One Architecture & Urbanism

One Architecture & Urbanism

Amsterdam, NL and New York


Nourishing City: Shenzhen Xili Reservoir

Xili reservoir was constructed in the 1960s to address the severe shortage of drinking water in Shenzhen and has since been an important water source for the city. While it is a rich ecological resource, the reservoir is facing many threats from the development of surrounding villages. Therefore, the team [ONE, LOLA Landscape, Land+Civilization Compositions, Taller Architects] suggested nourishing the natural system through the Blueways and providing a resilient natural base for its future sustainable development.

As an overall ecological strategy, ONE has proposed a three-layered greenway system that circles the reservoir, filters the water from uphill to downstream, and provides public activities for the villages. The three greenways are joined by the Blueway corridor of seven rivers to create an interlocking resiliency framework. The greenway system comprises 1) a protective greenway around the border of the site on the mountain ridge, 2) a connective greenway linking the three villages, and 3) a recreational greenway surrounding the reservoir. The protective greenway on the mountain will filter the runoff before it flows into the river, providing hiking paths that connect to the surrounding forest parks. The connective greenway changes the existing road to connect the three villages as green infrastructure and makes the villages into spongy areas and green buffer zones through buildings and street renovation. The recreational greenway integrates wetlands and pedestrian paths to protect the reservoir and at the same time provide public access for the public to enjoy the reservoir.

ONE has also looked at resiliency from the site’s nature, water, and village system. Currently, the site is vegetated with mostly lychee and fast-growing trees with little ecological value. We wanted to restore the biodiversity on site while promoting eco-tourism. For the water system and rivers, we introduced a Nature-based design for their natural upstream parts, the village middle stream parts, and the reservoir’s downstream parts. And we have proposed a unique strategy for each of the river parts depending on its section and program. For the villages, the team presented integrated resiliency strategies for the building, street, and node scale, systematically organizing the drainage system and turning the villages into green-spongy areas.

The proposal was conceived as part of the “International Competition of Overall Conceptual Planning and Landscape Design for Blueways around Xili Reservoir” and won the 2nd prize.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Shenzhen