- Architect In Charge : Doreen Heng Liu
- Design Team : Doreen Heng Liu, Jiebin Huang, Xinjie He, Shihan Zhang, Chen Lian, Qingsong Lu, Xueshi Chang
- Epc Contract : China State Construction Engineering Corporation
- Construction Drawing : CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO.LTD
- Landscape : NODE Architecture & Urbanism, CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO.LTD, NODE Architecture & Urbanism + CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO.LTD, Shenzhen branch
- Design Of Underground Purification Station And Wetland Project : CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO., LTD
- Client : Water Authority
- Underground Purification Station And Wetland Project Design : CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO., LTD
- City : Shenzhen
- Country : China
Located in Pingshan New Area, northeast of Shenzhen, the 13.5km Pingshan River originates from Meisha Jian with its main stream traversing Pingshan New Area from southwest to northeast. Amid the regional economic and social development boom, declined water quality and ecological deterioration of Pingshan River took a toll on the riverfront and downstream urban environment.
As planned by the water environment integrated improvement program for Pingshan River basin, the water purification station, regulating storage tank and artificial wetland should be provided along the River to improve the water quality and riverfront landscape. At the beginning of 2018, invited by Shenzhen Branch of CSCEC AECOMCONSULTANTS CO., LTD, we conducted the design for upper part of architecture of Nanbu Water Purification Station, management rooms of Biling Wetland and Xiashan Wetland Park.
The Superstructure of Nanbu Water Purification Station is located in Yanzihu Area, Pingshan District, Shenzhen, by the midstream of Pingshan River. Facing the International Convention Center diagonally across the river, the Project is planned with large artificial lake and Wetland Park in the perimeter.
As per the upper level planning and design, Yanzihu Area will be a new city parlor in the east of Shenzhen or even the Guangdong - Hong Kong – Macao Greater Bay Area. The urban plan of Yanzihu Area is in flux for the reason none other than its important location in Pingshan. However, it was impossible to stop the water purification station in the pipeline, so the building should be renovated as constructed. We were involved then with a view to creating new public space.
Design Challenges and Space Concept
Nanbu Water Purification Station in the works was designed with 5,100m2 main body underground and 1,200m2 one-floor office management space above ground. The whole building was isolated in Nanbu area, bordering Pingshan River on the south and connecting with Nanbu Village via planned road with 100,000m2 artificial wetland park in the east and west, suspended for construction due to the upgrading urban design of Yanzihu Area.
Before our involvement, the main concrete frame of the underground water purification station was completed. Despite that the traditional axisymmetric layout adopted for the water purification station was not well justified, the Client wanted us to add some public space without changing the main structure frame. The contents and area need to be determined by us. How to effectively insert new public open space into the symmetric one-floor typical office management rooms and ensure fitness and separated circulation was the biggest design challenge.
A north-south public sidewalk from the ground of north park green space extends to the roof of office management rooms, connecting the ground water feature square and Pingshan River in the south. To mirror the feature of water infrastructure, the water of the water feature square is drawn from the underground water purification station before drainage into the Pingshan River.
Extension of Building Roof
Above the office roof, the steel is structured to form a stepped rooftop platform in equal size in response to the lake and surrounding landscape, a public place to overlook the city and repose.
The rooftop stepped platform assembled by multi-dimensional folded planes are intertwined with roof of single-floor building, enriching the spatial experience. This public experience space, while allowing citizens to stay and observe, has an independent system of pedestrian circulation to avoid disturbing the daily operation and management of the water purification plant.
For the purpose of underground water purification treatment, it is required to provide a ventilation shaft 15m higher than the building. Spiral staircase is provided to incorporate the shaft into the roof system, the stairs connect F2, ground floor and roof, offering another visiting route and making it a representative high spot of the roof system.
Construction and Building, Part and Whole
The existing underground water treatment building is a holistic concrete structure with one-floor management rooms standing above the ground. To add Pingshan Balcony above, the light steel structure is the only option for one-floor space and accessible roof on the completed concrete frame structure.
One of the major challenges is to have the additional irregular space and the roof of folded planes respond to the regular structural column grid of existing concrete. The roof structured by a holistic truss lands on a regular steel structure column grid to connect with the structural column grid of existing concrete and meet its calculated load. The holistic steel truss addresses the ceiling effect of F2 folded planes and main slope of the roof.
With satisfied landscape and safe slope, the accessible roof should ensure the efficient drainage. The construction is another challenge. Water is introduced by the slope of the folded planes to the roof edge and led to the lowest point by the gully. Near the column, water is drained by the rain riser into the municipal pipeline network on the ground. The lowest point of some cornice is designed into the naturally shaped outfall to discharge the water into the landscape pool outside the building in a direct, useful and aesthetic way.
As a public interface, the roof should have favorable floor. The plastic wood should meet the code of safe slope and ensure the drainage slope. It is constructed by horizontal and vertical open-up keel and structural plane of the steel structure to form open-up layer. The main keel follows the drainage direction of the folded planes and plastic wood finishing covers the construction layer with seams reserved to drain water via the open-up layer. With safety guard, the completed floor looks clean, concise and nice.
F2 connecting roof also has large area steps as public theatre or activity place, commensurate with the upward slope extending from the ground, leading up to the roof of Pingshan Balcony to offer the panoramic view of Pingshan River. The transitional interface between large steps and folded planes, detail close-up and safety guard hold the key to address the unexpected situation and those caused by the construction errors.
Pingshan Balcony is a continuous, flowing experience-based interface, extending from the ground floor, F2 large grey space to the unobstructed roof at one stretch without any return. It is a functional building and a mega-structure public space celebrating local climate features.
Pingshan Balcony of Nanbu Water Purification Station is among our portfolio of making the infrastructure, not only as engineered space of production but also into public space as part of urban life in recent years. Our purpose is to, through our design efforts, transform the water purification facility indispensable for Pingshan River into the pleasant public and education space. We redefine it spiritually and aesthetically as human-oriented infrastructure to pursue rituality in daily life.