Sasaki's design concept for the park, "Dancing in the
Woods," is based on a contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese
painting, calligraphy, and dance. The park emphasizes the rich cultural
heritage of Jiading, and integrates this with the natural setting of the site.
Natural landscape elements such as floating clouds and flowing water, common
themes in the paintings of local artist Yanshao Lu, are reinterpreted into
modern, dynamic forms representing movement and influencing how people interact
with the landscape. Four major paths in the park interweave and interact with a
variety of park elements in a choreographed composition, twisting and turning
along the space and landforms, while carrying the cross park and along park traffics
for pedestrians and bike riders. Spatial configurations within the park embrace
dichotomies of form and purpose–open and enclosed, monumental and intimate,
active and quiet, urban and pastoral, straight and curvilinear, elevated and
With a strong foundational understanding of the project context and an articulated design vision, the team embarked on sustainability-driven design. The strong commitment to enhancing the ecological system and a people-oriented spirit is manifested in design details, including universal accessibility on all pathways, restored wetlands, new woodland, native plantings that bolster the local bio-community, a stormwater management system, limited artificial lighting, and efficient reuse of existing materials and on-site structures.
As a result of an interdisciplinary approach, inspired vision, and meaningful sustainable design, Jiading Central Park in Shanghai has transformed the area. Restored wetland and woodland has drastically improved water and air quality and biodiversity; Rainwater harvesting has decreased potable water demand by 3.3 million gallons annually; and reuse of existing structure and materials like asphalt and salvaged bricks have reduced emissions and lowered construction costs.
Today's park features clear water and fishermen where dirty canals and algae blooms once proliferated. A quiet promenade takes the place of a noisy roadway. Birds circle the skies and float on the canal. People of all ages take to the sports fields and wander the paths. The green corridor is the heart of the New City and has quickly become a new signal of vitality for the region.