the concept of “A Gateway to the Future”. Being adjacent to the Changfeng Cultural Island and five civic architectures, the design emphasizes on culture, sports, and natural environments.


Due to the profound history and culture, Taiyuan was reputed as “Loong City” in the history. Historical buildings in this region are splendid and simple in gray bricks and mild patterns. The project intends to create a riverfront landscape with local and historical characteristic, by translating traditional elements into landscape details, like pavements and urban furniture.


Traditional Design Elements
The name “Loong City” has long existed in Taiyuan’s history. Designers were inspired by old fairytales and historical patterns that used in Taiyuan region. Traditional design elements were consistently applied in many landscape design details (railings, lighting poles, bridges, benches, etc.), and traditional local materials(wood, grey brick, bronze, etc.) were widely used in the park, to unify design elements and to show respect to traditional Chinese culture in this new public space in Taiyuan’s new town.




Native Plant Material
A native, low-maintenance plant palette was created based on the plant materials of the site. Plants were chosen by their seasonal variation as well as their toughness and tolerance to the dry and cold climate in Northwestern China. Woody plants in the park provide shelter from cold wind and also provide a transition between structures and open fields. Diverse native plants occupy much of the site. Lawns vary in different scale provide outdoor recreational areas for both the residents and the visitors.



Rainwater Collection
Due to the dry climate in Northwestern China, water is always rare and valuable. A swale which is composed of native grasses and local stone runs through the eco-pool that treats and filters storm-water runoff before it feeds into the detention basin. Permeable paving material reduces storm water runoff and helps the soil to retain water naturally.



Designed Wetlands
To improve water quality and to soft the engineered river bank, the project creates some small floating islands and constructed wetlands. They could not only create some small habitats for birds and other animals, but also perform as “living” education facilities for people to carefully preserve the ecology of Fen River. Those plants floating in the river also provide a beautiful landscape for Taiyuan people.



Taiyuan Fen River Waterfront Landscape Design | Tiayuan China | AECOM

Location: Taiyuan, China

Design Firm: AECOM

Consultants: Taiyuan Architecture Design Institute

Credits for Images and Text: AECOM

About Damian Holmes 3083 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/