Qinhuangdao Beach Restoration: An Ecological Surgery

Landscape Architects
Qinhuangdao Municipal Government

The beach is located along the Bohai Sea shoreline of Qinhuangdao city, a touristic coastal city in North China’s Hebei Province, 6.4 kilometers in length and an area of 60 hectares. The whole site was in an environmentally and ecologically damaged condition. The intention of this project is to rehabilitate the damaged natural environment, restore and unveil to tourists and local residents the beauty of the site while transforming a former degraded beach into an ecologically healthy and aesthetically attractive landscape.

The whole site can be divided into three zones:

Zone-1: Erosion protection
This is a windy shoreline 5 kilometers long, covered with coastal sand dunes and diverse plant communities. The design solution is a carefully arranged a boardwalk that winds along the shoreline, linking different patches of plant communities. Eco-friendly bases of fiberglass allows the boardwalk to “float” above the sand dunes and wetland. The fiberglass bases are specially prefabricated containers that can be filled with sand or be empty depending on the soil conditions. Resting pavilions, shading structures and environmental interpretation systems are designed along the boardwalk that are carefully sited for the scenery, allowing to visualize the ecological meaning of the site and highlighting their panoramic beauty.

Zone-2: A Recovered Wetland
The central zone is an abandoned construction site covered with building debris. Ecological recovery was a strong need. Inspired by the bubble-patterned water sinks along the intertidal zone, water holes are created in among the building debris to catch the rain water from the land that allow wetland plant and animal communities to get established, also attracting birds to forage.The Wetland Museum is designed as an integral part of the landscape, stretching into the wetland, and inlets breeze from the ocean to cool off the hot summer and reduce the use of energy in the building.

Zone-3: The Dotted Isles Lake and Eco-friendly Rip-Rap
This zone is at the very east end of the project. It was previously a park constituted by a heavy concrete embankment which was built to protect the shoreline from erosion and to create a lake by trapping the sea water during the high tide. The Regenerative Design strategies include demolishing the concrete and replacing it with ecologically friendly rip-rap. A boardwalk is built to replace the hard pavement, and native ground cover is introduced to green the surface alongside the board walk. In addition, 9 green islets are created in the middle of the lake to enrich the empty and boring water surface allowing birds to rest and nest.

The results of these ecological restoring designs are remarkably successful.

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