Creating a gateway to a World Heritage Site
Mount Emei, the highest of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996. The site attracts some 3,000,000 tourists every year internationally and from within China. In order to enhance the visitor experience and manage visitor impacts, the Mount Emei-Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area Management Committee decided to create a visitor service centre immediately adjacent to the protected site. In 2013 Boffa Miskell was engaged to assist with the landscape master planning of the 600ha development.
Boffa Miskell is honoured to work on such a prestigious, unique and challenging project. From our design base in New Zealand, we have developed a strong understanding of Chinese culture and business needed for these large scale projects.
Emei resort must be appealing to tourists from all over the world whilst also being an appropriate gateway to the mountain. Sensitive and sustainable design is required to achieve a sense of harmony with nature, the area’s ancient spirituality and the local culture.
The mountain holds great religious and cultural significance for China, containing some of the country’s oldest Buddhist architecture and a unique golden sculpture of Buddha near the mountaintop. The area is renowned for its scenic beauty and its exceptionally rich biodiversity, particularly its flora. The project site is located near the bottom of the mountain, just outside of the scenic and ecological preservation areas and close to Emei township. Boffa Miskell has been responsible for developing the overall landscape concept master plan of Mount Emei Resort, a concept and detailed design for the Mount Emei Service Centre, a new key access road known as the ‘Landscape Boulevard’, and the design of Emei River Park which extends throughout the resort.
We have worked with the project’s building designer, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, to reference and interpret in the project design the extraordinary ancient history and stunning landscape context. Approximately 4 hectares of green roofs are covered in vegetation, which blends seamlessly with Mount Emei’s diverse flora. The architecture – whilst modern – references traditional Chinese architecture and the local culture, whilst the many water features bring the natural and rural feel of the nearby river waterways into the service centre.
The staff in our Shanghai office have been ideally qualified for this project through their design expertise in landscape architecture and master planning and their local knowledge. In addition, we have drawn on Boffa Miskell’s eco-tourism and resort specialists within our New Zealand offices to optimise the project’s success in the increasingly competitive tourist market of China and world-wide.
Boffa Miskell provided master planning and landscape architecture services