Building Garden Together — Future Garden of Houhai Primary School

A PARTICIPATORY LANDSCAPE COMBINING NATURE AND ART

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In 2021, with the overall planning of relevant departments in Nanshan District and the participation of a series of social organizations, the action plan “Flowering Nanshan” Nanshan District Community is officially released, and the whole society is now recruiting designers with ideals for the community to build gardens together.

HABITAT CREATION, GARDEN AS MEDIUM

This plan uses gardens as a medium to connect people and nature, and invites designers to pay attention to the improvement of the urban environment of small and micro spaces and the value of restoring the broken urban ecosystem. By creating different habitats, acupuncture and moxibustion methods are utilized to change the natural base of the city step by step, so that urban residents can live in a more fragrant environment and learn to get along with the environment around them.

CO-CONSTRUCTION X DESIGN | GND AND HOUHAI PRIMARY SCHOOL JOINTLY BUILD A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

In the 8th phase of the Little Beauty Contest sponsored by the Shenzhen Center for Design | “Co-construction × Design” – “Flowers in Nanshan” Nanshan District Community Garden Co-construction Project, GND Landscape was selected from 21 participating partners standing out as one of 10 shortlisted companies. After being shortlisted, the organizer held a meeting with 10 selected design companies and the “garden owners” of the ten intended plots. The designers and the “garden owners” made a two-way selection and completed the pairing. In the end, GND landscape successfully matched with a garden owner. The Houhai Primary School affiliated to the Teachers College of Shenzhen University will jointly build the site “Hundred Orchards” with GND.

PROJECT CONCEPTS

CO-BUILDING & SYMBIOSIS

Upholding the core concepts of co-building and symbiosis, the project was conducted as a PBL (Project-based Learning) practice, with primary school students acting as the main body and the construction unit & professional students serving as a volunteer team. It intends to guide pupils to understand designs based on a series of workshops, stimulate students’ initiative and creativity, and motivate them to participate in building an ideal garden.

SURVEY AND COMMUNICATION

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

Founded in 1998, the Houhai Primary School of Shenzhen University’s Affiliated Education Group (Nanshan) is a full-time public primary school funded by the People’s Government of Nanshan District. It officially started operation in September 1999. Covering an area of 10,239 m2 and a floor area of 7,550m2, the primary school currently has 34 classes, 1,600 students, and 104 professional teachers.

Houhai Primary School’s president Chen introduced to us the school’s basic status and led us to know the story behind the garden to be constructed: The mulberry, peach, pomegranate, and longan trees exquisitely selected by teachers, the meteorological station established for children, etc. These details all reflect the school’s attention to students’ extracurricular life. We invited the members of TNC to conduct a local survey, so as to deepen my knowledge of the local ecology on the site. According to our findings, there are 70+ categories of plants, which we referred to as weeds. Besides, we observed the traces of many small animals. When chatting with the school’s science teacher, we also found that the school lacked the site for outdoor natural teaching. We even “lurked” in the symposium on retired group chefs, having the first surprising contact with lovely students.

Through the detailed background investigation on the site, we have a more detailed understanding of the existing species, quantity and living conditions of animals and plants on the site, and provide technical support for the subsequent design process.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON BUILDING A GARDEN丨POST-IT NOTES OF IDEAS

Children are the most important owners of this garden. GND has always believed that every child is an endless treasure. They have novel, free and bold ideas, as well as their own unique viewpoints and thinking. In order not to miss these precious treasures, we walked into the brigade of Houhai Primary School and held a “round-table discussion” with the children in the form of “thinking, discussion, and voice” about building a garden together, and asked the children to present their ideas in the form of post-it notes as the hosts.

What would you like to see in the Future Garden?

CO-BUILDING WORKSHOP

PLAN OF FUTURE DESIGNERS

It’s necessary to free children’s brains, hands, legs, space, and time, so that they can enjoy a fully free life and receive a real education in it.

—Xingzhi Tao

With practical activities in the co-building workshop, we will guide children to shift from books to practice, enhance their critical thinking, and facilitate the change from knowledge to competence. The first workshop activity was held on October 6 to guide Houhai Primary School’s students …

Organizer and Sponsor: Nanshan District Urban Management and Comprehensive Law Enforcement Bureau

Supported by: Houhai Primary School, South China Agricultural University丨College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture

Design Execution: GND Jiedi Landscape Design

Community Garden: Campus Type

Design area: about 350㎡

Design content: landscape renovation and improvement

Chief Designer: Qiu Ge, Li Bing, Yue Xue

Concept design: Luo feng, Yang Ke

Garden construction design: Dai Jianli, Li Dongmei

Plant Design: Zeng Fengling

Teacher-student team: Lin Yiying, Li Jian, Hu Zhijie, Luo Jiaqi (mentor team). Xu Xiang, Zheng Zhide, Ye Tiantian, Wu Siyan, Huang Yang, Luo Wanqing, Ru Zhiying (student team).

Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape (if any):

Architecture offices involved in the design (if any):

Co-organized by: GND Jiedi Landscape Design, Shekou Community Foundation,The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Shenzhen Green Fund Association, Shenzhen Center for Design

Landscape construction: Shenzhen jingxiulvye Landscaping Engineering Co., Ltd

Photography: Zeng Tianpei、Che Di

Project location (For publicly accessible projects please include exact address. For Private gardens place write Country or State):

Project Address: Shenzhen, Guangdong – Houhai Primary School Affiliated to Shenzhen University

Design year:

Design time: July 2021

Year Built: Completion time: December 2021

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