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The protection and renewal of the Pingjiang Historical and Cultural District

2023-07-27 | CBC Building Center


1.Historic preservation is the first priority. 

The Pingjiang Historical and Cultural District, located in the northeast corner of Suzhou ancient city, has a history of more than 2,500 years.

The soul of a city is not only reflected in its modern buildings, but also in its profound cultural heritage. In the eyes of outsiders, the best development of Suzhou is the industrial park, which has a developed economy, advanced planning and reasonable design. However, in the eyes of Suzhou people, the Gusu District rooted in the ancient city is the first district of Suzhou.

The 2500 year ancient city of Gusu is the most representative cultural symbol of Suzhou, carrying the wisdom and habits of the Suzhou people. The intangible cultural heritage are the characteristic foundation of the continuation of the ancient city and the development of the new city.

Instead of Guanqian Street, the most lively lane in Suzhou, is the quiet and simple Pingjiang Road. During the walk, you can still clearly touch the Jiangnan pulse. The Pingjiang Historical and Cultural District, have the most dense rivers, bridges and water alleys in the Gusu District, which is the most typical and complete historical and cultural protected area of the ancient city so far.

At the entrance of Pingjiang Road, a tablet describes in detail the street layout of Pingjiang City in the Song Dynasty. Today's ancient city of Suzhou retains roughly the same pattern as before and preserves many cultural relics .

Through conservation and renovation, the original lifestyle of nearly 8,000 residents has been preserved and their quality of life has been improved. The slow life of the residents are the scenery in the eyes of tourists.

2.Organic integration of protection and development.

As a demonstration area for the protection and renewal of the ancient city, Pingjiang Historic District focuses on the combination of protection and development, the improvement of people's livelihood and the promotion of community revitalization, and will be built into "the core product of Pingjiang's full range of travel, the best space to carry the memory of the ancient city and the most beautiful place to preserve the original lifestyle".

Reshape the "water" space to inherit the water town with memories.

The ancient city of Suzhou originated from water, and water is the soul of the ancient city. According to the plan, the Pingjiang Historic District takes the ancient city culture as the core and the block as the carrier, strives to build a garden community with"water space, water life and water memory", so as to realize the misplaced development and provide diversified tourism products. With the rich remains of the block, it creates a delicate life with Suzhou-Style.

● Key point of water space design: highlight the value of "the last water town memory of the ancient city" in Pingjiang historical district, and reproduce the harmony between people, ancient city and water.

● Reopen the historical river: Restore the historical river, reconstruct the Pingjiang river system,create a pleasant waterfront space based on the historical style and  intangible culture of Pingjiang.

● Regulation of waterfront space: continue the living atmosphere, beautify the environment of river street, optimize the traditional style of streets, and provide the exquisite life experience of the original Suzhou-Style .

Reshape microspace to make 'streets with stories'.

The Pingjiang Historic District will focus on the details of space, while drawing the new Suzhou-Style architectural features, retain practical functions and realize the modern interpretation of traditional lifestyle.

● Street facade renovation: repair the traditional style and texture through increasing landscape walls, verandas, garden street landscape. 

● Well table space renovation: continue the traditional living atmosphere through the renovation of the well table and the embellishment of the garden landscape.

● Riverfront space renovation: reproduce the Suzhou-Style of living through waterfront plant optimization, landscape lighting laying, building renovation along the street and other means.

To reflect the ancient city cultural gene with surroundings.

The Pingjiang Historic District will also combine the surroundings to build two  scenic spots and two tourism service areas. The strategy is to create a central activity area with the Pingjiang historic district as the main body, reflecting the highest culture of the ancient city and the livable value of Suzhou- style life.

3.Excavating historical significance to meet the needs of urban development.

As the eastern gateway of Suzhou Industrial Park into the ancient city, the plot "Sudi 2016-WG-46" (also known as Cangjie plot) in the southeast of Pingjiang Historical District not only plays the role of showing the style of ancient city , but also links the modern civilization. It is an important hub to integrate ancient and modern culture and connect the new and ancient urban areas. It is also the only place left blank in the Pingjiang Road World Cultural Heritage.

At the beginning of the bidding for the Cangjie plot, the Suzhou government conducted the global bidding in advance, and finally more than 50 urban planning companies around the world went through nine months of bidding to determine the overall area planning for high-end businesses in the south and low-density villas in the north. It is aiming to rely on the Pingjiang historic district to create a sample of the ancient city's renewal in Suzhou under the background of cultural Renaissance.

Here, the east-west main axis of the ancient city, Ganjiang Road, connects traditional business districts and new business districts. Relying on the industries along the Pingjiang Road and the commercial land of Cang Street, the Pingjiang Historic District radiates with Guanqian, Shilu and Nanmen, and actively integrates into the core of the ancient city cultural industry, which will reshape the pattern of the ancient city's business district and become a new growth point.

Here, Lion Forest and other world cultural heritage and diversified urban parks are all around; There are also 6 kindergartens and several famous primary and secondary schools within a kilometer radius. In addition, medical resources converge here to meet the diverse needs of living.

The Pingjiang Historic District is a demonstration project of ancient city protection.You can appreciate the charm of the ancient city little by little while walking through the long ancient streets and alleys.

Here, there is both the "fast" rhythm of modern life, and the "slow" life that highlights the charm.Here,fast and slow do not conflict, both can be achieved. At leisure, taking a boat through the water lane, or standing on the ancient bridge, or walking by the city wall, you can still feel the ancient rhyme of thousands of years.


A bird's eye view of the Pingjiang Historic District


The renovated Zhongzhangjiaxiang 29


Suzhou Renhengcang Street


Suzhou Xiangmen city Wall cultural leisure scenic spot

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Edited and Translated by Guan Tao