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Call of the wild

Updated: 2023-12-16 12:41 ( China Daily )
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Shan Shan Garden, located in the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, boasts stunning views of mountains and forests. Four designers spent years transforming it from a wasteland into an inviting garden retreat.[Photo provided to China Daily]

From wasteland to sanctuary

Originally a mine, the area had fallen into disuse and was being used as a dump for construction waste. It was covered with a thick layer of garbage, rendering it nearly inaccessible. The buildings on the site were in a state of severe disrepair, surrounded by wild grass and wasteland.

The location was identified as a geological hazard zone. During rainy seasons, a significant amount of water would run down the mountain, flooding the area and spilling onto the roads. This made the site virtually inaccessible during such times and even posed a risk of landslides.

This forlorn site, despite its initial bleakness, held the potential the designers were seeking. They realized it was a diamond in the rough waiting to be polished into their envisioned garden sanctuary.

Yu recalls the moment they first drove up to the site, describing it as an instant when everyone's eyes lit up with excitement. They were greeted by a majestic cliff face dominating the view. A long water pipe ran through the valley, striking a chord with its imposing presence, all set against the backdrop of the surrounding forests.

In a fortunate twist of fate, they discovered that the construction debris from their previous studio, which had been dismantled, was lying in this wasteland.

This revelation added an emotional dimension to their project. It was as if their past efforts had led them to this very spot, presenting them with an opportunity to reclaim and transform what they had lost into something even more magnificent.

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