Fact Sheet




Concept Design Commission






Guangzhou Pearl River


Eco-Park, Leisure and Yacht Conventions


Partners in charge:






Consultations with Arup, Singapore


Consultations with Arup, Singapore


Consultations with Arup, Singapore

Cost analysis:


In the few years leading up to the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, the Pearl River, once notorious for its polluted waters and foul odour, has been given new life through meticulous water management programs and draconian regulations. With “Water” being the theme for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games grand opening, the Chinese has not merely displayed their achievements to the world but has also reaffirmed their commitment to environmental sustainability.

It is with the rebirth of the Pearl River that the City of Guangzhou today is developed around and it is with its continuous regeneration and vitality that the future growth of the city is imagined. The river is no longer seen merely as a piece of infrastructure that supports one of the largest ports in Asia, instead it is now an integral space of the city where a multitude of activities, including sports and leisure, can take place. Against this background, the Guangzhou Twin Islands project provides the opportunity to explore new possibilities.

Capturing the growth of yachting industries between Canton and Hong Kong, the client has opportunistically envisioned the islands as integrated eco/yacht resorts to provide Guangzhou with a new sport, leisure activity and industry. However, the islands, located just outside the city’s primary ring road alongside Huangpu Port Terminal (one of the oldest and largest ports in China), are presently confronted by river banks lined with industrial buildings and port facilities – a view that is not immediately compatible to the scenic quality that defines a resort.

The islands are therefore designed to be flipped inwards, introverted to create their own sceneries. With this strategy, the first island is designed as a large constructed wetland that filters the river water within the island as the water flows through the island with the change of tide. The organisation of low-rise buildings along the wetland channels form water catchment ponds that collects and filters rainwater for consumption, maintenance as well as support several aqua and flora farms. The island can therefore be seen as a machine dedicated to the production of clean water -a demonstrative project for the Pearl River Estuary

The second island, situated where the river widens, provides the opportunity for more boating activities. The island is designed to host international boat conventions as well as high-profile events such as the WMRT yacht race. Large circular inland marinas form “blue water” zones which facilitates boating performances as well as outdoor boat exhibitions. The circular framework is extended to the other side of the island as hotels and resorts which frame existing farming plots. Split in two by a huge vehicular flyover, the island provides two very different yet complimentary environments. The yacht convention zone, with its large structures and influx of visitors seasonally is provided with low-density accommodation and organically grown foods from the Eco-Farm zone.