landscape architecture · urbanism · planning

Nanjing Youth Olympic Park and Plaza, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China


The Nanjing Youth Olympic Park and Plaza was created to be a world-class waterfront and urban park partially fronting the Jia River, a tributary of the Yangtze River. The strategy behind the design is simple – attract people to the waterfront – and in doing so awaken the potential for Nanjing’s flood prone Yangtze River waterfront to become a great and enduring place for people that can benefit the natural environment while enhancing social and economic vibrancy. Accomplishing this led to a design that performs at a high level environmentally, programmatically and economically. More than a pretty landscape, this is a high performance park with a dynamic form language created for the young and for the future. The Park is completely connected to its adjacent urban fabric vertically and horizontally. Elevated boardwalks allow people easy access to the waterfront from the adjacent urban fabric, on-grade streets and bike lanes are connected to park paths and promenades. Two kilometers of highway were placed in below-grade tunnels with a cap allowing the park and plaza to directly connect to the waterfront. The Park is densely populated with activity and experiences with Wi-Fi connectivity throughout. Fitness centers, event pavilions and spaces, cafés, restaurants, museums, events spaces, adjacent commercial and residential development all serve to activate this urban open space and provide opportunities for revenue generation, park operations and maintenance.

Youth Olympic Park, SWA Group, Scott Slaney, FASLA, Design Principal, Principal-in-Charge
Nanjing Olympic Plaza, SWA Group with Terrain Studio, Scott Slaney, FASLA, Design Principal, Principal-in-Charge while with SWA Group

Prime Consultant, Park and Infrastructure Master Planning and Conceptual Design, Park Architecture Conceptual Design, Park and Plaza Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Document Review, Design Oversight during Construction

Nanjing Hexi New Town State-owned Assets Management Group Holdings Limited

Consultants and Collaborators:
Zaha Hadid Architects, CRCC Tunnel, Roadway and Infrastructure Engineering, CJDS Local Architects, Engineers and Landscape Architects, Southeast University Design Institute Local Landscape Architects , Nanjing Eye Bridge Engineers, Geotechnical Engineers, Hydrologists, Environmental Engineers, Water Feature Engineers, Irrigation Design, BPI Shanghai Lighting Design, Environmental Signage, Artists

Mayor of Nanjing, Nanjing Hexi Leadership, International Olympic Committee, Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Representatives, Nanjing Arts Commission, Nanjing Youth Olympic Center Representatives, Nanjing Planning Bureau, Nanjing Hexi Transportation, Utility and Drainage Departments, International Mall Representatives, City of Nanjing Arborists, City of Nanjing Parks Department, Parks Operations Department, Adjoining Private Property Owners, Nanjing Convention Center, Central Yangtze River Authority, Local Yangtze River Authority, China Central Water Quality Preservation Bureau, City of Nanjing Water Department, Olympic Museum Exhibit Designers

Date Complete: 2014 (substantially complete)

Area: 175 acres (70 hectares)

Storm Water Management and Flood Control, Water Harvesting and Re-Use, Water Quality Treatment Systems, Connectivity to Public Transportation, Native / Naturalized Landscape, Low Water Consuming Landscape, Bio-filtration, Biophilia, Porous Surfaces, Green Roofs, Local Materials, Habitat Creation, Multi-Modal Transportation, Walkable and Bikable