‘NaTian’ Cup International Design Competition, 2017
Client: Suqian Municipal Government, China
Program: Cultural, Public Open Space
Team: MMK+, MG A+U, Sizhe Chen
Location: Suqian, China
Floating Walk positions itself as a new system to augment the existing nature. It improves the socio-cultural value of Natian Flower Farm, by enhancing its aesthetics and uniqueness. New pedestrian loops and pavilions redefine the existing field-offering public experiences in site-specific ways. Year-round adventures are possible, with dynamic views for visitors (whether tourists or local residents).Through minimum ground interference, Floating Walk enhances the beauty of the existing Natian Flower Farm, through minimizing the constructed impact. Through stunning views, visitors are invited to experience nature, and get lost in its beauty.
The new pedestrian loops (sub-spines) consist of an elevated path system, connecting the existing circulation-central pedestrian bridge, electric car roads, bike lanes, and walking paths-to the outer edges of the Natian Flower Farm. Its winding path gently embraces the landscape, while creating dynamic panoramas. The three-dimensional undulating arches allow visitors to take part in activities at various levels, while experiencing stunning aerial views of the Natian Flower Farm.
New Pavilions are integrated within the pedestrian loops. Dispersed throughout the system, they become public venues to meet, play, and relax. They are carefully linked within the existing site features, and are distributed by a new ‘5-min walk’ grid system. The new grid breaks down the large scale Flower Farm to one that can be perceived and enjoyed as a continuous journey of discovery.
Embedded within the new pedestrian loops are special garden zones. These temporal spaces allow for pop-up sculptures and art installation to be harmonized within the existing flower patches.Through LED light poles creating additional ‘lighting gardens’, and mirror walls reflecting the natural environment, visitors are transported to an immersive visual fantasy. The temporary gardens act as concentrated natural spaces, designed to suddenly focus visitors’ engagement as they navigate the new pedestrian loops.
Floating Walk does not attempt to be an iconic structure itself; but rather creates a system that makes the existing Natian Flower Farm sustainable, accessible, and enchanting. Each Individual loop contains a smart irrigation system, functioning both as a misting system for the plants, and one for visitors to cool off during warm summer months. The minimal structure supporting the new pedestrian loops and pavilions does not interfere with the existing flower farm. Although subtle with its visual impact, the new pedestrian loops provide a unique transcendent platform—while also being socially-focused, economically-responsible, and environmentally-friendly.