View Mountains and Seas . Ningde, China

This project is located in Ningde, Fujian Province, China. This project adopted the aesthetics language and building techniques from traditional Chinese garden, the Song-style gardens. It inherited the historical layout and integrated two major spatial features, three-entry courtyards and quadruple spaces. By paraphrasing and implanting the traditional landscaping techniques including stacking stones and configuring water, the design corresponds to the contemporary lifestyle. Ningde is located at latitude 26°18’ North, and it is hot in summer. This project adopted the rainwater management system to maintain local ecological well-being. It formed the cascading waterscape and circulation system by shaping the terrain height difference, to mitigate the microclimate and improve the living comfort.

Overview of the site

The site base is near the sea with unique scenery of the surrounding mountains and sea. There is a liveable living environment around the site. To cater local residents’ preference about Chinese-style gardens, the keynote of this project is confirmed as the New Chinese style.

Design concept

Question: How does this project inherit the thousand-year-old cultural elements and reproduce the poem-likable romanticism of the Song Dynasty?

Strategy: in terms of layout, the system of gates and halls is merged into the site by creating three-entry courtyards and quadruple space, and immersive-style axial feature which is integrated into the spatial attributes of gates, alleys, courtyards and gardens.

In terms of spatial design, this project has the quadruple spaces, including “Rhythmic Poetry of Song Courtyard”, “Highly Reclining with Thousands of Rocks”,”Divided Spring Water by Bamboo”and “Distant Pine with Flowing Sunglow”by referring to the design concepts applied by the Song-style gardens, “sketching the spirit without concrete outlines”.

“Rhythmic Poetry of Song Courtyard”

The gate is fully open to welcome, bronze lions stand by both sides, ready to supply the utmost generous hospitality to guests. The gate and courtyard design in this project represents the lithe and unrestrained characteristics of Song’s architecture.

“Highly Reclining with Thousands of Rocks”

The Song-style pavilion corridor in the atrium, surrounded by columns, fences and hangings, presents elegant and decent colour tone. Song-style teahouses are placed in the courtyard, where the visitors can taste tea, meditate, chat, and view the natural scenery.

“Divided Spring Water by Bamboo”

The landscape wall with modern poetic styles is outlined by the form of traditional eaves. The lively man-made creek flows along with the curve of the wall gradually pour into the pool. The fish scale pattern that sculptured on the wall, is ancient and solemn. The trimmed pine pierced from the ground, whose pose carrying poetic charm that reverberate in every guest’s memory.

“Distant Pine with Flowing Sunglow”

Walking on the quaint gravel paving, passing by peaceful pines and stones, admiring the moon, visiting friends carrying plucked zither, discussing Tao under the shadow of pine. All those experiences will evoke the visitors’ yearning an elegant living environment in the Song Dynasty.

Improvement of site microclimate

Question: The site experiences high temperatures in summer, how to improve the microclimate environment of the site?

Strategy: By adopting stormwater management system maintains ecological circulation. Water features help to reduce the site temperature and increase humidity. Planting conserves soil and water, purifies the air, and creates a microclimate pocket garden that is close to the comfort zone of the human body.

1. Rainwater management system

Rainwater infiltrates through permeable pavement. It is stagnated in botanic gardens and collected by pools, consequently filtered and purified by going through gravel surface, eventually reused for daily maintenance of planting and toilet water for properties and sales offices.

2. Planting

By building the rain garden, this project maintains ecological circulation. Designed terraced green islands forms the undercurrent of artificial wetlands. Local plants are helpful for achieving the maximum area of green cover even in a confined space.

3. Hierarchical waterscape

By shaping the terrain height difference, this project creates hierarchical waterscape and forms a water circulation system to reduce the site temperature. The fog forest installation can increase the site humidity.

Question: how combine landscape design and construction techniques to form a benign microclimate cycle?

Strategy: 1. By stacking rocks and configure water features, this project adopts modern construction techniques by inheriting the traditional garden concepts to improve the sustainable circulation of the local microclimate. 2. In terms of materials, selection of natural stones reflects the design team’s emphasis on ecological sustainability.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Shanghai Yijing Environmental Art Design Co., Ltd

Project Location: This project is located in Ningde, Fujian Province, China.

Design year:2021

Year Built:2021

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