Ecological, cultural, and artistic integration awakens urban memory
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DETAILS

LocationHangzhou, Zhejiang, China
ClientGrand Canal Group
Size166 ha

For centuries, the Beijing-Hangzhou’s Grand Canal – a staggering 1,000 linear miles which remain the world’s longest man-made waterway – was a lifeline for commerce and communication. The water’s edge was necessary for trade, a logical place to live, and often a driver of innovation.  However, as with many waterfronts globally, it eventually fell victim to the byproducts of successful industry: decay and pollution. The Hangzhou Grand Canal Waterfront and Public Realm Plan seeks to reclaim the canal for the people, transforming a blighted industrial district into a new community where arts and culture are celebrated.

400 acres along this historic transport corridor and UNESCO World Heritage site, which has been in continuous operation since the fifth century, are now proposed to become a community and international destination that strengthens connections between the city and canal; combines fragmented land into a contiguous, legible public realm; attracts local, national, and international visitors; furthers China’s commitment to environmental resilience and public health, and expresses a rich cultural heritage through a contemporary lens.

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