Recently, a landscape architecture planning and design team from Beijing Forestry University (BJFU) won the bid for the landscape design project of the core of Zhangjiakou Zone, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The team, led by Professor Li Xiong, was composed of YAO Peng, XIAO Yao, YIN Hao and many other teachers and graduate students from the School of Landscape Architecture, BJFU.
This design project was conducted and completed when COVID-19 prevailed. However, the design team, complying with the CPC Central Committee’s instructions on, and Ministry of Education’s and Beijing Municipal Government’s decisions and arrangements of the prevention and control of the epidemic, and under the leadership of the University Council, took the initiative to face the challenges and overcome the difficulties, particularly aggravated by the epidemic, and made innovation and technological breakthroughs in landscape design by means of online resources and research platforms. Their success in the bidding manifests a strong sense of green mission and social responsibility individuals of BJFU have.
Figure 1 Project Location
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be co-hosted by Beijing and Zhangjiakou City. The core of Zhangjiakou Zone is situated in the area of Princetown, Chongli District, Zhangjiakou City. Occupying a total planned area of about 960 hectares, Zhangjiakou Zone, is comprised of three segments, namely competition venues, Genting Snow Park and Princetown Ice and Snow Town. The center of the Zone, covering an area of 24 hectares, is located on the site of the Princetown Temporary Imperial Palace, which was built in the Jin Dynasty. In line with the competition requirements and the master planning, Beijing Organization Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games decided to build a relics park around The Princetown Relics Conservation Area, making it the landscape center and service hub of the core Zone, as well as an important window for displaying the image of the Zone and Chinese culture.
Covering an area of 7 hectares and being the landscape center of the core of the Zone, the Princetown Relic Park is not only an important place for historic relics protection and cultural exhibition, but also an event landscape where Games service, event publicity and Olympic theme recreation are provided. Based on an in-depth analysis and profound understanding of the Winter Olympic culture and the cultural history and natural features of Chongli District, the project sets “respecting nature, intensive utilization of resources, presenting Chinese style and meeting international standards” as its design principle and takes “Painting the Olympics with mountains and water” as its design theme. By integrating the vernacular landscape with humanistic Winter Olympics, it creates an event landscape that blends ecological resilience, cultural inheritance, and sustained effects (Figure 2).
Figure 2 A Bird’s Eye View of the Princetown Relics Park
Taking into full consideration the unique geographical hydrology and vegetation conditions of the Zone, the design adopts a progressive landscape structure of “natural mountain forest-waterfront flower pasture-native gardens”. In the design, the existing hard flood drainage channels are transformed into ecological river courses that fluctuate with the seasons and flower belts, which outlines an elastic boundary for the Relics Park; the earthwork obtained from the excavation of the water system is shaped into a gentle slope terrain and planted with trees to form a more naturalized mountain forest belt; on the basis of the mountain-water landscape structure, multiple native gardens are constructed to showcase the typical representative native plant resources in a horticultural manner (Figures 3 and 4). The future Relics Park will blend natural scenery and humanistic care, and also endow the 2022 Winter Olympics with the regional characteristics and historical charm.
Figure 3 Perspective Drawing of the Natural Mountain Forest
Figure 4 Perspective Drawing of a native garden
The design of the Princetown Relics Park project is a clear manifestation of BJFU people’s dedication to the country and responsibility for the land, and of their active contribution to the national strategy and participation in the epidemic prevention and control. It also makes an eloquent statement of implementing the new development concept and advancing the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. In the future, the School of Landscape Architecture will further give play to the characteristics and advantages of the first-class discipline of landscape architecture, make continuous contributions to the research fields such as the Winter Olympics ecological scenic trail, regional landscape planning, and plant landscape resources, uphold the idea of ecological civilization in the service of national strategies, and build a more beautiful China.
Reported by: the School of Landscape Architecture; Translated by: BAI Xuelian