In May 2021, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Binh Thuan Province – Vietnam has declared the preservation of a young natural-born mangrove area on abandoned agricultural land instead of urbanization development. In order to materialize, Infinitive Architecture has proposed a design project on urban design, landscape, and architecture. This project’s solution is to revive, preserve and develop the area into an ecological park for local people to enjoy a unique landscape right in the center of the city, together with additional public activity spaces.
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Global Future Design Awards 2021
Phu Hai Mangrove Ecological Park
Public Landscape Architecture Concept
Nguyen Quang Hien
Nguyen Quang Hien, Ha Hong Linh
Ho Chi Minh
- The context:
The context was special but also familiar in Southeast Asia countries where urbanization is in progress. The site was once farmland, including salt fields and shrimp farms. It has been abandoned since 2003 when the water condition was no more suitable. As a surprising result, a 28 ha mangrove garden has been growing green ever since, with a diverse range of aquatic ecosystems and birds. However, the weakness of this natural landscape was the artificial rectangular grid-patterned topographic left from farming filled with standing water.
- The solution:
We try to make the topographical weakness a strength. From a friendly landscaping point of view, we are not replacing the terrain with a more organic version. We create a maze looked landscape structure out of existing land and water, by simply make openings to allow water circulation. This mutual reclamation of land and water helps to improve the ecosystem’s environment and forming a unique natural landscape that can improve and diversify itself day by day.
- The content:
The park begins with a long entrance spreading along the main street, in form of a community square, to respond to the lack of local public gathering space. From the outstanding sunken viewing decks along the stepped embankment, people can always have a dramatic view of nature from a crowded city plaza. This contradiction makes the place special. From this entrance, visitors have access to all facilities and as well as landscape contents by walking or cycling on the bridges including low bridge, sky bridge. For adventurous-minded visitors, one can do kayaking or trekking on the trails.
The heart of this park is the viewing tower called the V Infinity. This is a loop structure that makes visitors go inside out to the viewing platform and descend by walking on the roof to get back down. The tower can also function as a community hall and a three-wing open-air theatre for cultural events.
- The vision:
Hoping to make every piece of land a better place, with a sustainable design solution, the project wishes to become an example for healing and bringing to life every abandoned and exploited agricultural land in developing countries.
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