Backed by mountains to the West and bound by the coastline to the East, Da Nang is a city defined by the water’s edge. The Han River carves a central figure through the city and is the spine for growth and new development. With the completion of the new riverfront masterplan, the Han River waterfront will be the most significant public space in the city. The project for Da Nang Square is an opportunity to design a linear plaza and park that opens a generous portion of the central city to these new public spaces at the Han River’s edge. With future high density development, the importance of Da Nang Square as public space open to the river will only increase.
A series of design strategies are layered to visually and physically integrate the waterfront with Da Nang Square. The negative space of the waterfront is drawn into Da Nang Square and integrated with the urban fabric. At the same time the entire site is used to collect and filter storm water as a public amenity. The existing Han Market is retained and transformed into a new market space wrapping a public plaza.
A market is currently located on the site. After exploring a number of potential configurations, we rejected the idea of a freestanding object or series of objects distributed on the site as a new market. The courtyard typology had the most potential for framing public plaza and creating a new type of public space in the city. Therefore, in order to maintain the view to the river, we created a sunken market courtyard to frame a new public plaza for the city of Da Nang.