Quarry Garden 矿坑花园

Designers: THUPDI and Tsinghua University | City: Shanghai, CN | Project Type: quarry, renovation, boardwalk
Date Visited: 2.23.13
Location: Chenshan Botanical Garden, Songjiang District, Shanghai
Size: 4.26 hectares (10.53 acres)
Completion Date: April 2010


Were it not for its honor award in the 2012 ASLA General Design Awards, I might not have ever heard of the Quarry Garden, much less been willing to make the trip out to visit its rather remote location in Songjiang District–it took me over two hours on public transportation to get there from Pudong–but I’m so glad that I did. The Quarry Garden, as well as the surrounding sights in Chenshan Botanical Garden, are highlights in my trip to Shanghai.

Gubei Gold Street 黄金城道步行街

Designer: SWA Group | City: Shanghai, CN | Project Type: pedestrian promenade
Date Visited: 3.3.13
Location: Shanghai
Size: 4.6 hectares (3 city blocks)
Completion Date: 2009


Gubei Gold Street is a breath of fresh air from the snarl of city traffic. A pedestrian mall carved out from three city blocks and flanked by 20-story high rise residential towers, Gubei Gold Street serves as the centerpiece to this mixed-use residential project designed by SWA Group.

The Surging Wave Pavilion 沧浪亭

City: Suzhou, CN | Project Type: garden
Date Visited: 2.25.13

Location: 3号 Canglangting St, Canglang, Suzhou
Size: 10,656 sq. m


One of the oldest gardens in Suzhou, the Surging Wave Pavilion was built during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) for the poet Su Shunqing.

Master of the Nets Garden 网师园

City: Suzhou, CN | Project Type: garden
Date Visited: 2.25.13
Location: 带城桥路 Canglang, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Size: 5,400 sq. m


The smallest of all classical residential gardens in Suzhou, the Master of the Nets Garden is also considered one of the city’s finest gardens.

Lion Grove Garden 狮子林

City: Suzhou, CN | Project Type: garden
Date Visited: 2.25.13
Location: 23号 Yuanlin Road, Pingjiang, Suzhou
Size: 10,000 sq. m


Much smaller than its famous neighbor, The Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Lion Grove Garden features a labyrinthine rockery made of Taihu lake limestone.

The Humble Administrator’s Garden 拙政園

City: Suzhou, CN | Project Type: garden
Date Visited: 2.25.13
Location: 178号 Dongbei St, Pingjiang, Suzhou
Size: 51,950 sq. m


The Humble Administrator’s Garden is the largest garden in Suzhou. Originally built in the Ming Dynasty around 1509 AD, the garden is divided into eastern, western, and central sections. The central section is the most visited, with 1/3 of its area covered by a giant man-made lake.

Suzhou, China 苏州

Urban Population: 5,349,000 | City Area: 2,743 km2 (1,059 sq mi) | Population Density: 2,000/km2 (5,100/sq mi)
Dates Visited: 2.24.13 – 2.25.13
Departure City: Shanghai

A mere 45 minute ride on the high speed bullet train from Shanghai, Suzhou is one of the top tourist destinations in Shanghai and prized for its traditional waterside architecture–Suzhou is called the Venice of the East–and its UNESCO World Heritage Classical Chinese Gardens.

Houtan Park 后滩公园

Designers: Turenscape | City: Shanghai, CN | Project Type: waterfront, brownfield, wetlands
Date Visited: 2.15.13
Location: 后滩 世博达到浦东新区上海
Size: 34.5 Acres
Budget: $15.7 million
Completion Date: 2010


Winner of the ASLA Award of Excellence for General Design in 2010, Turenscape’s Houtan Park (后滩公园) was on my must-see list for Shanghai. Though I arrived in the winter to a pretty dull and drab plant palette, Houtan Park did not fail to impress.

Jing’an Park 静安公园

City: Shanghai, CN | Project Type: classical Chinese garden
Date Visited: 2.13.13
Location: 189号 Huashan Rd, Jing’an, Shanghai, China
Size: 33,600 sq. meters (361,667 sq. ft)
Founded: 1954


Located in one of the densest and most centrally located areas of Shanghai, Jing’an Park is a green urban oasis within a major tourist and business center. The park was developed across from Jing’an Temple, an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple.

The Bund 外灘

City: Shanghai, CN | Project Type: waterfront
Date Visited: 2.19.13
Location: The Bund, Shanghai
Size: 4.8 kilometers from Suzhou Creek to the 2010 Expo site in Puxi (2.6 square kilometers)
Projected Completion Date: 2020


One of the most historically significant and sought-after tourist destinations in Shanghai, The Bund marks a great crossroads between the east and west, combining architecture, trade, ecology, history, and place-making.

Shanghai, China 上海

City Population: 23,019,148 | City Area: 2,448.1 sq mi (6,340.5 km2) | Population Density: 9,400/sq mi (3,600/km2) | Elevation: 13 ft (4 m)
Dates Visited: 1.27.13 – 3.07.13
Departure City: New Orleans, LA

One of the fastest developing cities in the world, Shanghai has enjoyed a long history as one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the Far East. With a diverse population of over 23 million (as of 2010), this major financial center was founded and thrives on the confluence of the east and the west. From classic Parisian buildings in Xintiandi (新天地) to the winding Chinese gardens at Jing’an (静安区), the Shanghai landscape reflects the longstanding influence of international trade.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

Designers: Philip Johnson (architect) | City: Houston, TX | Project Type: fountain
Date Visited: 1.24.13
Location: 2800 S. Post Oak Blvd. Houston, TX
Size: 2.77 acre
Official Opening Date: 1985


One of Houston’s most visited urban parks, the 2.77-acre Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park inspires feelings of awe and peace with its loud and powerful 64-foot waterfalls. Designed by Pulitzer Prize winning architect Philip Johnson, this large semi-circular fountain is located south across a wide green lawn flanked by 186 live oaks and faces the Williams Tower, a 64-story reflective office building.