The site of Handan Garden Expo 2020 is located in the Fuxing District, at the west of Handan City. It covers an area of 295 hectares. To the east is the West Ring Road, and the South-to-North Water Transfer Project forms its west boundary. There are two urban expressways to the north and south. The location of Handan Expo is 11 kilometers away from Handan Airport and 12.5 kilometers away from Handan East Station, which provides a convenient transportation and advantageous location.
In terms of the overall development plan of Handan, the urban development is mainly focus on its east, while the western part of the city is dominated by industry and is suffering from environment problems. With the outward migration of Handan Steel, the development of the western part will also be restricted. Thus, the industrial transformation is imperative and new urban vitality needs to be injected.
To the ecological aspect, the site is located in the West Lake, which is one of the four biggest lakes in Handan’s river system planning. It is also an important nodes of the green circus of the city, the gateway of the mother river Qin to join Handan.
Therefore, the construction of the Expo not only bears the responsibility of inheriting the historical context, but also plays a important role on ecological, flood control, water purification and other aspects. It is a demonstration project of City Betterment and Ecological Restoration Programs in Handan, and is of great significance to the urban development of Handan.
2．Site and Challenge
Ecological Challenge: Handan is known as an industry city and has many environmental problems. Fuxing District is a heavy industrial and chemical industrial zone in Handan City. Environment is the core issue affecting the development and construction of Fuxing District. Except for the Reservoir of Qi Village, and some basic farmland, most of the other areas are vacant, over-exploited and industrial abandoned. Long-term garbage dump leads to serious soil and water pollution, which needs to be thoroughly repaired. The whole site has a maximum height difference of about 30 meters, which creates opportunities for landscape architects to shape interesting spaces.
How to resolve the height difference and ecologically treat the revetments are also a key problems in this project. In addition, some places still need to be preserved, such as the existing grave sites, Qicun Dam, etc. How to protect these areas and connect their surrounding functions also need to be considered.
Cultural Challenge: Handan has a long history since ancient times, covering many dynasties. After more than 8000 years of cultural accumulation, it has rich cultural resources. The site includes the mother river of Handan - Qinhe River; the ancient village of Jiangou which has developed since the Neolithic Age; the flourishing industrial factory buildings since modern times. In the horticultural exposition, how to select these resources, and carry forward the image of the ancient city of Handan civilization is also a challenge.
Strategy 1: City Betterment and Ecological Restoration
To restore the existing industrial wasteland and the damaged environment, make up for the shortage of functions at the urban scale, leading the development of Handan.
Strategy 2: Simplicity and Innovation
The whole park is designed with modern and fresh design language, combined with the advanced concept of sponge city and intelligent technology, and built as a green garden exposition with mountains and rivers.
Strategy 3: Urban-rural Coordination
Reform the existing rural landscape and tap the culture of Jiangou village to promote the transformation of villages.
Strategy 4: Culture
Comb the cultural contexts of Handan for thousands of years and integrate them into ten sceneries of the Expo.
Strategy 5: Back to Nature
Taking the ecological forest as the base of the park, establish a garden exposition in the forest and a botanical garden in the urban.
Through the construction of the whole garden exposition, it will lead the development of the western part of Handan, rebuild the harmonious coexistence of human and nature. It will become a never-ending garden exposition, and three major design goals will be achieved:
1) People's expecting for a better life
The construction of the Expo will be combined with the needs of citizens, reflecting Xi Jinping’s determination of governing for the people.
2) Life Community of Landscape, Forest, Field, Lake and Grass
The site will be restored to varying degrees of ecological environment and comprehensive thoroughout Qin River, Garden Expo and the city into one;
3) Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets
Through the construction of garden exposition, the value of surrounding land will be enhanced. Urban generation, rural transformation and cultural revitalization will come true.
5. Overall Layout
The east area links the West Ring Road, located in the centre of the Expo, and has good accessibility to the north and South wings, so it is defined as the main entrance of the Expo. Based on the existing low-lying land, the design restores the historical watercourse of River Qin with a broad central lake, reconnects the River Qin - mother river of Handan with its city area. It forms the core area of the Expo, which the main venue and Handan gardens are located in.
The topography of the northern area is complex. There are large steep slopes in the site and the height difference are varying, which affects the traffic of the main road in the park. It is necessary to reshape the site, according to the existing topography, and make good use of the site commanding heights to set the viewing place.
It is important for the western area to improve the ecological environment. Due to the past industrial activities and construction, the site is full of deep pits and construction waste. The brown land, soil pollution and hardening problems are serious. The design transforms the polluted area into an ecological environment by building a purify mountain and let the nature do the work. The Quarry Garden and City Gardens are also located in this area.
The southern area takes the factory buildings and facilities as the overall framework, retains the industrial memory by remodeling and integrating new functions to meet the service demand of the Expo.