The double landscape and architectural competition proposal for Yanqing Grape and Wine Park and Yanqing Greenhouse and Winery by LocalDesignStudio was organized ahead of the World Grape Conference to be held in 2014 in Yanqing County. The park was meant as a pilot project for the territory, only recently reconverted to cultivations of grapes, showing the latest technical achievements in the field of cultivation and production of wine and grape growing. Furthermore, the project was to represent the ambition of Yanqing County to become an important wine district internationally, not only oriented to business but related to a specific life-style. More images and architects’ description after the break.
What we refer to when we talk about “wine district”? The vision we have in mind is a territory generally oriented to the cultivation of grapes, which could, starting from this background, offer a wide range of complementary facilities and grape and wine related lifestyles, without being at the same time monopolized by the mere aspect of commercial wine production. A vibrant wine district should be in fact the expression of a network of cultural and productive aspects that the territory can offer at different levels. “Shan Shui Grape Garden” proposal is intending the new garden’s layout as a territorial primer of what the County can offer not only in terms of agriculture, but as a synergic tool where different ecologies live together.
The proposal is based on three strategies: 1) Encourage the integration between the important natural, economic, productive, social and cultural aspects of the territory though the introduction of key hubs of high technology functions integrated into the grape and fruit fields to create points of interest for the visitors and development for the local community; 2) Extend the accessibility for visitors to different kind of habitats: woods, agriculture, wetlands along the river, to promote a deeper understanding of the territory, local products and farming/production processes; 3) A low maintenance countryside garden, which means sustainable in a time perspective throughout the years to come and sensitive to the specific character of the territory. A park that will grow with nature and not against it, respecting the existing natural elements, such water canals or lines of trees, that will be used as design elements and integrated into an evolving ecological network which will later develop and embrace the whole territory.
The project proposes the insertion of three “ecological ribbon routes”, working as line parks on which unique activities and functions are located, placed onto a large vinyards carpet which will define the ubiquitous back-ground and main character of the new grape park. A series of “natural corridors” will define the connecting path network, viable by biking, walking, riding a horse or rowing a boat. The network of walkable paths and gardens will offer an ecological infrastructure model for the wider territorial park which can be extended to Yanqing City urban park along the river. The three “ecological ribbon routes” run through the plot from west to east. The number of 3 has been chosen to represent the 3 ecologies from the territory: water, agriculture and woods/mountains. Each of these routes works as a line-park and has been designed with a different character. The northern ribbon is the natural wood park, located along the railway. This park offers a mix of grass meadows and wild woods to ensure biodiversity. The southern ribbon is the natural wetland park, located along the river. The wetland strip is a very important natural filter to purify and cleaning the exceeding water coming from the farming land. This park is characterized by local wetland vegetation and water ponds, ensuring biological diversity. The middle ribbon is the horticultural park. It is the very core of the project, on which are located the most important built facilities and functions related to the Grape Exhibition in 2014. The ribbon offers a variety of different experiences.
Outdoor surfaces will include areas for grape picking, display fields, experimental grape farming, showcase fields with different grapes varieties, along with fruit gardens, look-out points, water basins and pools. Paved public squares will offer a flexible system able to adapt to different kind of individual experiences and public events. This ribbon also contains the main green house with grape museum and exhibition of grapes from around the world, and six secondary experimental intelligent greenhouses for indoor fruit picking and displaying the newest achievement in grape farming processes and techniques. The middle ribbon park contains also the main GATE with the reception; a new display winery, countryside hotel, local products market hall, restaurant and conference centre. “Shan Shui Grape Garden” is entirety planted with grapes. Grape fields will define a large vineyard carpet mostly dedicated to grow local grapes. It is a large and continuous productive surface cultivated by local farmers, only partially broken by the network of walkways and roads and by groups of existing tall trees like sails floating on a grapes sea.
Greenhouse and Horticultural Center’s Concept
The design for the main green house and Horticultural Centre to host the Grape Exhibition in 2014 will express the values of authenticity and renewed identity of Yanqing County. This will be achieved conjugating very modern high standard technology aspects with the ones from the local tradition. Traditional greenhouses built by local farmers, featuring a wall to the north side to protect from cold winds, while the hothouse is facing south to make the best from the sunshine, inspired the overall design. Its very simple principles are the proof of a very profound local knowledge about dealing with nature. The Green House develops along five sections corresponding to the five continents from which grapes are coming. The indoor space of the Green House will host an info centre; offices on 2 levels; grape exhibition and workshops; bike rental; areas for indoor picking; cafeteria and bookshop.
The design considers the appropriate integration of modern bioclimatic and energy saving systems. Eco-sustainability design strategies adopted in the Green House will include:
- saving energy by using radiation and natural ventilation; - geothermal pump for constant temperature; - micro- environment controller with nebulizers that reuse the cleaned water from the natural treatment plants of wetlands and will control the humidity degree; - rainwater collectors to reduce water usage by taking advantage of the water precipitation.
Restaurant, Winery, Conference Center
The “tasting” hub of the project is represented by the DISPLAY WINERY building on the central axis. The group of building includes a restaurant with terraces facing the waters, a hotel with few rooms, a winery to show the process of wine making and a market where to buy local products. Local wine and food tasting will become a learning experience about where the food and other landscape resources come from.
A key aspect of a vibrant wine district is to suggest the idea that wine becomes a part of the local cultural background and history. This can only be achieved by involving the local communities of farmers. The design proposal extends the project to three villages facing the area making them become part of the park. Inside the villages some typical old abandoned houses will be restored and turned into a courtyard hotel for city visitors in search of a true countryside taste and experience. The proposal of a Hotel with few rooms widespread into the villages aims to improve this image of authentic cultural identity and to become an important territorial source of economic activity and vitality.
Architects: LocalDesignStudio Location: Yanqing County, Beijing, China Design Team: Stefano Avesani, Marcella Campa, Andrea Momo Destro, Margret Domko, Liu Kai Collaborators: Xiao Yangyang Organizers: Executive Committee of the General Assembly of the 11th World Grape Conference – Yanqing County Government Program: Grape and wine park, forest, wetland park, picking areas, greenhouses, winery, restaurant, wine museum, conference centre Type: Invited Competition, 1st prize Area: 3,8 Km²park; 14.000 m² main greenhouse; 5.000 m² restaurant and hotel Year: 2012