China is really beginning to boom economically, and the architectural marvels that are emerging throughout the ancient country are testament to that fact. The design company Studio Shift has created an enormous resort, the Aquatic Center, with an equally gargantuan manmade lake and water park.
While a resort with a manmade lake is hardly news, even for a blog that focuses on aquatic architecture, it’s how Shift Studio built and plan to manage the lake that has turned heads.
Shift Studio has designed a lake that will be both cheaper to maintain and more economically friendly, a set of goals that many architects are discovering aren’t as antagonistic as previously imagined.
Rather than sucking water from surrounding cities and dumping it into the lake, the designers built the lake so that it could capitalize on the abundance of natural Miyi rainwater. Additionally, it siphons water from the nearby Anning River. As a result, all of the water that the Aquatic Center uses for its lake is local, natural, and cheap.
Of course, the natural question that arises after learning about this is, “How do they keep the water clean?”
Again, Shift Studio has taken an energy- and money-saving approach. Rather than running the water through an expensive water purification plant, they let the water slowly drift through layers of biofilms, which contain microscopic organisms that are eager to feed on the pollutants in the water.
On top of all that, the architects want to use water and shading systems to promote natural cooling, and they intend to add solar panels, which can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50%.
For a country that is experiencing an enormous economic growth spurt, it’s great to see that many architects are willing to go with a more natural and nature-friendly building rather than favoring the absurd excess popular in countries like Dubai. Hopefully, many other Chinese architects will follow this trend; otherwise, the world’s most populous country might be facing some rather devastating ecological troubles in the next century.