From eyesore to eye candy

Just two hours from downtown Shanghai lies an abandoned quarry that is now an award-winning park that celebrates its industrial past.
The park has won a British Association of Landscape Industries Award and the American Society of Landscape Architects honoured the park for being innovative and “restoring the ecology of the quarry, creating a natural and cultural experience in an Oriental style”. 
“It was my most challenging project ever,” said Professor Zhu Yufan from the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, who led the design and reconstruction efforts, costing 32.84 million yuan ($AUD5.3 million) over three years. “But I am so glad that we did it. It was totally worth the effort.” 
There are multiple gardens with individual themes such as Australian plants, a rose garden, Asian plants, an osmanthus garden and a children’s garden.
Chen Shan Hill has “Shanghai’s only waterfall” tumbling down the side of the rock that has been quarried. The climb to the top takes about 30 minutes. 
You can also walk along the old quarry path that takes you into the former pit and through a small cave or you can rent small boats to drive around the pond.
The quarry, which is located on the south side of Chenshan Hill, had been mined for decades and its igneous rock was used to build the foundations of Shanghai.  It closed in the 1980s and the quarry filled with water. 
Zhang Derong, who was born and raised in Chenshan village, just 100 metres from the quarry, recalls rocks falling on his old house because of the quarrying. He said that said that he doesn?t recognise the park at all now; the only remnant of the past is a 60m deep hole that has become a landscaped feature.
“It’s such a tranquil and beautiful place now,” Derong said. “And it’s fantastic that the years of noise and danger caused by mining have simply faded away.” 
“It was an important source of income for the village,? said Zhu, the designer. “The site was formed as a result of industrialisation. This is something that had a big impact on me when I first saw the quarry lake, and I wanted visitors to remember this,” he says. 
Zhu used iron and steel as the principal materials to create the project. “I wanted the place to have an industrial smell rather than mask it with something fragrant,? he said.
Sources: China Daily, Gochina

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