Beijing has grown rapidly in the past 20 years and as open space diminished, parks often were not planned for. Existing parks lack quality space and modern programs that attract people from their homes to enjoy nature. Beijing Haidian G-Park is a landscape intervention designed to motivate people to enjoy the outdoors, integrating advanced technologies in a recreational park framework. The site is located at the northwest corner of Beijing, where a number of Hitech, world-renowned enterprises have located including HUAWEI, LENOVO, BAIDU, and others. The implementation of the park not only added a quality public space for this rapidly growing region but also introduced an innovative and interactive experience beyond the general characteristics of a park. Can a park also generate energy (power) to sustain itself? Can a park bring diverse audiences together to engage and participate in landscape programs and increase positive health outcomes in the community? This 2.6-acre park was designed to answer these questions and inspire those that live and work in this recently developed high-tech district.
The characteristics of the Beijing Haidian Hi-Tech district inspired us to research beyond non-traditional park components and blend the advanced technologies of the high-tech companies surrounding the site. The design and material palette were kept simple in order to replicate the sleekness of today’s technology, featuring modern paving, reflective water features, and an advanced irrigation system. The park is surrounded by a mountainous background in the northwest zone of Beijing, an area less developed and full of natural attributes including established tree forests, a meandering creek, and expansive agrarian fields. The materials, in addition to complementing technology, also blends with this natural environment. The park’s landscape and vegetation were designed to contrast with each other, represented in white and green respectively. The hardscape’s linear movement was created with 3 neutrally colored elements – a stainless steel seating/structure, framing white walls, and a permeable looping path. The continuous and consistent appearance unites the diverse program experience consisting of seating, event lawn, digital water curtain, maple tree matrix, interactive water feature, outdoor meeting room, and mobile recreation box. There are 2 main design features are as follows:
As the overall intent of the project was to attract people and families to repeatedly enjoy, a module prototype known as a reactive panel was designed to harvest human energy and transform it into power with people stepping and jumping on it. With support from a hi-tech solution consultant, the module was manufactured and vigorously tested until its performance became stable and predictable. In addition to harvesting power, the panel triggers a mist irrigation system and water jets in the linear reflective water pool. One medium provides irrigation for the park and its maintenance, and the other offers an opportunity for people to enjoy interacting with. Although these two mediums are ordinary elements often used in modern parks, their connection to the reactive panel is controlled and prompted with user movement. In addition to generating clean energy these programmatic elements promote the positive health of the users by offering an opportunity to not just exercise, but also have fun. This experience is the newest generation of design that connects humans to nature, a connection that exceeds typical recreational design.
A self-sustaining system is the central program of the park, in which the landscape can self-supply power and water for its operation and maintenance. The concept is realized through solar thin-film technology that harvests energy and water storage module devices that reuse stormwater, creating a self-sustainable low-carbon ecological cycle. Due to the special texture of the solar film, it is a challenge to place and integrates it into a suitable landscape interface. In order to receive enough sunlight and avoid direct human contact to properly function, it was integrated into the park’s system and placed on top of the pavilion, lamps, pavements, and trash cans. Solar thin film is a clean energy technology that is non-polluting, lowers energy consumption, is flexible, and lightweight making it applicable to a variety of products. With increasing global emphasis on environmental protection, low carbon emissions, health and safety, and practicality, applying this technology to the landscape environment play a positive role in people’s living environment and life experience.
The water storage module collects the rainwater from the surface of the park to the underground water storage device, with a capacity large enough to be reused for irrigation and other water use. The water module, integrated with the solar film energy produced, is activated by the central console and turns on the irrigation system automatically.
Those two coordinated systems, power and water storage, are smoothly operated and monitored by the ‘central processor’, an intelligent central control system in the park.
The Beijing Haidian G-Park is a prototype for future park development, integrating technology with nature. This park challenges traditional notions of how landscapes engage people, inspiring society and promoting the economic development of the district. The design of this park is an innovative model influencing future designs that incorporate interactive experiences in an outdoor environment.
landscape architects: Ying Lou, Eason Sui, Jingyi Li, Yingjia Song, Yufeng Liu, Xian Wu,
developer: Longfor Group and Beijing Haidian District Landscape Bureau
Project Location: Haidian,Beijing,China