Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thickened Waterfront from AALU

An email from Jorge Ayala from the AALU shows off some recent Landscape Urbanism work, in this case an academic workshop with a focus on designing a Contemporary Garden in Xi'an, China. I've included the full text from Jorge, and some of the images of the project that were sent.

Thickened Waterfront
AA Landscape Urbanism Garden Design
Xi’an, China

The parcel has a distinct character but a series of strategies will be applied in order to integrate the Thickened Waterfront into the general design.

Along these lines, artificial topographies, rippled organizations of diverse water features and multiplicity of floating structures will be considered to turn the linear char
acter of the parcel into a multi layered spatial domain. The diagrammatic approach towards the work with the material structures of the mini piers, retaining structures and engineering techniques will help to define a rich spatial condition which will help to add layers of experience to the arrival through the park to the waterfront.


Spatial and three dimensional experiences: The arrival sequence into the Thickened Waterfront augments the sensations of the pedestrians or focalises the attention into strategically treated micro environments.

Several bands structure the proposal to create the different habitats and will be flexible to adjust to other proposals.


The work is based on an expanded idea of the edge, turning into a field of distributed spatial experience what otherwise is defined as a line or a rigid boundary of the water edge. The main idea would be to blur the contact of land-water seeking to encroach earth structures into the lagoon while bringing it inland in other areas.


The pedestrian should be able to read and perceive a wide va
riety of material and spatial qualities in a compressed setting.

A series of individual ponds will host a diverse catalogue of conditions of light reflection, water depth, colour, planting, fauna and potentially human interaction (bathing, pudding pool).

These mosaics of water features will provide the medium for further interactions and enriched version of the ecologies within the park, incorporating expanded ideas of performance, spatial experience and environmental qualities.

Thickened Waterfront
AA Landscape Urbanism Garden Design
Xi’an, China

Lead by:
AALU Tutors Eduardo Rico, Alfredo Ramirez
AALU Director Eva Castro

Design Team: Jorge Ayala, Hossein Kachabi


  1. I'm always amazed at how dated and, at the same time, how Cartesian the AALU graphics are.

    It looks like the are peddling some kind of crumpled up, old, cheesy, utopian, atari urbanism. I'm sure it's brilliant nonetheless (eye-roll).

  2. "The work is based on an expanded idea of the edge,"

    They can't write either...


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