crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into an urban park


a fusion of infrastructure, architecture and cityscape

a sports and recreation area with the shenzhen skyline as a backdrop. That’s what cross-border created with his “sky park” project. the international company transformed the roof of a subway terminal and maintenance facility in shenzhen, China, in a 1.2 km public park with a varied range of outdoor sports facilities.

the project centers on adapting a previously unused space in the city. hao dong, co-founder and partner of crossboundaries, explains,“We were faced with very exceptional circumstances. In China, infrastructure and traffic-related areas are generally owned by the government and not intended for public use at all. this elongated roof presented itself with enormous potential to be transformed into a usable park, accessible to a wider audience and enriching the urban environment that surrounds it.

bai yu pictures, shenzhen luohan photography studio

‘a missing puzzle that plugs into neighboring communities’

In order to give back to the surrounding neighborhood, the park connects to the buildings on its western side via a series of “walkways”, leading students and sports enthusiasts onto a platform designed for them – bringing together educational institutions with the local community in a unique combination of sports and recreational offers, linked to the landscape.

“our linear park is like a missing puzzle that connects to neighboring communities”, continues binke lenhardt, the other co-founder of crossboundaries. “it creates the necessary physical and visual link between the urban fabric and the seaside and, along the way, aims to satisfy the ever-increasing need of schools and the public for leisure spaces and space to breathe in a dense urban environment.

crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into a 1.2 km long urban park

the spatial organization of the park is aimed at three different audiences: the general public, neighboring schools and sports professionals. the space is filled with plots of sports facilities, ranging from basketball and 5-a-side football courts to professional-level tennis courts with a grandstand for the public.

a separate walkway for the general public interweaves the length of the park, with elevated portions for better viewing. people who are just looking for a laid-back stroll can enjoy the atmosphere without encountering the high-energy activities within.

crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into a 1.2 km long urban park

all entrances and accesses to the rooftop park are located in direct proximity to the various functional areas, while avoiding unnecessary interference, accessible via a total of six access points.

vertical connections make the north and south ends directly accessible from the ground floor, inviting the general public to ascend to the roof. access to the school is exclusively via crossings, leading directly to the roof. they are attached to three secondary public entrances, in the form of elevators and stairs, for additional access from street level.

crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into a 1.2 km long urban park

once inside the park, a signage system is set up to help users find their way around. the entire length of the area is divided into 100m increments, with signage soundings located at each interval, showing the current location as well as a map and description of the location of the various functions. Scattered throughout the park are also elements of street furniture with distance and function markings to help with better orientation.

crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into a 1.2 km long urban park

crossboundaries transforms an unused rooftop in shenzhen into a 1.2 km long urban park

project info:

Last name: shenzhen nanshan sky park
site: nanshan district, shenzhen, china

customer: shenzhen nanshan district government investment project preliminary work office
landscape design/architecture/interior/signage: cross-border
partners in charge: binke lenhardt, dong hao
team design phase: alan chou, tan kebin, fang ruo, hao hongyi, gao yang, david eng, xiao ewan, wang xudong
team competition phase: tracey loontjens, gao yang, libny pacheco, aniruddha mukherjee, tan kebin, yu chloris, alan chou, dahyun kim, wang xudong
cooperative designer: Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Shenzhen), Shenzhen Boliyang Landscape and Architecture Design Co., Ltd.

total roof length: 1.2km
roof width: 50m – 70m
planned total area: 77,000 m²
design period: May 2016 -July 2017
construction period: March 2018 – June 2021
completion: July 2021

photographs and video footage: bai yu, shenzhen luohan photography studio
video montage: cross-border


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