Shenzhen, a previous small fishing village, is now one of the first-tier cities in China. People from all over the country are getting their dreams achieved in this dynamic metropolis, from generation to generation, with their great efforts and energetic youth. Shenzhen is a city always full of vitality, but lack of some pleasant sites for people to enjoy their daily life. A public space in a city should not be mechanically filled with a reinforced concrete forest, several dull spaces and strange people. It should be a cozy humanized site to go with our everyday life. Dongjiaotou Park is just an urban public space immersed in humanized cozy ambience.
▼公园鸟瞰，aerial view of the park ©韦立伟
It is often said that Shenzhen was a small fishing village, and here “Shenzhen” actually refers to Shekou, the cradle of the fishing village, of modern Shenzhen. Dongjiaotou Park is just located in the old Shekou Block, an area in urgent need of urban renewal. On the one side of the Park, it is the old Shekou Street, and on the other side, there is a modern Shekou plaza decorated with fashion elements.
The existed project site was a garbage dump on a simple lawn at the subway entrance. It is actually a problematic plot with traffic congestion, dirty interface, crowded environment, insufficient supporting facilities and complicated crowds. In the face of these challenges, the designers hope to create a public space filled with reminiscence of local residents based on the culture of traditional fishing village. Also, it should be a comfortable landscaping site for a number of subway passengers to have a rest there.
▼方便使用的公共场所，a comfortable space for people to have a rest ©韦立伟
Share the mood of urban space
A city is endowed with emotions for its various interactions with people, so is a public space. An open public space is always more inclusive than other facilities in the city. There are 5 entrances set in Dongjiaotou Park, showing its inclusiveness and hospitality to invite everyone to enjoy and share the mood of this urban space.
Tracing back to the design concept of “fishing village”, a dam-like subway entrance is designed with a strong luxuriant tree to pay homage to the ancient village. The high-speed “time train” is driving fast through the complicated urbanization process. Whether you could catch up with it or not, Dongjiaotou Park is an ideal place for you to have a rest, to breathe in sweet and fresh air, to enjoy your leisure life.
▼公园鸟瞰，设有五个出入口，aerial view of the park with five entrances ©韦立伟
Breathing space in a dense city
As a tie between city and life, Dongjiaotou Park is a vitally important public space for the citizen, but often easily overlooked. What makes this city space more vibrant and livable? It is the different people who are doing various activities in the park everyday. In the center of the park, a sunken space is set for people to enjoy fresh air in the dense and crowded urban environment around them. In view of its special location above the subway station, load-bearing capacity and pipeline equipment of the site should be carefully considered. The design team dealt with it in a concise but efficient way, to build an ideal ecological sunken lawn for residents and pedestrians by integrating surrounding functional spaces.
▼公园中央下沉广场鸟瞰，aerial view of the sunken plaza at the center fo the park ©韦立伟
▼下沉广场，sunken plaza ©韦立伟
There is an art installation in the central lawn of sunken space. Its design was inspired by “multiple surfaces sequentially interlaced with each other ”, the concept of Möbius strip. The design team applied the parametric design tool to achieve the design. Two Chinese characters “湾厦”, name of the project client, was hollow-carved on the installation. Also, “Growing up with Shekou” is engraved on in Chinese with the relevant important historic years of Shekou’s development.
▼草坪中部的复杂雕塑，complicated sculpture at the center of the lawn ©韦立伟
At the very beginning, the design team decided to apply non-standardized design methods to deal with the pergola on the south of the park. Parametric design tools were used again to design the complex curved surfaces and streamlined form, creating a street furniture with the spirit of The Times. The design of Dongjiaotou Park has brought new vitality to the old Shekou Street. The introduction of modern science and technology in this project endows the older neighborhoods with brand new energy. The design also reflects the development spirit of Shekou, referring to half of the time to respect history and the other of the time to be innovative and pioneering. Shekou always marches forward bravely as a trendsetter.
▼雕塑细部，details of the sculpture ©韦立伟
The side facade details of the subway air shaft is inspired by the texture of fish skin. It tells the historic memory of this site as shekou fishing village. Meanwhile, light aluminum panels and luxuriant vertical greening create soft urban boundaries, providing a vibrant green to the urban interface.
▼地铁风景采用垂直绿化，vertical greening on the facade of the subway air shaft ©韦立伟
A small park is easily overlooked in a large city. Every newcomer needs a place to make them connect with the surroundings, and let themselves establish knowledge of and appreciation for the location. The park was designed to satisfy these needs. Its completion not only brings a positive impact to surrounding residents, but also becomes a daily clocking point of Mr. Bo Li, the chief designer of L&A Design who lives nearby: “My office is near the park, and I would like to take a walk in Dongjiaotou Park everyday after work, and then walk home. It is exactly 10,000 steps. I call it my 10,000-step park.”
▼公园为人们提供更多活动场所，the park providing more space for people to do different acitivies ©韦立伟
Like the people who live nearby, L&A Design is also one member of the community. We are honored to participate in the construction of the community, to witness the construction of the park and the growth of the city. To some extent, it is just a tiny design for the whole city construction, but actually it greatly changes people’s daily life and brings them a sense of well-being. The park creates more intimate relationship between neighbors, and makes an easier urban life. We feel happy and proud that we could make everyone find their own place here.
▼创造让人感到幸福的环境，creating a space where people could feel happiness ©韦立伟
The park is located at Exit A of Dongjiaotou Subway Station in Shekou Subdistrict, Shenzhen. The project area is only 3400 square meters. In the face of such pain points and needs as traffic congestion, dirty interface, crowded environment, insufficient supporting facilities and the diverse needs of different users, the design team is committed to creating a public space that serves the residents’ living and emotional needs based on the history and culture of Shekou. Technological elements are well integrated into the park design, such as automatic sprinkler irrigation, fog spray interaction, and light-transmitting concrete walls, while drainage systems are also carefully included, to create a spongy city landscape.
▼儿童在公园中玩耍，children playing in the park ©韦立伟
During a long time in the past, Dongjiaotou Park, in our mind, was a “wasteland” that no one cares about. But now, it becomes a “wonderland” that everyone would like to enjoy their leisure time there. Again, when we mention “Dongjiaotou Park” now, the picture that comes to mind immediately will be the intimate neighborhood relations in a warm community, will be the residents doing sports everyday on the lush lawn, laughing in the sun, and will be a refreshing flavoring on the way to work.
▼夜晚广场上的活动，activities on the plaza in the night ©梁正
客户名称：蛇口街道办 & 蛇口湾厦置业
景观设计：奥雅设计 深圳公司 项目十一组
Project Name: Dongjiaotou Metro Station Park in Shekou Subdistrict, Shenzhen
Project Location: Exit A, Dongjiaotou Metro Station, Shekou New Street, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Project Type: Public Space
Landscaping Area: 3,400㎡
Project Client: Shekou Subdistrict Office & Shekou WanXia Real Estate
Chief Designer: Bo Li
Landscape Design: Project Team XI, Shenzhen Branch, L&A Design Group
Design of Pergola on the South: Kaizhong Cao
Design Time: 2018 – 2019
Completion: Jan., 2020