Shenzhen Gankeng Urban Field: The Practice of Pastoral Aesthetics by

2023 Public Projects / China / Built in 2023 /

The project is located in Longgang District, Shenzhen, adjacent to Gankeng Hakka Town, one of Shenzhen’s top ten tourist destinations. Gankeng area is endowed with mountains, forests and water sources. Relying on the business card of Gankeng Hakka Town, it has unique ecological tourism resources. The project creates three themed areas: Blossom Valley, Ecological Wetland and Parent-Child Camp, building a modern urban pastoral project. Integrating landscape agriculture, ecological leisure and natural education, it promotes the integrated development and quality improvement of Gankeng area, fills the gap of pastoral experience in Greater Bay Area(GBA), takes tourists away from the city, experiences the aesthetics of the countryside, and explores a new model of rural life co-created, shared and win-win in the urban context of Shenzhen.

1. Preserve the authenticity of rural landscapes

The original landscape base and natural habitat of the site are preserved intact. Natural vegetation, including surrounding trees and shrubs, original farmland water systems, original riverbank trees, etc. are fully retained and repaired as the cultural memory of the site. The design fully respects the existing trees, with not a single tree transplanted. The new landscape seamlessly connects with the original natural conditions, presenting an authentic natural appearance.

Hakka architecture and bamboo weaving methods are adopted as much as possible through light intervention, combined with material elements that conform to the local temperament, to create a new space that is both beautiful and environmentally friendly, forming a unified park impression with a uniform style in the whole area.

2. Productive and dynamic urban fields

On the basis of retaining the original local vegetation, productive crops have been introduced on the farmlands.

The meadows are covered with low-maintenance wild chrysanthemums, which are good medicinal materials. At the end of the flower valley, a maze flower room is set up with indoor coffee plants, greenhouse flowers and other activities. More than 30 kinds of plants are planted around the flower room.

On the farmland, there is crop rotation in four seasons: rapeseed flowers in spring, sunflowers in summer and autumn, and rotation of gorgeous herbaceous wildflowers. We have adopted a low-cost landscaping approach by sowing grass seeds. The diverse plant combinations provide Shenzhen citizens with an urban backyard garden where they can heal and enjoy nature in peace, which is quite rare under the conditions of a high-density city.

3. Natural sponge system

We work with experts from Shenzhen Institute of Environment and Ecology to adopt a new patented technology from the institute, using the second generation ultra-high efficiency artificial wetland purification technology. It can purify more than 13 tons of sewage per day, with a hydraulic load increased by 3 times and pollutant removal ability increased by 30% compared with the first generation technology. Basically, there is no clogging and other problems, and the abandoned wetland comes to life again.

The original natural surface runoff system in the Blooming Valley venue is completely retained. An ecological stream with natural morphology is created in the center of the venue and eventually collects in an ecological detention bubble reproduced from the existing fish pond, intercepting rainwater in the venue and irrigating farmland and moistening the soil in the venue. It also provides a place for urban children to fish, catch shrimp and get close to nature, treating the nature deficiency syndrome of urban children.

4. Focus on the “user-friendly” operation of the park

The early involvement of the project planning and operation team is very important. Adequate space and logistical conditions can be reserved in the design stage to create a “practical” park that can be operated healthily in the follow-up and avoid excessive financial burden.

Unlike most rural projects, this project aims at urban white-collar workers, elite women and art lovers instead of the conventional parent-child family groups. Their high requirements for aesthetics, quality and culture are fully reflected in the design and presentation of the rural areas.

A series of theme displays with art, culture and fashion imprinted in their genes, using exquisite flower fields as the background, greatly meet the needs of consumers for outdoor experiences and social activities. Providing sufficient water and electricity interfaces and pre-setting scene layouts in hardware meet the requirements of being “practical” better.

After the project was completed in 2023, more than 30 fashionable and trendy events were held, including tent camp festival, flash coffee shop, summer theme art installation, unplugged music festival and creative life market. The popular activities have created diverse economic value. Venue rental and event hosting have brought continuous blood-making function to the project. The huge flow of people brought by the project has also provided more business opportunities for vendors.

5. Environmental interpretation and education system

On a small scale, the park is endowed with warmth and fun. We have designed a complete interpretive system for popular science of the site and maximized the performance of the original nature of the scene.

Location: No. 2 Bangli Avenue, Longgang District, Shenzhen

Design year: 2021

Year Completed: 2023


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