CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY, Luzhi Town, Suzhou
Located in Luzhi Town, Suzhou, CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY shows the gentle charm of a typical Jiangnan town. By the analyses on three dimensions of community, landscape and ecology, this project provides the design vision of a garden-style community, an ecological living environment and a child-friendly space. It creates a dynamic landscape and a space with vitality, enhancing the mobility of space and emotional progression. Finally, a moderate and harmonious balance has been achieved between natural environment and community life. INNER PEACE COMMUNITY is one of the practices of CIFI Group’s “Jungle+” plan，and rain garden is an important part of the plan, which help to maintain and protect the natural functions of the site, mitigate the accumulation of water and pollution caused by increased impervious areas. So that it could fulfill the goal of rainwater storage and plant habitat construction.
Definition of "Sense of Community"
"Sense of Community" refers to a collective feeling of interrelated life formed by several social groups or social organizations gathered in a certain field. It is the most basic element of a social organism and an epitome of macroscopic society. Since the community life is greatly changed due to the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, residents have more needs and expectations for community activity space. It should be a safe and reliable public space with important factors such as joyful and diverse elements to attract residents. Through landscape design, functional layout and event operation, CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY enhances residents' sense of belonging and community, filling this residential area with the special softness and warmth of Jiangnan towns.
Long and Narrow Landscape
The residential area is long and narrow with a rectangular central landscape belt (270m x 40 m). Surrounded by high-rise buildings on both sides of the north and south, it's the main interactive communication space in the community. To avoid presenting a monotonous scene with a tedious tour route, designers get inspiration from the abundant water system of Luzhi Ancient Town and adopt a landscaping method suitable for the characteristics of this site - to use natural meandering curves. The inner paths of the community are interwined in free style, and the curves are reflected in various ways such as interactive waterscape, planting layout, outdoor furniture, etc., softening the boundary between the physical interface, rigid pavement and landscape space, and enhancing the fluidity and interest of the space. At the same time, several sub-landscape activity spaces with various functions can be created, such as water-playing plaza, central lawn, children's activity area and elderly fitness venue.
As a child-friendly community, CIFI INNER PEACE COMMUNITY has a free and open space for children of all ages to stimulate their exploration interests from three dimensions. 1) Sensory dimension: stimulate children's senses of hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell, allowing them to unconsciously develop their sensory potentials and enhance their sensory integration abilities while playing. The landscape can provide a wonderful environment for community owners’ children and become a memory container for them; it can also expand the limited space of children's playing venues, let them play in non-restricted areas and think outside the box. 2) Activity dimension: The multi-functional amusement facilities stimulate children to run, jump, roll, slide, hang and sit, so that they can liberate their nature and cultivate a positive and optimistic attitude while exercising. Free students from virtual worlds such as mobile phones and Internet cafes; immerse them in various unpowered play facilities to improve their physical fitness and abilities of balance and coordination. Facilities with high safety performance can reassure parents and make parents integrate into children's world. 3) Time dimension: Different seasons have different scenery, for example, one can enjoy flowers in spring, listen to cicadas in summer, pick leaves in autumn and watch snow in winter. Animals and plants also show different scenes in different seasons. Here is a natural classroom for children. In this small world, they stay close with nature, observing, recording, thinking, growing and portraying beautiful childhood memories in four seasons.
Ecological Measures "Jungle+" Plan
INNER PEACE COMMUNITY is one of the practices of CIFI Group’s “Jungle+” plan: the understory is supposed to be an activity space rich in species. It should include all relevant elements such as sandpit, pergola, wooden platform, seats, etc. There are more than 1000 trees in the community jungle, most of them are native plants and fast growing trees. In order to avoid any impact on lighting in the winter and to meet the effect of landscape and environment, the designers plant the evergreen trees and deciduous ones in the proportion 3:7, with the flowering trees and colored leaf tree alternately planting. When the entire community is “jungle+”, it will converge into a real "jungle home".
Rain garden is an important part of the "Jungle+" plan, which help to maintain and protect the natural functions of the site, mitigate the accumulation of water and pollution caused by increased impervious areas. So that it could fulfill the goal of rainwater storage and plant habitat construction. The design adopts natural concave treatment method and uses herbaceous plants, aquatic plants and perennial flower border plants for plant cluster matching, combining with the gravel belt to form a rain garden. It not only enhances the landscape effect of the residential garden, but also facilitates the drainage of the building and the rainwater collection in surrounding green space. The plant palette of this project consists of umbrella palm (cyperus alternifolius), hardy canna (thalia dealbata), canna generalis (Cannaceae generalis L.H.Baiileg cv.Striatus.), water iris (iris laevigata),etc., all with strong resistance to humidity and shade. In the rainy season, plant leaves would keep part of the rainwater and reduce the drainage pressure, meanwhile they act as a fliter. The water that cannot be completely absorbed by plants would be re-filtered and intercepted again by freestone, and pooled in the water storage area. When the storm comes and rainfall exceeds the load of the storage area, the rainwater would be drained into the municipal pipes through the overflow opening. The connection between hard pavement and green space is also carefully considered and designed. Ground paving materials made of concretes, ecological bricks and grass-planting bricks are breathable and permeable, which can help with drainage and storing rainwater, while avoid water accumulation on the sidewalk.
L&A Design (Stock Code: 300949) is one of the leading cultural and creative companies dedicated to land planning, urban design, landscape architecture and resort planning in China. L&A was established in the year of 2001. Mr. Bo Li was responsible as Chief Designer until now. Ms. Clara Li joined L&A in 2002. Under her leadership, L&A has established branch offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Qingdao, Chengdu, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Dongguan, Jinan, Haikou, Suzhou,Shenyang and Xiamen, also sub-brand “La V-onderland” ”Floral Fairyland”. Together they serve clients all over the great region of China. Till now L&A has accomplished about 4000 reputable landscape and urban design projects in China with many won national awards. L&A takes pride in its dynamic international design team, with over 1700 professionals from all over the world, as well as experienced local registered architects, landscape architects, planners and project managers.