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Designers: Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Planning and Design Institute
Chaka Salt Lake Scenic Area is located in western China’s Qinghai Province, Haixi Prefecture, Wulan County, about 300 km from the provincial capital Xining. With the rapid development of road trip tour market in recent years, Chaka Salt Lake area has been favored by tourists - in 2015 it has reached 1.2 million visitors, and has reached 20,000 people per day for peak hours. Reformed from the factory of Western Mining co., ltd, Chaka Salt Lake Scenic Area`s existing reception capacity and quality could not meet the demands of tourists in recent years. It is really important to turn from the industrial area to the real scenic area. The renovation scope is about 500,000 square meters, focusing on enhancing the parking, navigation, public toilets and other service facilities.
Design Concept 1 - From the Industrial Production Logic to the Touristic Logic
Scenic Area is developed based on manufactural layout, which were focused on the organization of industrial production process, while the scenic area should focused on the tourist tour organization. The reuse of the existing facilities of the factory for the new public service facilities, is the core of the transformation of the design ideas, which can be divided into four strategies: functional reorganization, tourist route implantation, spatial reconfiguration and capacity verification.
（1）Functional Reorganization- Separating tourist function from the industrial production function;
（2）Tourist Route Implantation- refining the single tourist rout to the circle route, enriching tour experiences;
（3）Spatial Reconfiguration - Using the existing negative space to organize the tourists’ distribution to form spatial sequence
1）Forecasting traffic volume capacity and loading degree of parking lot
According to the amount of tourists and the transportation sharing rate to predict parking demand, expanding the existing 430 parking spaces to 2090 for cars, 80 for bus parking, and allocating bus and taxi stations.
2）Forecasting traffic loading for squares and the Salt Lake Avenue
At present, the Welcome Square and the Old Hall Square are able to accommodate about 16000 people respectively in the comfort situation, meeting the demands of tourists` stay.
Salt Lake Avenue is able to satisfy 6120 people to pass by in one hour, totally for 48,960 people per day, thus to meet the requirement at the peak days for distributing 30,000 people going through this route.
Design Concept 2 - Creating Characteristic Scenic Area Based on Salt Production Logic
Infusing salt industrial legacy in the natural landscape, for example the traces of industrial production memories, and the combination between natural and cultural elements.
（1）Architectural renovation and utilization
（2）Reuse of featured elements
Design concept 3 – Installing low-impact, low-interference technology in construction system
The original factory site has been reused in accordance with the characteristics of industrial sites, using the original materials for the building renovation, in order to strengthen the characteristics of the times and industrial background. The flexible pavement mode of gravel + honeycomb restraint system has been adopted to the new parking lot construction. On one side is to realize the rainwater infiltration function, and on the other side is to reduce the problems of the pavement collapse caused by the uneven foundation subsidence that are more common in winter construction.
Resumable technics have been adopted strictly during tour facility installations, to ensure no pollution to effect the lake area. Establishing pedestrian decks for sidewalk that made out of sleepers or local halite materials, with the retaining wall built by local traditional technics - straw bag + gravel, reduces the negative impact of construction.
After 5 months construction, the project cost 30 million US dollars, opened on June 1st, 2016, and receipted more than 10 thousand visitors. As a result of traffic and functional plaza planning, scenic tourist capacity has been increased obviously, a variety of tourist traffic methods increase the travel experience, in the same time also bring the corresponding economic benefits, the expected amount of visitors is 1.8 million in 2016, bringing 15 million US dollars income.
By improving the landscape of the scenic spots and low-impact development, we provide a greater degree of ecological environment protection for the salt lakes, while meeting the demand of tourism, to achieve the win-win situation of economic efficiency and resource conservation.