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Golden Harbor Ecotourism Resort 115

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

Completion: 2018

“Even though everything is the work of man,”

A central lake acts as the primary element

the area’s cultural and historical context,

Ji Cheng wrote in The Craft of Gardens in

that organizes all development parcels. The

the design creates a destination that is

1631, “it must appear to have been created by

north shoreline is urban and supports more

both commercially viable and ecologically

heaven.” This statement inspired the design

activities, while the south shoreline is natural

sustainable.

of a luxurious resort in Suzhou, home of many

and private, providing more tranquility.

classical Chinese gardens.

As a lakeshore development, the design There are three themed areas within the

protects ecotones – zones between water and

The landmark destination on Taihu Lake, the

master plan: the harbor area to the north

land along the edge of a lake – and secures

largest lake in eastern China, will introduce

and west, including a marina, yacht club

wildlife habitats while encouraging human

ecotourism to China’s emerging international

hotel and tourist town center; the hill area

interaction with the natural environment.

and domestic tourism sector. After winning

to the east, with a water sports park, dry ski

Following the spirit of the traditional Chinese

an international design competition for

slope and visitor center; and a delta area to

garden, the planning framework is carefully

the master plan, HOK is now designing the

the south, with a family hotel and corporate

scaled to provide intimate spaces and

buildings and public spaces.

club. Building forms embrace organic shapes

diverse visitor experiences while promoting

to reflect the ebbs and flows of the natural

interaction between people and the water.

The design starts with the traditional

environment.

Chinese methodology of using water to infuse the garden with life, hills to establish

The plan organizes the site to draw visitors

environmental framework, paths to connect

from the entry areas throughout the rest of

different experiences and buildings to create

the development, encouraging engagement

diverse spaces.

with different amenity spaces. By integrating the lake’s pristine natural environment with

◄ aerial view

2014 design annual

222 acres / 90 hectares


2014 HOK Design Annual