About the Chinese Gardens: Evolution and Design

The Chinese gardens are located in Doomside, Sydney’s suburbs at Nurragingy Reserve, the marvelous Chang Lai Yuan Chinese gardens lay. The Chinese gardens were designed and constructed by the Blacktown City Council, and Liacheng Municipal Government in China and worked along with Landscape solutions. Landscape Solutions is a landscape architecture firm in Sydney that expanded its offices to Brisbane, Melbourne, and Auckland. The architectural style incorporated in the structures of the Chinese Gardens was based on the Ming and Qing dynasty in China. 

The Ming dynasty ruled over China from 1368 to 1644 and was ruled by Han Chinese. The reconstruction of the imperial palaces gathered a lot of skilled craftsmen to create the grand palace complex. The materials used were a large quantity of wood, bricks, glazed tiles, and colored painting decorations. The ruler also rebuilt many sections of the great wall and the gate of the city built with stone bricks. Western missionaries came to China in the late Ming dynasty bringing in western architectural styles.

Chinese Gardens by Chang Lai Yuan - Sheet1
the gateway_©https://foursquare.com/v/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/5117212fe4b08a57205d45cd?openPhotoId=51809002498e5f87fc7fa0bd

The Qing Dynasty ruled over China from 1636 to 1644. This dynasty was led by the Manchu clan, an ethnic group in China. They focused more on exquisite detailing and inherited the architectural style from the Ming dynasty. Multiple architectural heritage was spoiled as western buildings started coming up in the late Qing dynasty when western building materials were introduced into China such as bricks, cement, stone, and glass dominating the timber skeleton in Chinese architecture. The Chinese garden is a symbolic gesture of friendship. 

The use of reinforced concrete almost changed the whole style of building materials in China. The architectural style of these dynasties features a breathtaking gateway entering the Chinese gardens, a seven-arched stone bridge, a light mountain pavilion, and a waterfall gazebo. The waterfall has free-flowing water on a stepped rock landscape. The view from the gazebo on the waterfall is very picturesque, comforting, and relaxing space. 

Chinese Gardens by Chang Lai Yuan - Sheet2
the gazebo waterfall_ ©https://foursquare.com/v/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/5117212fe4b08a57205d45cd?openPhotoId=51809002498e5f87fc7fa0bd

Materials and Construction

The materials used for the construction of the Chinese Gardens are stone, bricks, cement, and timber. Although Chinese architecture involves more timber architecture, the location of the Chinese gardens, due to the high temperature in Sydney the usage of wood is comparatively less than in China. To suit and adapt to Australian standards, innovative methods were used to change the traditional building styles and materials. The materials included substituting the traditional timber structure elements with the use of concrete.

Chinese Gardens by Chang Lai Yuan - Sheet3
seven arched bridge_©https://foursquare.com/v/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/5117212fe4b08a57205d45cd?openPhotoId=51809002498e5f87fc7fa0bd

These elements made of concrete were the key to the success of this project as they required it to appear more so like timber. The pavilion, gazebo, and gateway were the main elements constructed using timber from China and were later deconstructed and shipped to Sydney. They were treated again in Australia and restrained in QLD before they were reassembled on-site with the help of Chinese carpenters and were hand painted by Chinese artisans to bring out the maximum of Chinese aesthetics. The seven-arched bridge is constructed using Xiamen granite and has beautifully carved balustrades and abutments. The landscape is enhanced with the usage of limestone situated around the granite pavement and seating provided.

gazebo on the pavement_©https://foursquare.com/v/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/5117212fe4b08a57205d45cd?openPhotoId=51809002498e5f87fc7fa0bd

Sustainable landscaping is an approach to designing and constructing an artificial landscape in your surroundings and improving the existing natural landscapes. We can also add man-made structures to beautify the landscape in a way that does not hurt the environment. We strive to work with various natural systems to improve the sustainability of the natural environment.

Sustainable landscaping means putting back much of what may have been in place before development. It helps to enhance biodiversity. It also introduces things that were not aware of before, to ensure that the landscape can be socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable for the future generation as well. The Chinese gardens were designed, and constructed in Sydney in a manner that there is sustainable landscaping done and did not destroy or harm the existing natural elements such as uneven rock surfaces. They incorporated these as a design element which is a pretty sight and sustainable noting there is no harm done nor will it harm the environment later in the future.

The conclusion

The Chinese garden in Sydney, Australia brings a piece of tradition and cultural vibe from Chinese architecture into Australia for a fantastic experience. A beautifully landscaped garden having elements that represent the best of Chinese architecture can be seen. Handcrafted and intricately drawn traditional pieces on gazebos and the rock landscape also bring in the tranquility in the Chinese garden, Sydney. It can also be visualized as a place for gathering, a space to laze out and be with nature enjoying the calm and serene surrounding elements that are designed to showcase a piece of the country-China.

 

References:

  • ©https://foursquare.com/v/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/5117212fe4b08a57205d45cd?openPhotoId=51809002498e5f87fc7fa0bd
  • Landscape (2022) Chinese gardens at Nurragingy Reserve, Blacktown – Landscape Solutions, Landscape Solutions Australia. Available at: https://landscapesolutions.com.au/irrigation-projects/chinese-gardens-2/ (Accessed: November 7, 2022). 
  • Li, S. (2021) Chinese architecture – the spirit behind wood, China Educational Tours. China Educational Tours. Available at: https://www.chinaeducationaltours.com/guide/culture-chinese-architecture.htm (Accessed: November 7, 2022). 
  • Chinese gardens, nurragingy (2021) Solutions Contracting. Available at: https://solutionscontracting.com.au/projects/chinese-gardens-nurragingy/ (Accessed: November 7, 2022). 
  • posts, stealthA., Stealth and *, N. (2022) Chang Lia Yuan chinese gardens doonside, Creating Links. Available at: https://creatinglinks.org.au/chang-lia-yuan-chinese-gardens-doonside/ (Accessed: November 7, 2022). 
  • Chang Lai Yuan chinese gardens (no date) Blacktown Australia. Available at: https://www.blacktownaustralia.com.au/12136/chang-lai-yuan-chinese-gardens/ (Accessed: November 7, 2022). 
Author

Hello, this is Shazia Haris an aspiring architectural writer. Her passion for writing has led her to RTF. She is grateful to have made it here and is eager to kick-start a new path in writing. She looks forward to being a trailblazer.

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