Credits: Jie Gu, Ying Liu, Adnan Mabruk, Makoto Okazaki, Michael Sorkin
A competition for an urban park that went nowhere. The site is a typical one in our experience, designated but not yet surrounded by the anticipated fabric. In addition, this space forms a large node along a lengthy, sinuous, sponge park (the idea of the urban sponge is now lingua franca in Chinese planning) that winds its way through this developing part of town but has little specific program beyond the array of environmental services it will provide. Our scheme was meant to provide a very wide array of social, recreational, landscape, and environmental possibilities, to offer a truly rich array of uses. Formally (and this is surely where the scheme went south with the jury), we organized the park in a series of “chambers” at the scale of urban blocks with a complex overlay of circulation and waterways. Each of the chambers is dedicated to a particular activity or constituency, including kids, gardens, sports, science, creatures, agriculture, welcome, water, etc. Food was to be ubiquitous as were opportunities for unstructured leisure in a range of settings, from public to secret.