Glass biomes will dominate new 41ha sustainable landscape

Friendship Park: aerial view from northwest

The Singapore office of landscape architect Grant Associates has won an international competition to create a new 41ha city park for Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (TJEC) in northern China.

Friendship Park will be on the Gu Dao Canal and will incorporate a variety of sustainable landscapes, encouraging a range of activities: an urban dock, play areas, a ridgetop walk, water gardens, lawns and an amphitheatre. Solar panels will be used wherever possible, and the different areas of the park will be connected by a network of paths and cycleways.

One of the main features will be a series of five glass biomes, designed in collaboration with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, environmental design consultant Atelier Ten and structural engineer Atelier One (the same team that designed Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay). These will house tropical plants, a wetland centre, and water gardens.

Tianjin Eco-City is a collaboration between the Chinese and Singapore governments that will house up to 350,000 people by 2020; the park is intended as a symbol of the relationship between the two countries.

The site is currently a barren expanse with saline soil; structures such as ridges along the northern edge of the site will offer protection in winter and help establish a sheltered microclimate, while the wetlands and water gardens will manage drainage, water flow and water quality.

Stefaan Lambreghts, associate at Grant Associates, said: ‘Our vision is to create a sustainable, playful and life enhancing landscape alongside inspiring architecture. Together this will provide a rich variety of spaces in which people can come together to play and learn, and have fun.

‘The park … represents the close relationship between China and Singapore, as well as the connection between people and nature, land and water, shelter and exposure.’

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