In the shadows of Sanya, a city on the southern end of China’s Hainan Island, lies a lush ecological haven that offers a reprieve from the crowded beach resorts and hotels the area is known for. But it wasn’t always so. Decades of unrelenting development in the tropical tourist destination left scars on the landscape in the form of polluted waterways, abandoned construction debris and damaged or destroyed mangroves.
In 2015, the city government contracted Turenscape to restore a 100,000-square-metre swath of this forgotten land on the banks of the Sanya River. What was formerly a barren wasteland is now a stunning maze of greenery and water. Lead designer Kongjian Yu and his team carved the land into interlocking fingers resembling an outstretched hand atop the river surface; the resulting inlets guide sea tides into the park while stymying the strong storm currents and polluted stream waters that can threaten mangrove health.
To encourage public use of the site without risking damage to the fragile mangroves, the team devised a network of pedestrian passageways that peacefully meander through the verdant grounds. Five angular pavilions are scattered throughout the park, offering tranquil spots to perch and take in the rejuvenated landscape.
By letting the natural processes of winds, tides and currents determine its interventions, Turenscape successfully rehabilitated the mangroves while creating an inspiring showcase for urban renewal, ecological restoration and community recreation. Flora and fauna are now diverse and abundant, as are the visitors: Sanya Mangrove Park has become a local destination for nature-lovers of all ages.
AZ Awards category Landscape Architecture Project Sanya Mangrove Park Location Sanya City, China Firm Turenscape, Beijing, China Team Kongjian Yu with Guoxiong Lin, Yu Zhang, Jianqiao Zhang, Zhen Bai, Jia Song, Wenyu Yu, Junyan Zheng, Fan Wu, Yufei Wang, Fei Li and Fang Wang
A damaged ecosystem in China is brought back to life in Turenscape’s marvellous Landscape Architecture winner.