How to Improve a Landscape With Minimal Design Solution

In some projects you have to think how to improve and preserve as much as possible the natural landscape and in the same time to create an urban uses of recreation and education. This was the starting point for the “red ribbon” project for Tanghe River Park in Qinhuangdao City, China, a project that was awarded in 2007 with highest distinction of the ASLA  (American Society of Lanscape Architects). Today red ribbon park  from Qinhuangdao  is listed among the seven wonders of the modern world by Conde Nast Traveller.

To reconcile conservation with the intervention, designer Kongjian Yu used a reductionist approach, dense and ultra- synthetic: a single linear element, winding about 500 meters along the river, back arched as the dragons of native folklore. Why red and not another color? Because red has a signification in Chinese culture, being loved and which brings good luck and hapiness. This ribbon incorporates an alley, night lighting, the state places, the signs of guidance and interpretive and educational notes about the environment, channeling an entire civilized arsenal along. Its width varies between 30 and 150 centimeters, while the constant height of 60 inches allows the support and to sit on it. It’s made of fiber steel, and lit from inside so that it glows red at night. Following the design objectives, protection of existing habitats on site, from place to place along the multifunctional band are growing various plants in some empty spaces that were specifically cut to facilitate direct interaction of users with plant specimens characteristic of the place. The structure also incorporates crossings that allow small animals to follow their way unhindered.

The red ribbon is accompanied by four pavilions in clouds shape that dot the route sheets park, serving as shelters, landmarks and meeting places, each of them named after a local species of plants. A bike trail was built on the old country road on the outskirts of the site. Four gardens in different colors, white, yellow, purple and blue, refreshing green expanse and covering traces of old landfills. Ingenious minimal design solution to improve a landscape and highly functional.

Principal Designer: Kongjian Yu
Landscape Architect: Lin Shihong, Chen Chen, Niu Jin, Hong Wei, He Jun, Ning Weijiing, Li Yao
Architect: Liu Xiangjun, LongXiang, Yang Zhenrong
Environmental Artist: Yang Lina, Jiang Hongfen, Jin Zhongge, Fu Xiujun, Ji Lianzhong, Hou Erbin
Graphic Artist: Men Yujia, Luo Shuishui

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