The Waterdrop Garden

The vision of the Waterdrop Garden is to reimagine the rooftop gardens in dense cities of China. The Waterdrop Garden is a privately owned public rooftop garden, which sits on one of the most popular shopping malls in Shenzhen. Inspired by the nature of waterdrop, the garden is designed to accommodate different commercial programs as well as people’s daily recreational needs. The Waterdrop Garden sets an excellent example for small open spaces in the sky in Asia’s tropical cities, where recreational program is as important as microclimate.


In the context of a tropical city of southern China, the Waterdrop Garden is designed to work with the region’s subtropical monsoon climate. Based on the sunlight environment of the site, south of the garden, which is exposed in the sun during daytime, is covered with native trees. This helps in lowering the temperature and providing shades during summer. Water feature plays an important role in the garden and it is smartly designed to conserve water. Instead of using the traditional jet fountain and pool fountain, which require relatively high water volume, fog spray and sheet fountain are used to conserve water while maintaining the interaction with people. The “Waterdrop” is an art installation as a visual anchor point of the plaza. During the daytime, the fog interaction from the installation attracts kids to play.

The Form and the Formless

The Waterdrop Garden is designed with an enclosed layout. A central sunken plaza is designed to accommodate event space and commercial programs. The four edges are terraced with different height and planting conditions, which provide rich spatial quality for the four sides. The central plaza is surrounded by various scales of pocket spaces, which are designed to offer customized moments for everyone who comes to the garden. In the northern part is the “Urban overlook”, where people enjoy the best view of the city skyline. In the eastern part is the “Garden Tatami”, where floating wood decks under trees offer shaded social spaces. The southern part, which receives the most sunshine, has several pocket gardens with dense planting that creates a more enclosed environment. The western part has a series of furniture spaces that is adjacent to the office towers. During different times of the day, the relationship between the central plaza and surrounding pocket spaces changes. The distribution and density of people also change, like water.

The Jazz of Sitting

Instead of choosing outdoor furnishings from product lists, landscape architects embrace site impromptu where furniture design is integrated with site features such as grade change. With a more relaxed environment, people have more freedom to decide on how they want to sit.

Name of the project: The Waterdrop Garden

Project category: Public Landscape Project

Role of the entrant in the project: landscape architect

Project location: Nanzhan Blvd No. 9668, Shenzhen, China

Design year: 2019

Year Built: 2021


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