Suzhou is located in Southeastern Jiangsu Province ofEast China, and it’s about 100 km northwest of Shanghai. By 2019, the population has come close to 10.7million people. The city total area is 8488km2 with 2395km2 of water surface (approx. a quarter of the total surface area). As it is the China’s ancient water town, it has a total of 21800 canals with 3681 bridges. Besides, it was also ranked first in the Global Liveable City in China.

Suzhou’s Ancient Map
Suzhou’s Map


  • Expanding the waterfront
  • Concept of push, pull, bridge and extend
    • pushing the creek into adjacent neighbourhood
    • pulling existing and new commercial and cultural program towards the waterfront
    • bridging over the creek allows the continuity of human flow between banks
    • extending the public realm along Suzhou Creek into adjacent city blocks to allow the energy of the waterfront radiates beyond the banks via open space connections into interior parcels.  


  1. How can green spaces (land) be connected by the water element and how can water element be connected by the green spaces (land)?

2. And how these natural connection and open spaces revitalise the relationship between people Chinese traditional culture.

  • THE AIM : A sustainable living condition that attracts different people with different cultural background to experience the integration of traditional Chinese culture and natural environment in Xiong’An.
    • Blurring the edge between land and water.
    • Blurring the edge between natural environment and culture.
    • Blurring the edge between nature, culture and the people.
  • This shall make city of Xiong’An, a city with variation and sustainability.

As for normal pedestrian on street, we have a set of rules to make it safe and comfortable to walk on. So, how about waterfront pathways?

Yuanlin & Shanshui City Concept

Both concept basically conveys the same aim which is for human to return to nature. It is an urban planning concept which basically applies in most of the ancient town in China. In present time, this concept is to ensure that people living in a modern urban environment to still feel connected with nature. This concept incorporates traditional Chinese Poetry, landscape painting and classical garden design that represent Chinese characteristics. It is the expression of harmony between nature and built environment as well as amplifying the harmony between people and nature.

Chinese Traditional Yuanlin Garden Concept

Different level of proximity , by touch, see or hear

Following are three types of designs proposed to extend the water linear landscape to provide more open space for public use and bring people closer to the water.

Low curbs for deeper water area to act as a buffer.
Waterway with path at both sides that can go down to the water by stairs.
Close proximity to water in Suzhou.

Contour Map of Xiong’An

Xiong’an is a relatively flat land with many lakes at the middle of the city. This also indicates that the land in this area is lower.

Preserving the natural landscape structure of Xiong’an with all the beautiful curves around the water elements, with pocket green lands bridging across the water. Hence, bringing water into the city and residential areas to embrace the nature within the modern urban environment.

Hierarchy of building along waterfront

The blurrier edges represent closer proximity and a cleaner edges represent less proximity.

1. Style transfer of field with different color scheme onto China ancient water town (Suzhou), to learn from its water to land connection and the cultural essence of ancient urban planning.
2. Style transfer onto Xiong’An, then analyze different water and land proximity in order to apply different design towards it.
3. Grasshopper to create an organically shaped city landscape based on the above analysis.

Color Fields

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