Specialty Design: HDC
Principal: Tim Geisler, AIA LEED-AP NCARB
Renderings and Masterplan: Werkhart International
Client Contact: Suining City Government
Scope: Architectural design: 800,000 sf (80,000 sm) of new construction on the waterfront
Status: In master planning as of 2014
Spanning 1.5 km, this waterfront recreation district serves as the primary cultural district of Suining, at prefecture in central Sichuan province. Drawing from the rich history of Suining, and its local mythology, we created seven districts, each defined in spirit and function by principles of Guanyin philosophy: Gathering; Wellness; Discovery; Harmony; Mercy; Learning; and Conservation. The architectural assemblies and material choices in each district respond to these themes, to program requirements, and to the relationship of the architecture to its surroundings — access, views, and topography. Stone walls define a perimeter in the first RD&E district; weathered wood cladding expresses relationship to water on the boardwalk and wellness center; a playful, flexible, multidirectional cladding system gives 360-degree access to the Discovery district; symmetry and cantilevers bring balance and harmony to the river walk; reclaimed brick contrasts with warm bamboo in the community center; a statue called “Mercy” defines the city and draws attention to the art museum; and high-volume glass pods bring light and air to the “Conservation” exhibits.