Ecological reclamation in China by Tus Design Group Co., Ltd.


Landscaping, Refurbishment,

The Tus Design Group Co. Ltd. completed the ecological restoration of the pilot section of Yuandang on the riverside of the ecological integration demonstration zone on the Yangtze delta. The project between Shanghai and Jiangsu stands out for its application of ecological materials and advanced design techniques, all while keeping costs down.

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Ecological reclamation in China by Tus Design Group Co., Ltd.
The project by the Tus Design Group Co., Ltd centres around Yuandang-Dianshan Lake, the most important ecological core of the demonstration area and the most ecologically sensitive area. All in a unique geographic area, as three quarters of the lake is within the Wujiang district in Suzhou, Jiangsu, and one quarter is in Shanghai’s Qingpu district, making it a unique place from which to explore the landscapes and culture of both regions. 
With greenery and ecology as its key theme, the ecological reclamation and connection of the Suzhou Huanyuandang shoreline is a part of the "New Space of Jiangnan Culture" project, expressing the authorities’ intention of focusing attention on nature. The underlying concept is that of the sponge, a new model of construction for management of flooding, reinforcement of ecological infrastructure and drainage systems proposed by Chinese researchers at the start of the 2000s, expressed here in terms of landscaping. This ancient form of wisdom and strategy has been practiced in China for thousands of years, seeking to coexist with water with the aid of green and blue infrastructure rather than combatting it with grey infrastructure.
Before beginning the design process, the professionals from Tus Design Group Co. Ltd. conducted a survey and a detailed analysis of the site, proposing protection of forested areas of great ecological value, restoration of wetlands near the low-lying waters and reclamation of the lakeshore. The overall ecological strategy behind this section therefore aims to protect the existing native vegetation and therefore the habitat for the wild animals that originally populated the area, the first "inhabitants" of the land.
Tus Design Group Co., Ltd.’s project begins with application of „nature-based solutions“ responding to the guidelines of the executive committee in the demonstration area. This is why they have adopted various solutions deriving from nature, restoring the area’s natural „sponge“ function. A natural land drainage system is therefore used, and the terminal water treatment area is combined with the differences in level characterising the landscape and pools, allowing the landscapers to create a series of omnipresent sponges with the aid of GIS technologies.
The landscaping project is not only good for the „original inhabitants“ of the area, numerous migratory birds and vegetation, but becomes the driving engine of the area’s new economy. This is because people become more and more aware of the great value of nature, increasingly threatened by the climate crisis. Ecological reclamation of the Yuandang lakeshore not only restores the ecological habitat for wild animals and plants, but provides a place accessible to humans for experiencing nature in the demonstration area. It also supplies ecological infrastructure for sustainable development of the surrounding areas.
The natural attributes of the Suzhou Huanyuandang Ecological Restoration and Shoreline Linkage Project have earned it the unanimous praise of experts in the field and won the "2021 Suzhou Sponge City Construction Demonstration Project" prize, currently the highest honour acknowledging the quality of projects in the sponge city of Suzhou. Only a few weeks ago, Tus Design Group Co., Ltd.’s project was awarded the 2022 Architecture Master Prize.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Tus Design Group Co., Ltd.
Location: Suzhou, China
Year: 2020
Images: Tus-Design Group Co., Ltd.