This approximately 25-acre park is nestled between a four-lane highway and the southern bank of the Sanya River, approximately three miles upstream from its confluence with the South China Sea. Formerly a landfill framed by a concrete flood wall, the steeply sloped site was designed by Turenscape in 2015, along with Sanya Dong’an Wetland Park. Employing cut-and-fill techniques and recycling material found on site, the firm created finger-like interlocking channels that draw ocean tides into the park, thus mitigating the destructive force of annual monsoon-related winds and providing transitional riparian habitats for native flora and fauna – particularly species of mangroves. Terraces and bio-swales descend the nearly 30-foot drop from the highway to the river, slowing down, intercepting and filtering stormwater.
From the site’s southwest entrance an elevated walkway invites pedestrians to walk amongst and above the mangrove canopy. Universally accessible paths navigate the terraces and follow the terrain, skirting the southern and eastern edges of the interlocking channels. Paths and cantilevered overlooks meet five distinct, Modernist pavilions that are inspired by Asian paper-cutting and folding traditions. The open-air concrete structures contrast with the verdant, naturalistic surroundings and serve as focal points for visitor orientation. Sited at the water’s edge, they offer shelter and opportunities for wildlife viewing and fishing. Designed to withstand tropical monsoon storms, the pavilions are each strategically placed to obstruct the high, midday sun, while proving opportunities for sunrise and sunset enjoyment. The project received a 2020 honor award in the general design category from the American Society of Landscape Architects.