The UDC Eco Forest Park is on the shores of Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang Province, China. Qiandao Lake is a manmade lake created by the Xin’an River Dam project and is home to over 1000 small islands, lush forests, and sparkling water. The initial design challenge was how to differentiate this development from the many other attractions along the lakeshore. RVJA sought to elevate the level of guest experience available in the area by offering more extensive leisure opportunities while respecting and conserving the natural beauty of the site. This project is significant for RVJA as an attempt to give visitors a variety of natural experiences that are incorporated into the leisure activities of the park. The goal was to use naturally inspired elements to enhance nature, finding ways to frame the spectacular beauty of the site.
RVJA’s entrance builds upon the character of the site, with landscaping framing cascading water and misting fountains. A convergence of water and the dense green forest, the building facilities and structures serve to tie the mountain to the water. Typically guests arrive to the site by water transportation and enter the park at East Port. This small commercial area offers an interpretation of a Chinese village street, and is notable for its sustainable “green” design, a passion of the firm. From there clients travel up higher on the island, with multiple themed zones along the way, including an aviary, a fantastical fairytale land with a remarkable castle, a forest adventure complete with a “Sky Bridge” ropes and obstacle course, and many spectacular overlooks, each designed in harmony with the view they present. The guests then descend down a slope to West Port, a European-inspired village that serves as a quaint point of departure. RVJA worked to preserve the natural feeling of the site, while enhancing the landscape layout with native plants, allowing the beauty intrinsic to the site to shine. The design intent was to create the smallest possible environmental footprint for the project. For the park’s hardscaping, RVJA specified site-sourced rock material and timber from on-site trees felled to clear the areas necessary for the public facilities.
With the UDC Eco Forest Park, RVJA hopes to foster a reverence for nature in those that visit, as well as an appreciation for sustainable design. Demonstrating the possibilities for design that is ecologically-sensitive and beautiful is another of the principles that guide RVJA’s architectural approach.
Qiandao Lake, China