The site comprises lands along the industrial Yangtze River waterfront and five mountains (“wushan”), two of which have Buddhist monasteries. The monastery at Longshan, one of the most important in China, hosts increasing popular pilgrimages. The government requested a master plan to reclaim the area for the public, promote culture and education and accommodate rising demand for tourist destinations and amenities in China.
The Master Plan’s guiding principles include preserving natural features, reclaiming the riverfront for public enjoyment, and building on local traditions such as Buddhist retreats, canal villages at the foot of Longshan, and indigenous arts and crafts. The widely varied program assumes zones of activity serving different needs for access and adjacencies, such as separating contemplative spiritual zones from outdoor sports and theme parks.
The Master Plan works with the topography and location of natural features and organizes program areas around three major axes/zones: spiritual and cultural (peaceful); educational and cultural (engaged); recreational and theme park (high-energy). Each zone’s sense of place comes from the relationship to nature, such as mountain or river, and regional cultural traditions such as architectural typology, gardens and art.