The Xixi Wetlands, located west of Hangzhou, are a unique ecosystem that has been created over thousands of years. In 2005 they were given National Park status, in order to protect their fragile environment. The wetlands play host to a wide variety of native plants, birds, fish and animals. The landscape design for Banyan Tree Hangzhou brings the wetland ecosystem of the Xixi Wetlands into the resort. Traditional Chinese architecture is set within a framework of natural water bodies and native vegetation.
Taking the traditional Chinese wetland village as inspiration for the landscape, areas outside of the buildings create a connection between land and water; manmade and natural. The hard edges of pathways, walls and bridges are contrasted against the softer edges of the natural vegetation. A navigable network of waterways links the villas to the main hotel facilities and the surrounding wetland, allowing guests the unique opportunity to experience the wetland park by boat.
Elements such the ‘moon bridges’ granite paving, benches and light features reflect the unique character and culture of the regions water villages. The carefully selected planting palette has largely been limited to indigenous wetland species. Willow and Camphor trees have been extensively planted, together with Bamboo, aquatic grasses, reeds and Lotus. In the walled villa compounds, the local tradition of planting Persimmon, Mulberry, fragrant Osmanthus and flowering Cherry Trees has been followed, to help create an authentic landscape experience.
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