Enormous constructions are popping up all over China, hosting international business, new residences and commercially centered recreational activities. Well, the Anning River Acquatic Resort certainly doesn’t fall shy of being gargantuan, but unlike many of the new structures calling upon visitors to open their wallets and free their hands for brand emblazoned shopping bags, this beautiful new resort promotes a much healthier and less costly form of play. Located in Miyi, China, the playground for adults is an incredible concept designed by Studio Shift that features a public lagoon, a series of swimming pools and other water-based activities for the public to enjoy. The incredible water park utilizes solar panels, an elevated roof garden and advanced bio-remediation technology.
In order to promote and accommodate year-round tourism, the Aquatic Center’s design features complete indoor pool facilities including swimming and diving pools, leisure pools of varying natures and temperatures, play pools for children and on-site spa facilities. However, the focal point of the concept is clearly the swimming lagoon, which has been carved into the site between the riverbed and the bronze metal structures. Given the size of the lagoon, Shift was very careful in employing a design that would ensure the lagoon would remain a sustainable amenity. Rather than draining the city water system to fill their pools, the overall system capitalizes on the abundant Miyi rainwater and the adjacent Anning River as primary sources.
Bio-remediation technology has been employed to filter and purify the water through a system of bio-films and low-energyconsumption pumps that contain hungry microorganisms able to feed on pollutants in the water. Additionally, a landscaped roof has been integrated above the parking garage, serving as both an elevated garden, and more critically, as a means for rainwater collection and reducing the local heat experienced almost year round. A delicate bronze metal roof provides a modern counterpoint to both the water below and the landscape roof. The bronze roof itself has also been specifically designed to capture and re-distribute rainwater, which both further promotes the eco-program of the entire center and helps to improve existing river conditions. Currently, the architects are also considering implementing passive solar strategies in order to take advantage of the favorable climate conditions of the province. If successful this aspect alone would reduce building energy consumption by 50%.
The new Aquatic Center is far from a simple recreational water park. Through their design Shift hopes to redefine the role of such amenities within the city. Settled at the edge of the riverfront, the new center would create a connection between the urban infrastructure and natural environment and promote a conjoined system for public circulation within the opposing contexts. By creating this intersection and overlap of the city and riverfront, the center’s program allows for pedestrians to have “hybrid moments” in a unified spatial condition that wouldn’t otherwise be possible in a strict urban or natural environment.