Big Nian Hua Bay - Chapman Taylor’s Zen-inspired Cultural Tourism Masterplan for Lake Taihu in China

Chapman Taylor has created a Zen-inspire cultural tourism masterplan concept, Big Nian Hua Bay, for Lake Taihu, near Wuxi in China.

The strategy for the 395-hectare site makes use of the rich water network to create a unique archipelago of interconnected islands. A multi-level system of buildings, green spaces and waterways which blend harmoniously with the mountain and lake scenery, with diverse landscapes and water connecting several island developments.

The design concept is inspired by the adjacent Tai Lake, with the urban islands generated in a form similar to the traditional Tai Lake rock, bringing water elements inside and extending the water-accessible interface to six times its current area.

The concept seeks to create the basis for a modern Zen lifestyle, reflected in the integrated architecture, interior spaces, landscaping and waterways. Wellbeing is at the heart of the design, with a multi-dimensional approach to physical and mental health. The masterplan is configured to allow for both more active, stimulating zones and quitter, calmer ones.

An axis of urban activity is created through the provision of vibrant, open and shared spaces around which a wide mix of uses and amenities includes residences, shops, a spa village, themed gardens, an art gallery, a museum, restaurants, a sports centre, a cinema, a school and a number of spiritual centres. The architecture is inspired by the site’s surroundings, with a core of taller, mountain-like mixed-use buildings in the tourism district to the south-east, their slopes creating a gently undulating skyline.

The concept seeks to create the basis for a modern "Zen Paradise" lifestyle, reflected in the integrated architecture, interior spaces, landscaping and waterways. Wellbeing is at the heart of the design, with a multi-dimensional approach to physical and mental health.

A variety of high-quality, lakeside communities are created, all well integrated and well connected while blending harmoniously with the lake context. The scheme creates a high-quality garden community using contemporary interpretations of traditional Chinese gardens, engendering the feeling of having escaped to a quieter, more spiritual environment in which people can feel at one with the landscape.

Yichun Xu (M.U.P.)

Associate Director, Shanghai

Graduating from the University of Michigan (Postgraduate) and Nanjing University (Undergraduate), Yichun has 4 years of experience working in New York, and 3 years of experience working in China, before joining Chapman Taylor in 2018.

As an expert in the Chinese market, she has worked on a wide range of design projects including largescale masterplans, urban design projects, tourism planning, station design, landscape design and architecture projects.

Areas of expertise:

Masterplanning / Urban Design / Project Management

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