Rapid urbanization often faces the consequences of ecosystem damage and cultural destruction, but we only call for restoration of nature after damage is done. The Waterfront Park of Chongqing Cultural Tourism Town is a rare oasis that redefines the previously damaged natural flow of river, and sees residents’ lives intertwine with brand new yet pristine nature. It’s only now we experience space, time, and humanity across the restored and original nature, prompting us to consider city vs nature, and art vs life.
▼场地概貌，Overview of the site ©王宁
重塑的自然 | Nature Restored
The initial phase of the Waterfront Park of Chongqing Cultural Tourism Town occupies three hectares of the Valley Forest. Another five hectares of land has been allocated for residential use, extending into the natural valleys. Prior to the project, on the west side of the Waterfront Park, an eight-meter deep gully was dug for city utilities duct. Like a deep wound on the earth surface, the gully is like a gulf between the city and nature.
▼项目区位，设计范围与文旅城滨河公园的关系，Project Location, Designing Scope, and positioning in the Park ©承迹景观
▼原场地照片，Original Site ©承迹景观
▼飞雪瀑布与峡谷森林鸟瞰，Flying snow falls and the Valley Forest ©王宁
The ideal relation between human and nature should be interdependence and coexistence. Looking down from above we accept the trench has become an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the site. In the face of the scar on nature, we decided to have nature’s sound heard.
▼现状8米深沟壑的利用，Utilisation of the 8-metre deep trench ©承迹景观
▼设计推演，Designing Development ©承迹景观
As with the saying that borrowing makes clever and delicacy makes appropriate, we do not embark on further destruction of the base, but follow the direction and depth of the trench, remodeling a valley flowing by. Human activities are covered by this piece of forest.
▼一条流淌于河谷之畔的自然峡谷，A natural valley flowing by the river front ©王宁
追寻的情感 | Chasing after nature
End of the valley is parallel to the waterfall, where one can’t see the waterfall but hear all of it. Our expedition of finding nature leads us to respond to nature here, where we call Reappearing of Nature. Martin Heidegger had his theory on the relations between subject and object. Our artistic installation abstract water from nature, presenting its aestheticism that’s usually hard to see when submerged in nature. It conveys the pursuing and keen care of natural landscape of idealists.
▼水景装置，Water scape ©王宁
The valley ends towards a rock patch, though the sound of nature that we look for points to a cavern hidden in the forest. The connection point serves as a gathering point and arts centre for surrounding residents, as well as a place to think and reminisce. A cavern is the most modest and mildest entry point, concealed in greenery. Its mystique and ambiguity amplifies curiosity and imagination.
▼藏于林间的洞穴，A cavern hidden in the forest ©王宁
▼覆土建筑纯净谦逊的模样又似一个艺术中心，未来它是周边社区的休闲之所，The modest grass-covered structure has an arts centre appeal.It will serve as recreational venue for surrounding residents ©王宁
▼静思之所，A place to think and reminisce ©王宁
▼空间细节，Detailed view ©王宁
Exit of the cavern has been ingeniously situated at the best viewing point of the waterfall. After experiencing the sound of the waterfall, the art of water, the narrow walkway of the cavern, we are presented with the spectacular waterfall, as if a journey in dreamland. A light passage blends with the cliff, forming part of the landscape.
▼扑面而来的瀑布气流围绕着震耳欲聋的气势，这完全是一场梦境般的体验，Looming Impact from the waterfall come straight to the visitors, creating a surreal experience ©王宁
▼轻盈的栈道消隐于山崖，A light passage blends with the cliff ©王宁
回归的生活 | Life Returned
The valley converges into a vertical line at the turning, serving as the connection between the Park and the residential area. Climbing the stairs brings us to the cluster of simplistic modern architecture concealed behind the woods. Radiance of the metals and glasses on the buildings is reflected by the lake in front. This is actually the behind of the valley – after rounds and turns we trace to the origin. To witness mountain and waterfalls at the end of the cavern, is perhaps the idealistic life we are looking to return to.
▼“一线天”的空间正好成为社区连接公园的开口，Convergence of the valley serves as the connection between the Park and the residential area ©王宁
▼建筑的力量感被掩映在可爱的小树林后，Strength of architecture is set off by lovely woods behind ©王宁
▼独一无二的流线体验，A unique streamline experience ©王宁
Mankind has been trying to define its relation with nature. We have explored our emotional resonance with nature during our journal of design. The experience of Valley Forest seeks to restore and find, from abstract to concrete, modern life within nature. The new culture no longer focuses on creation in material world, but guides us to sense and find betterment in real nature.
▼玻璃廊从地面划向天空，而另一头则向远处流淌，Glass corridor grows towards the sky and flows towards the horizon ©王宁
▼公共区域景观，Public area landscape ©王宁
▼小乌桕树林，a small forest ©王宁
▼林间阶梯，Steps in the greenery ©王宁
▼沉浸于自然，An immersive experience in the nature ©王宁
▼项目模型，Project model ©承迹景观
▼场地平面图，Site Plan ©承迹景观
Location: Shapingba District, Chongqing, China
Area: 3 ha
Completion Year: 2019
Client: SUNAC Chongqing
Landscape Design: Change Studio
Landscape Execution: Toqi
Architecture Design: Goa
Structure Design: AAD
Sign Design: Shi Yuan
Sculpture Design: Poetic Dream
Decoration Design: Fancy China
Photography: Wang Ning
Change Studio website: www.chan9e.cn