Martha Schwartz Partners designed the Fengming Mountain Park to lead visitors from a car park at the top of the site to a sales centre for a property development being constructed in the area.
"The brief was to design a demonstration park and urban public realm to express a unique identity in order to market the future development," explained the architects.
A pathway descends through plazas, planted areas and water features that reference the surrounding landscape of mountains, rice paddies and rivers.
The red and orange metal structures mark out the route and act as pavilions that provide shade during the day and a focal point when illuminated at night.
Their angular shapes are intended to resemble mountain peaks rising above the lower features along the route and their bright hue was chosen to stand out against the greenery and sky.
A pattern of perforated triangles casts complex shadows on the ground when the sun shines and allows the internal surfaces to emit a warm glow when illuminated from within.
A monolithic concrete wall with a rough textured surface shields the car park from the rest of the site, with further walls lining a zigzagging path that drops down to the lower level of the park.
"The zigzag path ensures the extreme level change is accessible for all," added the architects. "The path also becomes a geological pattern language, as if one is a walking on trails winding up a steep mountain."
Water flows through the site from the entrance to the sales centre along a meandering channel that feeds small pools, some of which feature jets to enhance the aural properties of these features.
Bright orange walls framing some of the planting provide a consistent element throughout the park, which corresponds with markings painted across the surface of the car park and the tall pavilions.
Photography is by the architects.
Here's a project description from Martha Schwartz Partners:
Fengming Mountain Park
Fengming Mountain Park is set on a 16,000m2 site, located in the growing Shapingba District of Chongqing. The site extends south to the old housing quarter, north to the Huayu City Project, west to Shangqiao Road and east to Fengxi Road, which is the main entrance and highest point of the site. Opened in Spring 2013, visitors are taken on a dynamic journey via a series of iconic mountain-shaped follies, plazas, greenery and water features to the proposed Vanke Golden City Development sales centre.
The brief was to design a demonstration park and urban public realm to express a unique identity in order to market the future development. The park is required to draw attention to the development sales centre from the upper main road and entrance from Fengxi Road; and be adaptable for retrofit and integration for the adjacent future development.
Extreme topography creates both a functional challenge to facilitate pedestrian and vehicle movement from the upper car park to the sales centre at the lowest point; and a unique opportunity to provide a dynamic landscape – the 'mountain'.
The vision was to create a strong connection between the setting of the site and the surrounding backdrop of the mountainous peaks, valleys of the Sichuan Basin; the agrarian patterning of rice paddy terraces; the Chang Jiang river; and the mysterious white/grey misty sky of Chongqing. These elements provide the inspiration for the mountain pavilions, zigzag patterns, orchestrated terrain and the use of vivid colours (to contrast against the sky).
On arrival from Fengxi Road, dancing red and orange sculptures line the entrance to draw people into the arrival plaza car park. The first of the mountain pavilions stands at the entrance, to mark the start of series of visual mountain peaks, descending down the slope. Each pavilion is strategically positioned along the zigzag path, leading pedestrians down the ‘mountain’, towards the sales centre area. The pavilions provide shade during the day and at night, are lit to create a spectacular glowing lantern effect.
The zigzag path ensures the extreme level change is accessible for all, the path also becomes a geological pattern language, as if one is a walking on trails winding up a steep mountain. At each turn, a platform provides a place to sit and enjoy the view or take respite from the hill. The zigzag path is lined with balustrade walls constructed from large pieces of deeply textured dark concrete to create a rocky silhouette looking up the hill. The valleys or crevices that are created by the walls become sources for streams which run through the project.
The presence of water is an important part of Fengming Mountain Park and is expressed as a 'flow' of water from the arrival plaza to the sales centre, using a variety of different water effects, such as: channels, pools and jets to assist with cooling, provide sounds and atmosphere to what is a captivating landscape.
This entire park is a sequence, a triumphant journey, from the patterned markings in the arrival plaza; down the zig zag path; into meandering water features; through the plazas and then on to the final destination at the Sales Centre. Fengming Mountain has become a has become a vibrant, joyful and well loved part of the Chongqing cityscape.
Location: Chongqing, China
Associate Landscape Architect: La Cime
Contractor: Third Chongqing Construction Engineering
Size: 16 Hectares
Status: Completed 2013
Design Team: Martha Schwartz, Nigel Koch, Jasmine Ong, Christabel Lee, Aigars Lauzis, Ignacio Lopez-Buson, Ceylan Belek-Ombregt, Markus Jatsch and Gilles de Wever