Chengdu is a fast-developing city in south-western China with a rich history and strong local character. MLA+ had the opportunity to extrapolate those qualities and bring them into a modern form for the international design competition for a landscape corridor in the brand new district of Chengdu (Tianfu New Town), where the ambitious central business district will be built.
The proposal extracts the spatial and natural characters from indigenous places within the city, and re-applies them to a public space with new functionality.
How to inherit the spirit and characters of a historical city that is undergoing modern urban transformation? How can China cope with rapid urbanization without losing the qualities of its most traditional cities?
Chengdu is a fast-developing city in south-western China with a rich history and strong local character. It is a city where various elements clash into unique identities: eastern lifestyle and western culture, traditional and modern spaces, city and nature. It is also a city famous for its layback and leisure lifestyle. Chengdu’s way of life sets it apart from other major cities in China.
MLA+ had the opportunity to extrapolate those qualities and bring them into a modern form for the international design competition for a landscape corridor in the brand new district of Chengdu.
The proposal extracts the spatial and natural characters from indigenous places within the city, and re-applies them to a public space with new functionality – modern and tradition; nature and culture; vibrant Chengdu city life.
+ Bamboo Tea House
In Chengdu, business meetings do not necessarily only take place in the office, but can also be found in the teahouse surrounded by bamboo gardens. Teahouse is a crucial social space for the local people of Chengdu. It is not only for casual talks with family and friends, but also a place for serious business.
With this modern interpretation, MLA+ aims to recreate tea house gardens in the central landscape corridor of this district, providing a shared space for informal meetings and casual gatherings around bamboo gardens.
+ Food Hill
Chengdu is designated as a Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy, the first one of its kind in Asia in 2008. Chengdu as the birthplace of the popular Sichuan Cuisine and local residents’ pursuit of food shapes the major identity of the city where catering is a crucial service sector.
The design aims to capture the vibrant food culture of Chengdu while providing space where informal street food markets and picnic can happen. Different shapes of green hills surround small gathering space and offering a vibrant atmosphere for people to enjoy their love for food.
+ Red Wall Playground
Street sports and hip-hop culture are very popular among the youth in Chengdu, one of the most tolerant and open minded cities in China. The design accommodates this vibrant program with dedicated elements. A playground design language is inspired by the local traditional red wall in the famous Sichuan in Chengdu, in contrast with the green vegetation and urban sports.
+ Paulownia / Ginkgo Garden
A garden with the theme of spring and autumn is set up in the east area of the green corridor.
Paulownia and Ginkgo are important local vegetations that represent the landscape character of the city. Spring garden is planted with paulownia trees, chinaberry trees, and Cercis glabra Pampan. This garden will create a pink world during spring and attracts people to get closer to nature.
On the other side, there is the autumn garden with Ginkgo trees which all turn into golden colors in fall. Two gardens together illustrate the beauty changing season and strong Chengdu landscape identity.
+ Water Theatre
Sichuan Opera is one of the oldest performance originated in the Sichuan area dating back to 1700. Watching Sichuan Opera is still an extremely popular touristic activity in Chengdu. We designed a water theater to create a place for a variety of public performances that would connect to this long tradition.
The nearly 800 square meters water stage in the center can create a variety of performances, accommodating events for up to 2,000 people. An iconic movable light curtain can create special moments for different performances, while being used as an interactive art installation on a daily basis.
Chengdu Tianfu New Town Landscape Design
Location: Chengdu Tianfu New Town (CN)
Area: 210.000 m²
Design Team: Chuanzhi Sun, Jiameng Li, Luca De Stefano, Luijia Zhu, Martin Probst, Sijia Wang, Wenchi Yang;