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GUCHENG LAKE MASTER PLAN
Gucheng Lake, Gaochun County, Nanjing, China | 2014
Architects: Overland Partners and ARUP
Client: Gaochun County
With a culture steeped in thousands of years of tradition, a wealth of natural assets, and over 100 million people living within an 250-km radius, the Gucheng Lake area, located 80 km from Nanjing and 317 km from Shanghai, was identified as an area ripe for tourism development at the national level. However, with three ecologically sensitive areas—Gucheng Lake, Hua Mountain, and the surrounding forest—as well as an economy built primarily on crab farming and agriculture, it was critical to create a sustainable plan for the anticipated 100 fold growth of tourism while also protecting and enhancing the area’s culture, ecology, and aquaculture.
The design team identified five key elements to be addressed within the master plan: ecology, aquaculture and agriculture, community and culture, sports and recreation, and tourism. These elements are distributed among three sites: site 1 acts as a gateway to the lake and an extension of the Old City; site 2 provides cultural and recreational amenities, as well as support for existing aquaculture; site 3 offers outdoor sporting and ecotourism activities, while preserving existing villages.
Gucheng Lake was once over nine times its current size and is the primary source of drinking water for the region, thus water conservation and quality is critical. Every design decision was created with an aim towards enhancing and protecting the water quality of Gucheng Lake. Four key interventions comprise the basis for accomplishing this: the creation of an artificial island on the north side of Gucheng Lake; the mitigation of aquaculture waste in Yongsheng Polder; the establishment of a transportation connection across Gucheng Lake between Yongsheng Polder and Hua Mountain; and the restoration of a natural edge condition along the lake edge to control erosion and agricultural wastewater runoff from Hua Mountain, as well as restore biodiversity.