Shenzhen Lotus Water Culture Base

NODE Architecture & Urbanism (NODE) showcases their landscape design for the Honghu Park Water Purification Station situated within a municipal park in Luohu District, Shenzhen, China, known for its lotus-inspired theme. Serving as a crucial initiative for water pollution management in the city, the Honghu Water Purification Plant utilizes state-of-the-art fully-buried water purification technology. NODE's contribution encompasses the revitalization of the surface landscape atop the water purification facility and the design of underground offices located at the northern section.


To adapt to the site, the north side uses natural water to digest the height difference, Photo credit: Zhang Chao

At the initial stages of the design process, the project encountered various concerns from different stakeholders due to the park's significance within the city. Simultaneously, the incorporation of a fully-buried water purification plant posed inherent design complexities above ground. However, the architects transcended mere engineering considerations and succeeded in crafting a visually appealing and community-oriented public space.


Exploded Axonometric Drawing, Photo credit: Zhang Chao


Infrastructure Publicization: Shenzhen Lotus Water Culture Base, Photo credit: Zhang Chao

The firm conducted research and extracted elements from the spatial prototypes of the pagodas, pavilions, gazebos, and corridors of traditional Lingnan gardens, transforming them with contemporary design languages and materials. By means of public art installation design approaches, they transformed the highest vent shaft into a bird watching platform and an important lotus landmark in the Park. The medium and small-sized vent shafts containing evacuation stairs were designed with accessible paths and platforms, or covered with greenery, reflecting different characteristics in spatial form for public experiences.


The highest vent shaft device -- Lotus Tower, Photo credit: Zhang Chao


Light steel structure wraps the vent shaf, Photo credit: Zhang Chao


Ground walking system, Photo credit: Zhang Chao

After opening, the project was named Shenzhen Lotus Water Culture Base and became a popular place for lotus viewing and relaxation. It represents the important attempt of NODE in infrastructure publicization projects over the years in terms of interdisciplinary design practice of water purification and landscape architecture. The firm's hope is that, through active design efforts of landscape architects/architects, water purification facilities that are indispensable to daily life will become pleasant and ceremonial places in the city for public experience and learning, thus redefining the significance of infrastructure in both spiritual and aesthetic dimensions.


Overall aerial photograph: 13 vent shafts protruding from the ground, Photo credit: Zhang Chao

About NODE Architecture & Urbanism (NODE)

Established in 2004, NODE Architecture & Urbanism (NODE) is a highly influential independent architectural design firm in South China. Based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and led by Principal Architect Doreen Heng LIU, the NODE team consists of around 20 architects and designers. With a focus on urban regeneration, infrastructure, and public space, LIU and her studio conduct diverse architectural and urban design practices in the Pearl River Delta and beyond. Through critical research-based exercises, they explore alternative architectural solutions that address the challenges of complex urban development. NODE's approach involves transforming everyday "invisible" infrastructure into visually appealing and experiential "visible" infra-architecture, reshaping public spaces with aesthetic and functional value. The studio sees itself as a dynamic intersection point of possibilities, tendencies, and events, constantly adapting to ever-changing fluxes and dynamics.