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add your case study title Shenyang Architectural University Campus


Name Shenyang Architectural University Campus
Location Taizhou City, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province
Country China
Office Turenscape/Kongjian Yu/Turenscape and Beijing University Graduate School of Landscape
Client Shenyang Architectural University
Completion 2004
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Core Question 1: In how far does this project reveal your concept of future landscapes?

The key word of the concept for Shenyang Architectural University Campus is productive landscape, which is a efficient and economical land use. Under the reducing arable lands and increasing of population in world, the future landscape should be more efficient and economical. The concept of landscape should be regarded as a good way to solve the problems during the developing process. The vision of future landscapes will be always concerned with the relationship between nature and people.


Comments from Tartu Group 3:

Although the rural land in China is shrinking and it is very important to use the land as practically as possible, we find that the landscapes should be a combination of efficient, economical and also aesthetic.


Comment to work of Kassel from Montevideo:

The necessity of food production in a country with limited tillable land makes that a simple rice paddy, being just a cultivable territory, becomes part of the cultural identity of China and transforms itself in a possible target-landscape for the nation.

Landscape and/or urban context

  • Biogeography, cultural features, overall character, history and dynamics

In March of 2002, the Shenyang City in North China’s Liaoning Province commissioned the designer to create a new, 80 hectares suburban campus for Shenyang Architectural University. The campus was built in the suburbs. The project is one part of the campus at the southwest of the campus, with an area of 3 hectares. The proposed campus was originally a rice field. The rice from here is known for high quality, because of the cool climate and its longer growing season. The soil quality is good and a viable agricultural irrigation system was still in place.


Illustration: Map; sketches; short descriptive analyses

Cultural/social/political context

  • Brief explanation of culture, political economy, legal framework

Landscape architects must think about the issues of food production and sustainable land use, two of the biggest current issues in China. The arable lands are shrinking due to the rapid urbanization process in China. The valuable and limited resources should be used efficiently. With the developmet towards urbanization, foodproduction landscapes in the country have come under increasing pressure. This project can help make clear the connection between productive agriculture and urban existence.


Illustration: Bullet points, image, background notes

Spatial analysis of area/project/plan

  • What are the main structural features?

The campus is not only designed to be a campus with small open platforms, spanning the landscape, the campus is also a completely functional rice paddy, complete with its own system of irrigation. Other native crops, such as buckwheat grow in rotation across the campus, annually. Native plants line pathways. Students participate in the sustainable development and food production. Student participation become part of the productive landscape. The farming processes can potentially become a laboratory for students and the faculty as well. Rice paddy became an university icon. The rice produced on the campus as new image of university campus. The project suggests a new form of hybrid landscape that could sustain traditional food production and supporting new uses.


  • How has it been shaped? Were there any critical decisions?

This project shows how agricultural landscape can become part of the urbanized environment and how cultural identity can be created through an ordinary productive landscape. This project seeks to use rice, native plants and crops to keep the landscape productive while also fulfilling its new role as an environment for learning. The utterly new campus landscape of Shenyang Architectural University was designed with rice and native crops and plants. By doing this, the campus became a unique environment for the students to learn not only from the book, but from the nature and agriculture. Materials and trees from the old campus were reused in this new campus. The natural and agricultural processes and the process of history become part of the studying of the students.

Analysis of program/function

  • What are the main functional characteristics?

The concept of this design seeks to use rice, native plants and crops to

  1. Keeping the landscape productive
  2. Fulfilling its new role as an environment for learning.
  3. Providing a well compus environment for the students and faculties.For that, the gridded campus landscape is a totally functional rice paddy, complete with its own irrigation system. Other native crops, such as buckwheat, can also be grown in rotation and native plants line the pathways.
  • How have they been expressed or incorporated?

The way of design expression:

  1. Extensive use of rice and local crops, native wild plants (such as Polygonum, Populus) as the landscape of the base, show site features.
  2. Convenient road network system. Comply with the latest line from the two rules, with the straight road connecting dormitories, canteens, classrooms and laboratories, the formation of green space and gardens across the rice paddies and convenient road network.
  3. By recycling old things, establishing the links between old and new school. The old campus of the post, stone thrust, floor tiles and trees incorporated into the new campus environment.


Illustration: Map/diagram/sketches photos and background notes


Analysis of design/planning process

  • How was the area/project/plan formulated and implemented?

The project finished in a short time, just one year. And these are the important things for implementing:

  1. The productive campus rice paddy: not only designed to be a campus with small open platforms, spanning the landscape, the campus is also a completely functional rice paddy, complete with its own system of irrigation.
  2. Other native crops, such as buckwheat grow in rotation across the campus, annually. Native plants line pathways.


  • Were there any important consultations/collaborations?

The project is just designed by Turenscape working with the graduate school of landscape architecture at Beijing University。


Illustration: Map/diagram/sketches photos and background notes

The design had to contend with the following existing site conditions and budgetary limitations:

  1. Former agricultural use: the new site for the proposed campus was originally a rice field, the origin of the famous “Northeast Rice,” known for high quality due to cool climate and its longer growing season than the those from the southern China (one single crop of rice in this area will last from the mid May till the end of October, while in south China it can only last 100 days, this is one reason that rice can be used as a landscaping material). The soil quality was good and a viable agricultural irrigation system was still in place.
  2. Small budget: only about one US dollars per square meter was allocated for landscaping. Most of the budget funded the design and construction of 320,000 sq m of new university buildings.
  3. Short timeline: the university required the design to be developed and implemented within one year. Classes were expected to begin in the fall semester of 2003.

Analysis of use/users

  • How is the area/project/plan used and by whom?

This area are used by both students and faculty for reading, relaxing and communicating.The productive aspect of the landscape draws both students and faculty into the dialogue of sustainable development and food production.

  • Is the use changing? Are there any issues?

In the productive landsacpe,it grows the Golden Rice ,and the Golden Rice became an university icon: the rice produced on the campus is harvested and distributed as “Golden Rice,” serving both as a keepsake for visitors of the school, and also as a source of identity forthe newly established, suburban campus. But perhaps most importantly of all, the widespread distribution of “GoldenRice” could raise awareness of new hybrid landscape solutions that could both continue old, yet crucial uses suchas food production, while supporting new uses, such as the education of China’s new architects.


Illustration: Map/diagram/sketches photos and background notes

Core Question 2: What is the role of landscape architecture in this project?

This project demonstrates how agricultural landscape can become part of the urbanized environment and how cultural identity can be created through an ordinary productive landscape. The overwhelming urbanization of China is encroaching upon much arable land. With a population of 1.3 billion people and limited tillable land, food production and sustainable land use is a survival issue that landscape architects must address.


Comments from Tartu Group 3:

Today, it is a landscape architect’s task in China to save the land suitable for food production. We think that with this particular project in Shenyang Architectural University in Northern China they have done a great job combining urban landscape with rural one and creating a relationship between human and nature. It is also good that both sides take advantage of it, for example the students can go outside during the brakes to read, communicate with friends or relax, further on, they can use that landscape for learning how to grow rice – they become part of the productive landscape. In addition, the recreational area around the school is used for growing rice, which looks very attractive and produces food as well. In conclusion, they have supported the traditional food production as well as the new uses of the landscape. This landscape is a good example of how agricultural landscape becomes part of an urbanized environment. In addition, this project shows how cultural identity can be created by an ordinary productive landscape, a rice-field.


Comment to work of Kassel from Montevideo:

The Shenyang Architectural University Campus in China is a very good example for the study of a case that soon will be a problem for all the world. Thought in these terms, it is clear that for the concept of landscape the aesthetic component would not be so much important. A landscape architecture ought to redefine its role towards this situation.

How shall we view landscape design in these modern times or in future facing new colleagues?

Landscape is not just the thing about aesthetics,it should be a field we should pay attentation to the living survival,together with local culture.

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References


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