2013 Awards

Design: Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space

Honor Award

Lotus Lake Park
Kunshan, Suzhou, China
Integrated Planning Design Inc.
Managing Director: Marius Brits
Design Director: Marius Brits
Senior Designer: Kan Srisawat
Project Manager: Shaopin Gu
Designer: Quan Gao

Lotus Lake Park Site Plan.
The park’s trail system collects programs in two broad groups. Kunshan’s natural heritage of water and aquaculture is displayed mainly along the lake and wetlands, while its arts and opera culture is displayed along the park’s central spine.Both trail systems have a mix of grand and intimate experiences.
The park’s main entrance off of Qianjin West Road seen from the upper walkway.
Lighting for wayfinding along the park’s main circulation.
The park’s upper ponds are large visual features that include water cascades and plantings of the famed double-headed lotus flower.
The steel and glass pavilions also suggest places in the park that are not immediately accessible. Here, in the upper portion of the park, visitors are led along the water for a morning walk.
A steel and glass pavilion invites visitors to the lakefront, bringing them through thick beds of regional plantings.
The scale of the lakefront is large, addressing the adjacent high-speed rail infrastructure and displaying the large groupings of double-headed lotus flowers.
The lakefront has a hard edge throughout, with a continuous promenade connecting the long axis east to west.
The park’s center is the cultural collection of programs and plantings. The intimate scale of the park’s center is intended to change the visitor’s perspective and provide refuge from the large infrastructure at the park’s edges.
The experience from one of the central pavilions is warm and restful to contrast with the site’s busy perimeter.
Overlooking one of the lower wetlands.

Lotus Lake Park is the gateway landscape for the revitalized west end of the City of Kunshan, China. Sited between a large commercial thoroughfare and the nationwide high-speed rail corridor, the urban waterfront park offers community and retail facilities, walks, interactive features, sweeping vistas, and overlooks allowing visitors to experience the diversity of Kunshan’s landscape and cultural heritage.

The design makes extensive use of local plant material and the locally renowned Double-headed Lotus. We have positioned large collections of the lotus floating within the lake to present its introspective qualities and used small collections throughout the park to give visitors an intimate experience of the flower. Historically cultivated aquatic plants, grown in an accessible aquaculture display, educate and remind visitors of the plants’ ongoing cultivation and contribution to the region.  Finally, the famous Kun Opera is also integrated through facilities of music, song, costume and public stage sets.