Discover the contemplative water scenes of One Sanlong Bay’s award-winning landscape

Foshan, China

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This multi-award-winning landscape project by AECOM harmoniously blends green spaces, water features, and cultural inspiration to redefine sustainability in Foshan, China.

An exemplary project for future integrated developments, One Sanlong Bay is a 9-hectare high-end development along the Dong Ping River in Foshan, a large city neighboring Guangzhou expected to reach megacity status soon. Comprised of 10 residential towers, villas, two commercial towers, and a multi-level retail mall, the development’s expansive green podium creates opportunities to utilize green connective landscape to unify the diverse functions and programmatic spaces, creating a holistic design.

“By fostering the symbiotic relationship between water and landscape, we created a meaningful design that speaks to harmony in nature and balance of people and place.”

David Jung, Project Director for One Sanlong Bay

Drawing from history and culture

Anchored by a connection to the waterfront, and influenced by Southern China’s Lingnan culture that blends East and West ideas of space and architecture, the ‘Living by the Water’ design concept echoes the Song Dynasty’s maritime glory, which safeguarded its booming ceramics trade on its southeastern waters. A series of water drawings from that era inspired the design’s balance between land and water, as well as relaxation and ambition, presenting a harmonious composition of open spaces, garden landscapes and water features. “The beauty of the project is the way it celebrates cultural value and a sense of place, bringing people into the landscape,” David added.

The commercial component embodies a vibrant green urban valley, enlivened by a curated mix of commercial, retail, and food and beverage establishments. The use of indigenous flora creates a cohesive aesthetic link to integrate spaces at various levels, and activities for all age groups are made available to promote interaction between them.

Six sceneries at Sanlong Bay

The Sanlong Bay Sales Gallery, spanning 11,000 square meters, is a key design zone where age-old concepts are reinterpreted into modern forms. By translating two-dimensional graphics and character of water drawings into a three-dimensional space, a collection of six thematic landscape experiences and serene aquatic vistas emerges. These elements are woven throughout the entry garden, drop-off area, meandering pathways, reflecting ponds, sitting garden and gallery garden.

A path runs parallel to the river and ends with a view of the iconic fan-shaped suspension bridge, announcing the grandeur of the adjacent waterway. Local artisanal craft, from penzai (bonsai) trees to golden abstract koi sculptures, adorn the route, celebrating the confluence of nature, art and culture. The landscape design honors the city’s rich heritage as a hub of riverine commerce and its aspiration for future growth and prosperity.

Dedication to sustainable community living

Integral to the beauty of the landscape is its emphasis on social sustainability and innovative eco-friendly technologies. We aim to foster intergenerational interaction and shared community experiences through meticulously crafted landscapes. Embedded into the detailed design strategies are water management and recycling technologies, energy-efficient equipment, locally sourced materials, and native plant ecologies. For example, the project aims for an 80 percent green area coverage to cool the microclimate, manage stormwater, promote urban biodiversity and improve resilience. Selection of light colored materials also plays a role in minimizing heat absorption and energy consumption.

These strategies define the landscape, its configuration, and spaces, creating a community rooted in sustainability. Additionally, the landscape design ensures that local crafts and the riverine nature of the city that once propelled Foshan, are honored as the city looks towards a new period of growth and affluence.

Awards and recognition