Chengdu, China




86 ha


Open International Urban Design Competition


Project finished


Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources, Chengdu Agricultural and Rural Bureau


Martin Arfalk, Patrick Verhoeven, Francesca Savio, Danny Bridson, Shan Jiang, Cyril Pavlu, Emilia Puotinen, Andrei Deacu, Alessandro Macaluso, Emeline Lex with CCDA/VRAP (CN)

A landscape acupuncture strategy to elevate and celebrate Chengdu’s rural landscapes.

Chengdu Featured Towns - Poetry Town

Poetry Town was one of 5 sites commissioned to Mandaworks and CCDA/VRAP as a part of the Chengdu Featured Towns Competition. The competition had the goal of developing proposals for the design of Chengdu’s featured towns and the conservation and restoration of Linpan Rural Residences in the Sichuan province. The competition included a broad range of development and restoration sites around China’s fourth-largest city, providing the opportunity to explore the qualities and potentials of Chengdu's impressive rural landscapes.


Poetry town is an agricultural landscape that binds together a collection of small villages and farms. The area is already an established tourist destination, with thousands of visitors travelling here to experience the blooming yellow canola fields. The area has long been a place of cultural celebration, starting 900 years ago when poet Lu You wrote about its qualities and charm. As the rural region develops, there is the potential to embrace and highlight this charm.


Inspired by the process of acupuncture, we propose a series of strategic, lightweight interventions in the landscape. The playful elements are intended to elevate the experience of the canola fields and inspire fresh and innovative ways to experience the place. The site today is characterised by open fields and dense forest, the interventions exaggerate the spatial qualities of each, uniting the landscapes and path network with a clear design language and form.



’Poetry wanders in the fields’ Masterplan.

Scenic Spaces

Lifting people above the ground is a simple and powerful way to reinvent the experience of Poetry Town.

Accessible Spaces

The lightweight structures encourage visitors to access the fields without damaging the crop.

Celebration Spaces

The elements can create rooms out of the fields and forests for events and celebrations.

Rest Spaces

Shaded furniture provides places of rest and refuge on hot days.

Iconic Spaces

The elements have a clear and memorable language that brings joy and adventure to the landscape.