CITY BALKONY

Project   City Balkony
Client   Hangzhou Qiangjing New CBD Construction Ltd.
Location   Hangzhou, P.R. China
Planning period   2004-2006
Service   Planning and construction supervising (Lph. 1-5/8)
Partner   Obermeyer Planen und Beraten GmbH (OPB)
MOD, Shanghai
ECADI, Shanghai
Cost   17 million Euro
Area   5.5 ha
Awards   1st prize, 2004
Photography credit   Chen Bing, Sabine Wutzelhofer


The astonishing Qiantang River is one of the main attractions of the city Hanghzou. However not until recently has the river been integrated into the urban fabric. Towering 80 meters above the Qiantang River, and located above a 500 meter long complex of buildings, a new park promenade has been developed. Designed as a space floating between inside and outside, the project combines the shopping mall with the park into a single park mall. More than a thousand newly planted trees define this new park promenade, with loose groups of Cinnamomum camphora, Magnolia grandiflora and Taxodiaceae hovering like a soft haze over the City Balcony.

In the interplay between light and shadow, meandering paths of wood and stone as well as vegetation and water belts create an urban fabric that combines the different levels of the edifices by means of ramps, steps and lighting in one complete ensemble. Architecture fuses with landscape, and artificial becomes one with natural. The structure of the landscape promenade expresses the flow of the Qiantang River and its play with the tides. Like the famous tidal bore that transforms the Qiantang River once a year and can safely be viewed from the top of the Balcony, the design pattern of the new promenade quotes the washout of natural surfaces after a wave has drawn back to the sea. By connecting the city and the Qiantang River, the City Balcony makes the river a discernible part of the city. City, park and river are incorporated; they connect and dialogue with each other.

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