PROJECT DESCRIPTION – HANDAN SOUTH LAKE
Overall Project Summary – South Lake is a 650 hectare (1,625acre) mixed use development plan at the south edge of a fast growing population of Handan City, Hebei Province, China. This project sets design parameters for circulation, land use, floor area ratio and general block development for the entire area, all with responsible sustainable development as a common denominator. Planning and government officials for the city have mandated that South Lake serve as a sustainable example for the region; primarily in the areas of water conservation and energy use reduction. The client felt that a by-product of a sustainable approach is an overall improved quality of life for the average resident.
The mixed use community offers commercial, residential, municipal and institutional land uses. It is centered on a river greenway being developed by the community, as its main spine along a portion of the Fuyang River. Radiating out from the greenway on either side is a broad pedestrian promenade with regularly spaced overlook nodes that brings citizen closer to it. The design team used a series of road types that form blocks of varying uses. Land uses were defined by their proximity to the river and adjacent uses, placing residents closer to uses to allow for more pedestrian versus vehicular connections. The roads also extend to bridges that connect the 2 sides of the river.
Project Purpose I Program – The intent of this project was to provide enhanced living for 10,000 residents for their day-to-day life and culture. Part of their culture includes the utilization of outdoor gathering spaces as an extension of interior spaces. The landscape architect was responsible for open space plans for small and large group gathering, for effective storm water collection and distribution, bridge and street planning, promenade and node plans and general sustainable design techniques. See also special factors and significance below.
Role of the Landscape Architect – While the landscape architect teamed with another firm that was responsible for planning direction, the landscape architect led planning and design in the following specific areas:
1. Green development strategies and techniques focusing on materials, buildings, storm water management, water conservation, temperature and air regulation. Specific techniques proposed include cisterns, green roofs, infiltration planters, bioswales, building strategies and others.
2. Open space plans including 3 major open spaces. One is centered on a proposed school, one on a community center and another on a proposed hotel development.
3. Storm water planning that included a systematic path of rainwater as it falls from the sky to its ultimate destination. This included greenways through streets with wider medians and storm water storage locations within open spaces. The landscape architect focused on recharge and times of concentration emulating a more natural state.
4. Plans for the pedestrian promenade, its levee edge along the river greenway and the nodes along it (image 6). The nodes were spaced at regular intervals, as terminal axis views on major streets and at bridge ends. Different uses were programmed for each one including gathering areas, public art and water features.
5. Typical street plans and cross sections. See Image 3, one example.
6. Bridge plans and elevations that linked the 2 sides of the development across the Fuyang River.
Special Factors & Significance – The added challenge for an enhanced way of life is inherent for higher density communities found in China and Handan is no exception. Higher density is mandated by land values, population increases and general space available. The program established by planning and government officials included other challenges such as the establishment of consistent floor area ratios that guided block and street development, reduced height zones for buildings near the adjacent airport, and planning to provide an essentially self contained community for 10,000 residents.
Status: Under Construction
Location: Hebei Province, Peoples Republic of China