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Shangliang Gang Resort and Visitor Centre

Project Type: Architecture Design, Landscape Architecture

Content: Concept, Schematic, Detail,

Client: China Forestry

Size: 1,000,000 m2

Location: Ningbo, China

Time: 2018

Status: Phase 1 Under Construction

Shangliang Gang was once the “private garden” of  President Chiang Kei-Shek and his wife the First Lady of the Republic of China Soong May-Ling.  While enjoying a hike in Shangliang Gang mountain, Soong May-Ling came across a natural spring with a seemingly endless flow of water so they decide to build their cottage next to this “eternal” spring.  The fountain they built to hold the natural spring water is never dry and even today, the fountain is still constantly replenished with fresh mountain water.  More people over time visited the Shangliang Gang mountain to discover the unique history of Madame Chiang’s fountain and also discovered the beautiful scenic mountain landscape only an hour away from Ningbo.   The mountain has become a popular destination and it has evolved  into a “Vertical Central Park” for Ningbo residents to escape the busy city and to enjoy nature. 

Overtime, the base of this mountain park has developed in an ad hoc fashion without a masterplan, small boutique hotels were built surrounding the entry park and as a result, beautiful vistas into the surrounding landscape were blocked by hotels of various heights.  These hotels needed a major renovation and it was a good time to redesign them and see how we can open back up the vistas.   The proposal was to study the relationship between the structures and to design the hotels adjusting their height and also take advantage of the chance to introduce new materials to animate the exterior of the hotels.  For example the use of polycarbonate panels for one of the hotels situated on a higher portion of the park of the park turns into a translucent lantern at night and help to give visitors better orientation device within the park.  The other hotels are each unique. For example the hotel fronting the valley has been designed using timber construction technology and a series of wood fins help to animate the building to greet the visitors.  The hotel currently in the middle of the park was obstructing the views of the other surrounding hotels so this hotel was conceived as a horizontal extension of the parkland where above the hotel, the roof of the hotel can become an extension of the park for visitors to walk on.  

Currently the park lacks a formal entrance, a visitor centre with ticket counters and staff adminstrative offices is proposed at the base of Shangliang Gang.   The Visitor Centre is conceived of like lifting a portion of the ground and folding it upwards 45 degrees.   The result is an Iconic roof which welcomes visitors and at the same time people can walk up the roof to experience panoramic views of the valley below.

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