Wuhan, China - Wuhan’s East Lake has a surface area of 33 square kilometers, making it the largest lake within an urban environment in China. Including the surrounding green areas, it covers an area of 88 square kilometers. It is an important tourist site in China and attracts more than a million visitors every year. The large lake is further enhanced by locations like the Botanical Garden, the ‘Ma Anshan Forest Park’, the ‘Moshan Hill Scenic Spot’ and the ‘Luoyan Scenic Area’.
|Client||Landscape Institute of Wuhan|
|Team||John Boon, Kees Neven, Joep van Baast, Hans Smolenaers|
The old dike roads that cross the lake have now been turned into cycle paths. This has made the region very attractive for recreational users. At one point, where three cycle paths come together, there is a small peninsula (around 5000 m2). This peninsula offers a view of the Moshan Hill Scenic Spot. There’s a fantastic view of the temple and the tower in the green hills. The fact that the East Lake is surrounded by an urban area makes this a place of stark contrasts. Sometimes the city has a strong presence, but other times you feel like you're in the middle of nature. These contrasts really add to the experience. On the western side, there is a view of a green waterfront (’Tingtao Scenic Area’) with the impressive skyline formed by the tall buildings of the city in the background. The view on the south side is dominated by green hills with just a handful of striking, historic buildings.
We thought the peninsula should be not just a place to enjoy the beautiful view of the Moshan Hill, but a place to escape daily life in the city too. A place where people can clear their heads and experience nature. Although the peninsula should be an attractive place to visit, we wanted to keep its appearance relatively modest. It should not disrupt visitors’ experience of the natural environment. Another theme we focused on was ‘contrast’. Contrast between the inside and outside, movement and stillness, small and large, peace and activity, formality and informality, culture and nature, shelter and openness and so on.