Comprehensive Utilization of Dam Protection Space
In Wuhan, Qingshan District is the location of Wuhan Iron and Steel Plant, Qingshan River Beach is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River with a length of about 7.5 kilometers. Before the renovation in 2015, it was the location of WISCO wharf, sand yard and grain wharf which mainly assumed the functions of flood control and logistics.Because of urbanization, the functions of transportation and logistics are gradually moved to the outside of the main city and the environment of the river beach urgently needs to be upgraded and rectified.The original riverbank dam protection is a trapezoidal section with equal slope ratio of 1: 3 and the embankment angle of the water front of the dam protection is a hexagonal prefabricated block. The purpose of landscape reconstruction is to transform the engineering inherent perception of the original dam protection and form the contour line shape of free transformation with the mode of large gentle slope. At the same time, in the reconstructed dam protection, the underground space for compound utilization will be built which will create a higher space efficiency for serving urban functions on the basis of ensuring flood control safety.
▼项目鸟瞰，aerial view © 赵奕龙
Design principle of landscape first-in
▼轴测与总平，axon and site plan © UAO瑞拓设计
The wedding hall is located in the middle of Qingshan River Beach and the upstream of the site is the original heavy goods wharf. The reconstruction design of the river beach retains the wharf and the crane above it. At the beginning of landscape design, UAO decided to use the group relationship of plants to create spatial effects with different density relationships. Especially, it emphasizes the lawn space with large gentle slope without planting a tree. The starting point of emphasizing this principle is to hope that tourists who come to Qingshan River Beach can see the wide Yangtze River surface at the first time when they climb to the top of the embankment, instead of being covered by dense trees, which should be transparent. “Visual Hydrophilicity” is the biggest starting point of Qingshan River Beach reconstruction design.
▼项目俯瞰，top view © 赵奕龙
▼空间轴线，spatial axis © 赵奕龙
▼轴线尽头的婚礼堂，wedding hall at the end of the axis © 赵奕龙
Textbook operation of basic principles of architecture
The elevation of the top of the embankment is 4 meters higher than that of the hydrophilic platform along the river. The gentle slope section blurs the height difference of 4 meters which makes the beach terrain smooth like a natural hill.The wedding hall takes advantage of the height difference between the top of the 4-meter dam and the beach and sets up a landscape corridor between the top of the dam and the big lawn by the river. The linear arrangement of this landscape corridor makes the sense of sequence along one axis naturally come into being: it starts from the top of the dam which is the starting place for wedding couples; at the top of the dam is the stairs and elevator room. Below is the supporting space for couples to make up and rest. Then it crossed the emergency lane of the river beach and a thick forest. In front of the 6000-square-meter wedding lawn, it was divided into two curved promenades around the lawn. On the edge of the axis closest to the Yangtze River, it is a pure white wedding hall building with the same arch motif as the promenade.
▼景观廊道，landscape corridor © (上) 赵奕龙, (下) Holi河狸-景观摄影
▼堤顶，婚礼出发地，the dam，starting place for wedding couples © 赵奕龙
▼廊道，corridor © 赵奕龙
This axis is the direct deduction of the basic principles of architecture and it is the key to grasp the rhythm of turning and closing. In order to form this axis relationship, the plant community artificially separates the line of sight between the wedding lawn and the main traffic channel in the river beach.This axis makes rational use of the height difference of dam protection, and the architect rationally creates a pattern of separation of people and vehicles. Combined with the enclosure of plant communities, it also creates a gradual emotional path of “Breaking Away from the Secular and Yearning for Purity” for the wedding ceremony: from the management room in the dam, take the elevator up, pass through the triangular gate of fair-faced concrete and walk along the second-floor promenade of the white porch. At the top of the treetop of the dense forest, you can already feel the blue sky without any reinforced concrete pollution and travel to the promenade.
▼廊道通往纯白的婚礼堂，corridor leading to the pure white wedding hall © 赵奕龙
▼临江立面，riverside facade © 赵奕龙
▼南侧外观，appearance to the south © 赵奕龙
▼北侧外观，appearance to the north © 赵奕龙
In the wedding hall, the two wings are horizontal, the middle is towering, the pattern is pure white, and the floor-to-floor frameless glass along the river makes people’s eyes pull out of the window and cross the borderless pool to reach the wide river surface. In the initial sketch of architect Li Tao, the white aluminum alloy square pipe of ceiling points to the river by using the principle of perspective.The curved promenade gives the wedding hall a surrounding relationship, and emphasizes centripetal in the geometric relationship of patterns.These design principles don’t have much “Gaudy Work”, but honestly adopt the most basic architectural grammar and principles which have never been abandoned from classical architecture to modern architecture, and continue to be carried forward. Simplify the symbol from the classical form and strengthen the sense of remembrance and space from the deliberate axis.
▼神圣的内部空间，白色铝合金天花，holy interior space，white aluminum alloy ceiling © 赵奕龙
▼视野开阔，wide vision © 赵奕龙
Integrated design of landscape and architecture
The whole design does not only emphasize the architectural awareness of wedding promenade and wedding hall, but integrates architecture and landscape perfectly through site organization, plant design and height difference utilization. However, on the basis of the overall landscape design, we return to the basic operation mode of “axis, sequence, retraction, proportion and repetition”. Not brilliant, but not inferior. Not particularly modern, but not kitsch.
▼婚礼出发地，starting place for weddings © Holi河狸-景观摄影
▼景观，landscape © Holi河狸-景观摄影
Architects use white to unify the whole building and structures. Apart from the pure meaning of wedding itself, they also hope to break away from the classical meaning of arch symbols. The application of steel structure also strengthens modernity.The advantage of the geographical environment along the Yangtze River naturally echoes the pure white modernity of the building itself. Against the background of green base and gray river water, white is also the most matching color with blue sky. Just like the white color of Savoy Villa in the history of modernist architecture, it naturally opens the distance from classical architecture.Landscape and architecture are one.
▼剖面，section © UAO瑞拓设计
Project name: Wuhan Qingshan Wedding Hall
Design company: UAO
Master designer: Tao Li
Official website: WWW.UAO-DESIGN.COM
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Year of completion: 2020
Area: wedding hall 356.84㎡, earth-covered building 392.73㎡
Project location: Qingshan District, Wuhan, Qingshan River Beach
Photographer: Architectural photography Yilong Zhao、 architectural photography Zhewei Su
Other team members: Zhou Lu, Haiyu Liang, Bingsheng Hu, Long Li, Kecheng Long, Juanjuan Yu, Kun Zhang, Tao Hua
Materials: steel, glass, bamboo and wood, fair-faced concrete
Partner：Wuhan Urban Flood Control Survey and Design Institute
Owner：Wuhan Bishui Gruop Co.Ltd