Originally used as an agricultural research center, in recent years and with the quick extension of Shenzhen it has seen a steady decline in its use. With the new surroundings, it has the potential to become a city park for the local community while also fulfilling an educational function with the aim of developing a healthier lifestyle. The masterplan proposed keeps much of the existing layout but enriches it with more possibilities to experience nature. New landscapes are added that serve as both, recreational open space and educational field.
The buildings in the park seek to engage with the nature around them in many different ways. Rather than being an intrusion, they are devices that reveal some of the qualities of the local natural environment. In doing so, they stand in the tradition of traditional Chinese garden architecture and at the same time, they are activators in a contemporary and accessible open park.
The Library building combines the functions of an exhibition hall and a public library. The original concept is to create a place for culture completely surrounded by nature. As much as climbing a tree, this building can be considered as a ‘tree of knowledge’ where the user’s experience changes at every floor together with the views towards the surrounding scenery. Each floor has a different function and can be experienced indoor as much as outdoor thank to the generous shaded balconies.
The exhibition hall at ground floor is permeable and completely accessible from the park. Each floor has a different level of permeability according to the level of privacy needed by its function. As a tree’s canopy, the top floor is wider than the rest of the building and opens up towards the natural scenery. Here we have the main panoramic platform where visitors can experience a close relationship with both nature and the city-scape. The Library is connected to an elevated walkway that from the ground level and through the trees, ends up to the building’s third floor.
The large canopies at each floor are the most distinctive and iconic architectural elements of the building. Their bronze perforated metal sheets cladding is virtually the only visible material of the facade which is for the most part curtain walls. Only at second floor the facade is composed by a series of vertical pipes that resemble bamboo trees.
Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
People’s Government of Futian District, Shenzhen
2014 - 2017
Competition Design / Design Development / Construction
Exhibition, Mixed use, Landscape Design
MLA+ and Vlad Feoktistov