TLS wins lion mountain park competition in suzhou, china
TLS wins lion mountain park competition in suzhou, china TLS wins lion mountain park competition in suzhou, china
oct 04, 2016

TLS wins lion mountain park competition in suzhou, china


the city of suzhou in china has announced TLS landscape architecture, a california-based firm, as the winner of the lion mountain park design competition. in brief, the shishan (lion) mountain is an ancient geological landmark that famously got its name for resembling a lion guarding the top. today, it forms the core of a new urban ecosystem complex, and is connected to the recently enlarged shishan lake by a great circular promenade. built on the grounds of an old amusement space and pond, the 74 hectare urban park will become the key feature of the suzhou high-tech district. but most importantly, it will be a unique effort to regenerate local ecosystems by using natural processes and the chinese concept of shanshui- union of mountain and lake.

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
‘poem bridge’ linking the lion mountain to its smaller sibling




the competition coincided with the chinese government’s announcement of its recently modified urban work guidelines that highlight the importance of proper ecological and urban development practices. they also promote the recovery of local character and sense of place that is difficult to achieve in most new-city programs across china. in other words, TLS landscape architecture‘s lion mountain park will be the first large scale public project in the city to implement those principles.

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
elevated walkways threaded through wetland islands




the ecological program sees the shishan lake doubled in size, with its water quality improved from a murky level 3 to a sparkling level 1 – through the creation of a sustainable watershed. the latter will harvest annual rainfall and naturally clear run-off in new development areas. on the other hand, the circular promenade that unfolds around the site will become the prime venue for daily social life. in addition, an extensive public art program will be part of the lion mountain park project; it will focus on local cultural and artistic traditions in the heart of the city – famous for its historic architecture and courtyard gardens of the UNESCO world heritage status.


tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
view from the top of lion mountain

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
party barge on shishan lake with floating wetland attached

circular promenade with aerial tram that takes visitors to mountain trails

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
rain fountain on shishan lake

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
cypress islands and tea house proposed along the lake

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
introduced bird species approaching the existing roller coaster

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
grotto garden proposal

tls lion mountain park competition china designboom
extreme sports in ‘life giving forest’



project info:


construction date: march 2017

assisted partner: 64 North

TLS team: guy nordenson and assoc., new york, structural engineer
/ kevin daly architects, los angeles
/ kuth & ranieri architects, san francisco/
 endres studio, emeryville, ca, structural engineer
/lotus water, san francisco, sustainable watershed planning
/ betti-sue hertz, san francisco, public art consultant.



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,545 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample