Our master plan framework redefined Tianjin’s identity and rebuilt its development strategy by placing the Haihe River at the nexus of its urban revitalization efforts. The waterfront embankment provided a public open space for local residents to regain their lives to the city’s mother river.

Part of the vision of restoring the port city of Tianjin into its status as an international riverfront city in northern China includes a comprehensive development plan for the Hai River. The aim is to develop the waterfront as a world-class river and landscape corridor, an essential component in the Tianjin’s bid to create a strong cosmopolitan identity. We have been involved with the overall strategic plan and environmental master plan for the 20km Hai River corridor. After submitting the winning entry in an invitation-only competition to outline the concept for the first phase development of the Hai River embankment enhancement, we were commissioned to continue the schematic design of the 10 km embankment design and to oversee its implementation, which involved site supervision work.

Our study aimed to establish the overall framework and design principles for the embankment area. Focal open spaces were identified and injected with new landscape features that relate to and reflect the existing cultural heritage. The new landscape integrates with the embankment treatment and establishes a strong identity for this significant stretch of Hai River.

The design gives Tianjin the cosmopolitan statement it sought and serves as a modern vernacular that both builds on and reflects the site’s heritage. We played a critical role in the coordination and implementation of the landscape design. For the final contractual implementation stage, our site team coordinated the daily dialogue between various public authorities to ensure that the original vision was realized. Tianjin’s new international waterfront will be a focal point for the further development of Tianjin as a world-class city.

The project was recognized amongst the 2008 Landscape Institute Awards for creating innovative and dynamic landscapes.