The 19th Asian Games Athletes Village, a temporary residence for athletes, technical officials, and media personnel from various Asian countries, will cover an area of 30.4 hectares on the east bank of the intersection of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Qiantang River. This village will provide a comfortable and convenient environment for nearly 20,000 guests during the event.
The Athletes Village features a 500-meter-long public waterfront designed to serve as a leisure facility for athletes after their stay in the village. The waterfront’s landscape structure is clearly defined, consisting of three interconnected node spaces: River Garden, Tidal Square, and Wavy Boulevard.
Despite being a man-made canal, the water level is in constant flux as it is connected to the Qiantang River. In order to balance the need for flood control and a water-friendly experience, the Wavy Boulevard is divided into upper and lower decks. The upper deck is situated above the high water level and is connected to future retail spaces. Meanwhile, the lower deck is located 1.5 meters below the upper deck and above the normal water level. Although the lower deck may occasionally experience flooding, it still offers a comfortable waterfront experience for most of the year as it allows visitors to be in close proximity to the water. The Wavy Boulevard offers two interesting and meandering paths for visitors to stroll.
Although the waterfront project predominantly features hardscapes, the integration of “softness” has always been an important planting strategy. The incorporation of native plant species creates a “waterfront feeling” and allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural ambiance of the Qiantang River.
The landscape architects have employed a thoughtful approach in the selection of materials, with the aim of creating a harmonious blend of contemporary design and traditional elements. The use of modern machine-cut black granite and traditional hand-chiseled stone techniques is an excellent example of this approach.
By incorporating elements of tradition and modernity, nature and man-made materials, the landscape architects have created a material palette that fosters a time-space experience. Visitors to the site are invited to journey through ancient and modern times as they engage with the landscape’s thoughtful design.
After the Asian Games, the waterfront buildings will be transformed into commercial and office complexes while the waterfront space will become a leisure green space and commercial waterfront that will be open to the public. The aim of the landscape architects is to create a resilient and dynamic waterfront that will play a significant role during the Asian Games and in the future urban development of Hangzhou.
Architecture offices involved in the design: HKS
Location: 30.243977, 120.248215
Design year: 2021