大理洱海生态廊道自然科普乐园景观设计 | 安道·AHA
Aerial view of Children's Science Activity Park Dalierhai Ecological Corridor
Blend in perfectly with its surroundings, Erhai Children's Science Activity Park is well received by the local people. The project successfully proved that a children’s park can be organically integrated with local characteristics, ecological education, art, and culture, and become an urban infrastructure incorporating the functions of an art gallery, natural museum, and popular science center.
At the foot of Cangshan Mountain and on the shore of Erhai Lake, there lies Dali Erhai Ecological Corridor. However, the overexploitation of tourism resources has resulted in severe environmental problems. To restore the environment, relevant departments have taken a variety of measures to repair and govern the lakeside buffer zone, with a view to establishing a harmonious relationship between humans and the lake.
In 2020, the Dali Municipal Government invited us to construct a project on ecological diversity education in Dali Erhai Ecological Corridor. That’s when our cooperation began, and we embarked on designing and creating such a park at the entrance of the corridor.
Dalierhai Ecological Corridor
Endowed with the natural resources of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, Erhai Natural & Science Edutainment Park attracts tourists with its famed biodiversity. We hope to present the story of ecological civilization and local climate characteristics with the landscape, enable people to get closer to nature, and raise their awareness of environmental protection, so that they will cherish and care more about the ecological environment, and the ecological value of Erhai will be further upgraded. Meanwhile, it also seeks to explore a new pattern of urban children’s parks, creating a unique ecological entertainment center for the city.
We draw inspiration from the geographical relationship between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake. With the concerted efforts of landscape designers, product designers, sculptors, installation artists, popular science experts, ecological restoration experts, mechanical experts, and waterscape experts, an unpowered exploration base that fuses with the surrounding environment was created, in which local biodiversity and scientific knowledge are presented in various ways.
▼AHA • 乐园方案鸟瞰图
AHA • Aerial view of the project
We push the design of landscape scenes, science content, and art amusement equipment to a higher level based on the core concept of nature and science, present the topography of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake in the original ecological state, simulate the local water cycle story with amusement devices, and restore indigenous species with interactive art installations. In this way, the park guides children to experience the laws of nature, understand the local ecological species and distinctive rainwater cycle system during their close contact with nature, in the interaction with amusement equipment, and in the parent-child exploration. That’s how it combines education with recreation.
Ticket of Erhai Children's Science Activity Park
The Story of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake
Cangshan Mountain is connected with Erhai Lake with the belt of water that is flowing cyclically and endlessly. Water in Erhai turns into clouds after evaporation, which drifts to the front of Cangshan Mountain with the wind, and accumulates into clouds, then rains. In the 19 Peaks of Cangshan Mountain, a stream is formed between every two peaks, which are the so-called 18 Streams. The Cangshan rain rushes down along these streams and pours into the Erhai.
The entire park is designed as the “scaled-down version” of the ecological water cycle of Erhai Lake. In the storyline of “water→clouds→Cangshan→18 Streams→Lakeside Buffer Zone→Erhai”, the environment, animals, and plants there are simulated by bionics, so as to guide children to learn about nature and explore nature in recreation.
Continuous traffic flow creates a running and gaming experience
The Children's Science Activity Park contains four major sections: “Play with Water in Nimbus”, “Explore the Secret of Erhai”, “Mysterious Land of Rocky Beach”, and “Dreamlike Forest”. The continuous traffic flow creates a never-ending running and game experience, allowing people to freely explore in different sections and spaces. This path is like a clue in a story, connecting a series of spaces with various functions, meanwhile adding into the story of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake with the surprises of discovery and the experience of growth.
01 Play with Water in Nimbus
“Play with Water in Nimbus” simulates the process of Cangshan Clouds turning into rain and rainwater flowing along with the 18 Streams to the distance.
We present the clouds of Cangshan in the form of art installations, combined with pneumatic leaves and digital water curtains, thus creating a nimbus effect with a mass of vapor.
Bionic natural Cangshan clouds • pneumatic device
Clouds and rains from Cangshan Mountain fall into the world
The rain curtain at night, did you recognize the words in the rain?
Having fun under the Cangshan clouds
It is designed to be as ethereal as the real clouds. At night, it is a cloud that lights up the sky, while during the day, it is a cloud that drifts with the wind. In the production process, we used perforation, wind tunnel, and other methods to show its vibration with the wind, and individually customized it to display the misty and moisture effect.
Water is accessible, tangible, and touchable. The designer cleverly integrates various water elements into the amusement equipment. You can enter the Numerical Control Rain Corridor and interact with it. It also gives children an interactive experience with ever-changing water as they play with various amusing widgets, water gates, and different styles of jump fountains.
Play among the brooks, as if walking through the 18 Streams
Water turns out to be so interesting
Children happily play with the water from fountains with the shape of frogs, fishes, and conch
Walking through the water curtain and cloud corridors, one can catch a glimpse of the ecological water cycle system of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, experience the most intuitive miniature ecology in the rain pouring from “Cangshan Clouds”, and participate, experience, and perceive the magic power of nature in a playful way.
02 Explore the Secret of Erhai
Here, water elements are leveraged to design the interactive equipment, which enables children to feel the magic of nature and explore the origin of life in the process of playing with water.
“Fantasy Drifting” adopts the elements of mountains and water. We designed the creatures in the 18 Streams into miniature landscapes and fused them into the streams.
In the micro-landscape, the biodiversity of Erhai is vividly displayed in “Fantasy Drifting”
Let’s explore the secret of Erhai together
Overlooking “Explore the Secret of Erhai”
The water flows down to the “Conch Square”, where there is a huge “square snail”. Unlike the round snails we usually see in other places, this kind of snail, once a local species, is now all but extinct. We made this extinct species into installation art.
Children can make their way into the square snail, listen to the sound of Erhai, and feel the gradations of light and shade between the mirrored spaces. They can also interact with the story of square snails, as well as how they came into being and disappeared.
Enter into the cavity of the square snail and listen to the sound of the sea
Children listening to the fairy tale that the conch brings
Childhood experience linked with mountains and sea
Frog, Fish, and Conch jump fountains offer immersive and interactive experiences for children, meanwhile presenting the aquatic life of Erhai to them. Incorporated with lightness and vigorous momentum, the jumping fountains enhance the interactive relationship between people and scenery, and that among people, delivering a continual source of delight.
“Playing with water” is the nature of children
Let’s see who makes the water jump higher
Why does the water go from bottom to top? Find out the answer during playing
The Archimedes Waterwheel provides children with a chance to explore “water”. In repeated operations, children can use their brains to discover and master the hidden physical principles of the device. The water flows slowly through the trails to multiple paddling nodes, where children can gain knowledge of water science while playing with water.
03 Dreamlike Forest
Setting foot in the “Dreamlike Forest”, one seems to turn into an insect exploring the wilderness of a mushroom jungle from a microscopic perspective—a novel world of amusement.
There are huge Amanita subfrostiana and Amanita virosa, separated by winding plank roads. Children can run freely in the mushroom jungle and discover many hidden plank road entrances.
Become a fairy tale genie and travel through the fantasy jungle
With natural mushrooms serving as the carrier, the jungle crawling, jungle crossing, double slides, twisting ladders, mushroom swings, circular climbing buckets, and other projects are connected in series. Children play and run freely in the beautiful scenery.
Mushroom megaphones record children’s laughter
As night falls, in the fun dreamlike forest, one can listen carefully to the sound recorded by the mushroom megaphones—the sound of nature, and it says that we are all children of nature.
04 Mysterious Land of Rocky Beach
Sand is a natural attraction for children. We set up a large area for children playing in the sand so that children can form an initial cognition of the natural temperature, humidity, texture, and law in the process of playing, transporting, and digging sand, and experience the fun of nature.
I can dig, transport, and carry sand and use sand for construction. Do you see the future architect in me
We have also installed climbing nets and fun devices for sand digging in the sandy area. The beetle equipment and wooden equipment simulate the natural world of Erhai. The inner space of the beetle unleashes children’s nature by a variety of play methods. Giant wooden insects draw closer the distance between children and ecology.
This challenge is a piece of cake
Across the path, the butterfly tower stands on the gravel beach. There are real “butterflies” in the butterfly tower that can dance with children as they run. When the wind blows, the butterflies on the branches flutter with the wind, glittering with silver.
Hidden challenges are set in the butterfly tower, waiting to be conquered by our little warriors
Explore and run in the park rang with cheers and laughter
Listen, the butterfly is whispering to me
There are all kinds of challenges hidden in the butterfly tower designed with natural elements such as Erhai butterflies, waiting to be conquered by our little warriors. Passing through the single-plank bridge and climb the plank road to reach the highest point of the butterfly tower, one can appreciate the mountains and the sea with the butterflies.
Our original intention was to create a distinctive ecological science edutainment park that can inspire children to explore science knowledge while having fun and promote their interaction with nature.
With natural science edutainment at the core, we polish every detail repeatedly, and carefully lay out every inch of space. The wall is designed as a popular science wall. Through a magnifying glass, one can perceive the real creatures in Erhai, as if entering the world of Alice in Wonderland and The Borrower Arrietty.
Use your hands to discover more mysteries
Observe carefully to get the magic of nature
There are “surprises” in every detail
We try our best to achieve the greatest respect for the original environment: preserve the original trees, integrate the drainage system, and present fun content with natural forms and simple materials. Without using excessive exquisite processing, we adopt primitive materials and their true colors. After countless attempts, explorations, and adjustments, we strive to present the purity in children’s hearts.
The Children's Science Activity Park is not only blended with the surrounding natural environment but also well received by local children and parents, becoming a bridge connecting ecological civilization and urban infrastructure. Not only do children gain joy and inspiration here, but the city is also re-defined by its embellishment.
Every city has its unique heritage and style. We hope that through our refinement and interpretation, we can exhibit the different charm of parks with the city imprint.