KONGJIAN YU & TURENSCAPE'S RED RIBBON PARK: ALONG CELEBRATION PATH
Kongjian Yu and his Beijing based studio Turenscape won last year's World Landscape of The Year award with Peasants and their Land, a project in which they redesigned a :recovered archaeological landscape in Chinese town Chengtoushan, in Lixian County. But we still prefer their earlier Red Ribbon project, in which the studio turned a huge garbage-laden terrain and overgrown piece of land along the Tanghe River in Qinhuangdao City and Hebei Province into a lively urban oasis,with one sweeping gesture. In keeping with the studio's philosophy of minimum intervention, it was as simple as it was effective, while fully celebrating Chinese past and culture.
Like other cities in China, Qinhuangdao is experiencing fast growth. The new park which Turenscape and its founder/president Kongjian Yu were asked to create had to answer the need for recreation of its burgeoning community. When the firm received the commission from the Landscape Bureau of Qinhuangdao City in 2005, the studio wanted to meet these demands while at the same time preserving the natural environment and creating a space with a unique design.
Together with the boardwalk that runs beside it, the structure offers a place where city dwellers can meet, exercise, relax, or learn about the environment
However, the diverse, naturally growing vegetation at the site was left largely alone
The Red Ribbon came up as the solution: a more than 500 meter long structure of fiber steel that winds its way along the curving riverbank. Together with the boardwalk that runs beside it, the structure offers a place where city dwellers can meet, exercise, relax, or learn about the environment. In keeping with Turenscape’s philosophy it interferes as little as possible in the ecology of the local landscape. Old irrigation structures that might prove dangerous to visitors were removed from the area and other waste was cleaned up.
However, the diverse, naturally growing vegetation at the site was left largely alone, enhanced only by the planting of four perennial flower gardens. Lit from within, visually enticing, fluent, light, simple, and of an extraordinary poetry that immediately invokes elements of the Chinese past and culture, such as the Chinese Ribbon Dance, a traditional and universally known ritual of celebration, The Red Ribbon glows at night. But even during the day, its vivid lacquered color offers a striking complement to its lush green surroundings, offering the city a park and a future, by updating the inhabitants’ collective memory and an age old ritual of the past