Changsha Baxizhou Island
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Resilient Landscape Goes with the Flow

Location Changsha, Hunan Province, China

Client Changsha Pilot Land Development and Construction Co. Ltd.

Scope Urban Design, Landscape Architecture

Size 63.3 hectares


Seasonal flooding regime of river is honored as a positive form-maker

Natural wetland terraces replace concrete walls at edges

Educational journey of discovery through native planting offers commanding views

Located on the Xiang River in China’s Hunan Province, the 63.3-hectare Baxizhou Island is a private refuge covered with poplar trees and structures no longer in use. The conceptual design plan created a network of meandering paths wrapping around berms used to reduce areas susceptible to flooding. Terraced edges create a multi-level wetland system around the island, providing not only beautiful, aromatic areas, but opportunities for ecology to thrive. Varying edge conditions are created, increasing the opportunities for inhabitants to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

The south wetland area contains a blend of wetland islands and small wetland peninsulas that are linked by a meandering boardwalk network. Their elevation is slightly lower than the island to allow seasonal flooding of the marshes during the high water season and support various emergent wetland plants. Grass lined channels are submerged under shallow water the majority of the year; however, during the flood season, river water will submerge the channel network approximately 20 to 30 days per year. Private villas and a tennis facility are proposed as part of the plan and are located at the highest grades to prevent flooding. They are designed to be fully self-sustaining and integrated within the landscape, hidden within a forest wall.

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