UK team designs 40ha biome park in China’s Tianjin eco-city

A team led by UK landscape architect Grant Associates has won an international competition to create a 40ha park for the Tianjin Eco-City in northereastern China.

The Friendship Park masterplan contains five glass biomes housing tropical plant collections and water gardens.

Other features include a wetland centre, an urban dock, play areas, an "event lawn" and an amphitheatre.

Grant Associates will work with three other UK firms: architect WilkinsonEyre, environmental design consultant Atelier Ten and structural engineer Atelier One.

The team will collaborate with local consultants to deliver the project.

Tianjin Eco-City on the Gu Dao Canal is a collaborative effort between the governments of China and Singapore, aiming to create a "blueprint for the future development of sustainable cities".

Stefaan Lambreghts, associate at Grant Associates, said Friendship Park aimed to symbolise the "close relationship between China and Singapore, as well as the connection between people and nature, land and water, shelter and exposure".

He added: "Our vision is to create a sustainable, playful and life enhancing landscape alongside inspiring architecture. Together this will provide a rich variety of spaces in which people can come together to play and learn, and have fun." 

Work on Tianjin Eco-City began in 2008 and the first residents took up residence in 2012.

When completed in around 2020, the world’s largest eco-city will contain up to 350,000 people.

A series of celebrations are planned in 2018 to mark the concept’s 10th anniversary.

China’s president Xi Jinping recently announced that a sustainable city would be built 100km south of Beijing to ease of the commercial and industrial activity in the capital.

Images courtesy of Grant Associates

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  1. It looks lovely, but how is building 5 ‘biomes’ making a city sustainable? Won’t the glasshouses require heating, cooling and irrigating? Are all these self generated on site, with no, or very low emissions? Haven’t we gone well past the stage of calling anything with a bit of vegetation ‘sustainable’? I’d welcome an article that explains how this city is genuinely an eco-city and a model for the future. Right now it looks like every other city with a bit of futuristic landscaping as window dressing.

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