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Return of the Hill 

designed by /

Location: China / Chongqing / Type: Playgrounds / Residential Parks / Built: 2019 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on October 5, 2020

Chongqing is a city born in the mountains. People in Chongqing have developed their own way of using lands with topography, and have created unique urban landscape and lifestyle. Atelier Scale has carried and extended this wisdom, in the landscape of the Hill Residence, 10.7-ha residential community.

Return of the Hill

There is an existing hill with a height of 60 meters located in the project site. The original master plan by architects causes great damage to the natural topography of the site. Part of the hill will be completely leveled with a vertical retaining wall of 16.5 meter high, separating the other part of the hill and the site. Instead of following the master plan, Atelier Scale proposes a smoother transition from the hill to the site: 1. Regrade the site in order to follow existing ridge topography; 2. Restore an accessible connection between the site and adjacent nature; 3. Turn the returned hill into a community living room and other part of the hill into a public park.

Community as Ecological Patch

The Hill Residence with lush green occupies total area of 10.7ha. The ridge corridor connecting the hill and community has a lenth of 170 meters and a width of 40 meters. It works as connecting path as well as a micro eco-corridor. The micro biotope in the seasonal creek and Metasequoia along the hill trail serve as the stepping stones for birds and amphibian.

Stormwater Management System

Based on a newly graded site topography, we are able to create a more sustainable stormwater management system, which organizes stormwater runoff effectively and reuse water smartly. Besides high performance, the stormwater management system works as educational landscape, which provides residents opportunities to learn about how this system work. Educational illustration points are designed to integrate with this system, making sure the landscape understood by residents especially children. Water after purification is stored in a central water tank for reuse, such as water feature and kids wading pool. Besides, 50% hard surface of the site are permeable pavers including porous concrete, brick and gravel.

Design Language

The design language is “innovatively found” instead of “created”, inspired by the site. Zig-zaging trails are designed to achieve slope-friendly accessibility. Topography between buildings is largely preserved with seat and bar table, with integration of planting terrace. A bridge cross is created based on site topographic change for overlook above and shaded recreation beneath, sided by a sloped creek with water interactions.


Landscape Architecture: Atelier Scale

Project Location: Chongqing, China

Landscape Area: 10.7 Ha

Completion Year: 2019

Design Team: Huicheng Zhong, Di Wang, Liyang Chen, Shaozhong Yuan, Zhigang Liu, Jiahui Liang, Lihui Liu, Qimei Ling, Juan Lin, Bingxing Lin, Feimin Song, Jiangang Mao, Ziyan Zeng, Guowu Lv, Yufeng Xu

Stormwater Management Consultant: GEO

Landscape Construction Documentation: Chongqing Landiao

Landscape Construction Contractor: Shuhan Landscape

Architecture Design: Challenge Design

Photo Credit: Zhewei Su, Xi Tang, Qingshan Wu

Special Thanks: Sheng Yu, Lin Luo, Xiao Xiao

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