Landscape of the Future Garden / ATELIER DYJG
Text description provided by the architects. A brownfield on the outskirts of Nanjing was restored by convening a garden exposition and thereafter is transforming into a tourist resort. The project is located in a large quarry of the brownfield and is planned to be a tourist complex themed by regenerated quarries, which includes a hotel, botanical garden, restaurant, café, and outdoor theater. The project faced challenges not only from the severely damaged natural environment of the quarry but also from the complexity of the project’s functions and goals.
With a giant transparent pool roof supported by 42 tall stainless steel tree-like structural columns, the botanical garden is the core of the project. It is classified as three different habitat zones from west to east namely, arid area, music area, and humid area through the analysis of sunlight conditions, moisture conditions, and earthing feasibility. The rocky terraces combine 67 steps and an 86m-long zigzag ramp, on which the drought- and barren-tolerant plants of various forms and colors grow.
The music garden is proposed to create rich spatial variations by shaping undulating hills, deep ravines, and steep rocks, offering a suitable environment for different plants to grow. A winding skywalk connects the second floor of the commercial building to the rockery and viewing platform in the garden, providing a unique experience of traversing through the treetops and overlooking the garden scenery.
The humid garden consists of a glistening pond with lush aquatic flora, and the sunken area is a shady plant area with terraces and a zigzag ramp.
To preserve the memory of the original quarry, the misty garden only adopts the restoration method in a series of scattered island-like areas and leaves the existing gravel on the quarry surface in the rest of the area. As the most representative landscape of the quarry, the 130-meter-high south side of the cliff is preserved.
The project adopts differentiated restoration approaches in consideration of the geological conditions and landscape characteristics of different parts of the quarry, creating a new landscape while retaining the memory of the site’s history. On the basis of researching conditions onsite like sunlight, ventilation, and drainage, the design team chose more than 800 species of plants to form 12 thematic plant areas, which showcases the eco-restoration possibility and plant diversity and provides an opportunity for natural education for the public. It also provides a variety of complex functions to transform a negatively barren quarry pit into a vibrant tourist resort complex, creating high ecological, economic, and social value.