Resilient Landscape Goes with the Flow 
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DETAILS

LocationChangsha, Hunan Province, China
ClientChangsha Pilot Land Development and Construction Co. Ltd.
Size63.3 hectares

Over many decades, public agencies in China have sought to solve growing flooding issues in a defensive way: fortifying and hardening river edges, raising levee heights, and ultimately separating the people from historical connections to the water. With an understanding of river flow processes and volumes and of wetland and native forest ecology, this separation can be assuaged, reconnecting communities to their waterfronts while responding to periodic flooding.

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 berm-buttressed paths, with terraced edges that create multi-level wetland system around the island: islands to the south, and small peninsulas, linked by a meandering boardwalk network. These peninsulas’ grass-lined channels lie beneath shallow water the majority of the year; however, during the flood season, the entire system is completely submerged.

At the island’s highest grades, private villas and a tennis facility are proposed. These are designed to be self-sustaining and integrated within the landscape, hidden within a forest wall. The island itself provides various opportunities for visitors to enjoy its natural beauty and newly thriving ecology.

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