Watershed moment: a landscaping project in Fuzhou responds to the site's topography
American landscape architecture specialists the SWA Group have unveiled their latest offering in Asia; the Yongtai project is a residential scheme idyllically situated within Fuzhou's Red Cliff Scenic Area, bordering the Dazhang River in southeast China.
Focusing on the landscaping aspect of this complex created for the Fuzhou Yongtai Youxin Real Estate, the project spans a large-scale, 45-hectare area, surrounded by twelve small hills. The area also features a strong water element, as it acts as a watershed for the region.
The client's brief called for clusters of housing that would 'follow the natural site topography', explain the architects. The SWA Group obliged with their design blending seamlessly with the natural environment, adding lush greenery in-between the buildings.
An existing lake was preserved and became central to the plot, incorporated as a key public space for the residential complex. It acts as a focal point for the design, unifying the site. Public footpaths and sculptural bridges create a network of modern walkways and terraces that enhance the complex's circulation and lead residents towards the water. Wood, metal and concrete complement subtly the scheme's serene gardens.
Apart from the residential element (from high rises to smaller scale townhouses), the project also features a boutique hotel, a shopping area and clubhouses for residents.
This is not the only new offering from the prolific firm. Their Chongqing Dongyuan 1891 project near the Yangtze River was also recently completed, aiming to similarly incorporate the river's water element with the nearby Nan Mountain scenery to create a modern, yet sensitive, urban refuge.