Parkhill Greens: Creating a Hillside Community Hub by

2023 Public Projects / China / Built in 2021 /

Parkhill Greens

Just twenty minutes from Shenzhen’s urban districts, the Jiangangshan neighborhood has become the city’s largest, most desirable low-density residential area. Over twenty years, it’s grown from garden houses to plans for high-rise apartments. However, ecological, civic, and recreational infrastructures haven’t matched this residential growth. To address this, the district government and a land-owning client transformed a vacant hillside into Parkhill Greens. This verdant hub connects diverse communities, retail, and schools around a green space. The park and surrounding streetscapes have added 7,000 square meters to the city’s public realm.

The design strategy aims to amplify programmatic opportunities, foster social interactions, and seamlessly incorporate green infrastructure, while tackling elevation variances, space limitations, and a diverse user base. To make the most of the previously vacant hillside, with an average 8% slope and over a five-meter grade change, three terrace levels were designed. These comprise various slopes, retaining walls, vegetation, and purposefully shaped pockets for seating, exercise, and play areas.

Green infrastructure is vital to the site’s design and is integrated throughout the park in programmatic and planting areas. With climate change causing increasing rainfall, the park acts as a sunken sponge to mitigate water runoff and prevent local flooding. Rain gardens and depressed planting areas are found in the central green and terraces. Stormwater is gathered at program areas, routed through underground pipelines to a main tank, and reused for irrigation and the park’s water feature.

Program Areas

Parkhill Greens primarily serves local residents of all ages, living in diverse residences including low, medium density communities, and planned high-rises. The design considers the needs of children and multi-generational families, given the nearby school and kindergarten. Key features include a central green, terraced grove seating, and a water stage, creating a sequence that connects the community cafe and school. A play slope and a basketball court utilize the site’s elevation change for recreational purposes.

The Central Green, the largest flexible area, collects rainwater via an underlying perforated pipeline. It serves as an informal amphitheater for varied activities, encouraging diverse social interactions. Movable, multi-colored outdoor furniture caters to the community’s daily needs.

The Terraced Grove at the park’s east edge mitigates grade change, providing a comfortable viewing spot under tree shade. The terraces collect and slow stormwater, enabling gradual infiltration to the collection system.

The Water Stage, an elevated reflective water feature, connects the park’s vantage points and bridges the Central Green with the community cafe. It enhances the site experience with pleasing water movement and sound, mitigating traffic noise. Dry or wet, it serves as a stage with ample seating, visible from the central green and terraced grove.

The Play Slope transforms the site’s topography into playgrounds, offering children varied elevation for climbing or sliding, with terraces designed for different age-groups.

The partially enclosed Basketball Court invites residents for activities beyond basketball throughout the day. Its graphic wall and ground striping, green hedges, and an Overlook Terrace encourage spectator engagement. The space is regularly used by morning tai-chi practitioners and community dancing groups.

Streetscapes, designed to extend the park’s serene atmosphere, offer a relaxed buffer between the park and street traffic. Wide, tree-lined sidewalks promote walking, while distinct bike and running paths cater to faster movement, segregated from auto traffic. Custom street furniture enhances the streetscapes’ distinct character. Large existing trees were preserved, with permeable concrete sidewalks, rain gardens, and resting pockets added around them. This makes the streetscape comfortable, sustainable, and seamlessly integrated into the park’s overall plan.

A Park for Everyone

Parkhill Greens has emerged as a vital community hub, meeting the neighborhood’s recreational, social, and ecological needs. The project team regularly visits to monitor site usage and public response through field observations and surveys. These findings provide valuable feedback for the site’s long-term management.

The park is well-utilized and appreciated by all age groups. Its play slope’s popularity stands out, along with the diverse community events adapting the site to local interests, such as movie nights, BBQs, and picnics. Despite limited space, Parkhill Greens as the district’s sole public park has proven the significant value of a small park in a rapidly developing neighborhood.

Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape:
OEA [Landscape Construction Drawing]
Pubang Landscape Architecture [Landscape Construction]
Architecture offices involved in the design:
Zhubo Design Co., Ltd [Architect Construction Drawing]
Shenzhen Huahui Design [Architectural Design]

Southwest of the crossing of Longhui Road and Wolong 4th Road, Baoan District, Shenzhen, China

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