Lingnan Tiandi 岭南天地

A physical and metaphorical bridge between Foshan’s Ancestral Temple and the famous ancient alleyway, Dong Hua Li, in Lingnan Tiandi we wanted a place where we could shout: in the streets, the alleys, the courtyards, to a new friend over coffee or softly to a lover in the candlelight.  

Cited by the Urban Land Institute as “an exemplary urban regeneration development model which has transformed an under-utilized dilapidated district into Wuhan’s premier community,” Foshan’s Lingnan Tiandi, a $300 million project, argues for what modern urban China can be: pedestrian streets full of quirks and life defined by an aesthetic neither anonymous nor implanted but of our time and place. 

We started by preserving the fabric and the hubris of hundreds of years of urban dwelling, including 22 monuments and 128 traditional buildings: everything from the most modest one room shop building to the grand homes of the very rich. For three years architects from Studio Shanghai, including Ben Wood and the project manager Matt White, lived full and part time in a traditional lingnan courtyard home on site.

We produced a photographic and hand sketch record of every alleyway, doorway, boundary stone, and wellhead. We studied how the ratio of building height to lane width and solar orientation affected the microclimate of our environs. We took field trips to plant nurseries, historic gardens, clay pottery kilns, and artist’s studios. We collected samples of bricks from local factories, stones from local quarries, wooden windows, doors, and furniture from local workshops, and metalwork from local blacksmiths.

We do not believe in strict historic preservation. Our intent from the beginning was to allow change while keeping the footprints of history in evidence. If an alley was narrow we made sure it stayed that way. If a house was grand in scale we made certain not to diminish this relative importance. We designed new buildings following as our guide the great diversity of scale and style that we found around us.

We agreed that tall buildings on life support would not be welcome. We developed an outdoor cooling system for the narrow alleys based on the latest evaporative cooling technology. We fought for intimate restaurants with soft light, intimate gardens, and the occasional view of an elegant Qiang Mei doorway.

Lingnan Tiandi humanizes a larger district developed by Shui On Land and laid out by Skidmore Owings and Merrill. We worked closely with Dwight Law of Design Land, our landscape architect.

Foshan’s Lingnan Tiandi represents the largest realization of our work here to date: a place which gives people identity through the art of living.

岭南天地的设计理念旨在为佛山市创造一个独特的文化地标式景点 – 一个可以和其他国际大都市的同类项目相媲美的地标建筑,在概念上运用那些承载着历史的元素来适应日新月异的今天。


当 人们走进佛山岭南天地的小巷,探访那些店铺和房子,他们行走的依旧是那条古老的小径,踏着同样的青石,看到同样的红黑砖,木质的门闩和锅儿屋檐,正如他们 的先辈当年一样。来到这里的游客仿佛感到自己穿梭时空,回到了过去。但是一旦他们踏进简氏别墅,映入眼帘的新事物使他们大吃一惊:这里有闻名中外的美食; 商铺和精品店中出售着来自各地的商品,一流的服务;还有这个建筑群每一个现代和历史细节所带来的惊艳感觉,所有这些都折射出岭南天地充满活力的时尚特色。

岭 南天地位于整个大岭南天地项目的一号地块。无论是在地理位置上,还是在精神上,它是佛山祖庙和闻名的东华里之间的一座桥梁。佛山岭南天地在一定规模上将一 个曾经欣欣向荣的社区带回到我们的生活中来,在对过去表示敬意的同时,又使其适应于现代的城市生活方式。毋庸置疑,该项目将给佛山人民创造一个标志性理想 去处,并令其真正为之自豪。