Sugarcane paper production began in 1977 in Pintung. The pulp mills were subsequently closed in 1994 due to serious industrial waste and wastewater pollution, leaving nearly 80 hectares of unused land along both banks of the Shashe River.
In 2013, The Pingtung County Government launched the Pingtung Plain Shuituoxiang Lotus Root Project. The Wannian and the Shashe Rivers were the main areas of focus with eight themed projects, the so-called Water and Green Homes Projects. These included the reorganization of public open areas and green spaces along the river corridor of Shashe River.
In 2020, there was a revival to preserve the industrial landscape and heritage of the region with the creation of green water parks and waterfront living circles. The design methods of preservation, activation and adaptive reuse were incorporated. This would integrate the landscape, the cultural industry and the aquatic environment with the intention of creating a regional architecture.
The first key feature of the design is the preservation and reuse of existing structures, thus animating the industrial spatial experiences of the old factory areas. By studying existing maps of the old factory areas, a better understanding of the locations of ground objects and possible structures under the ground is achieved. With this understanding, new drawings of underground structures such as pits and other important structures can be completed. Unearthed remains were sorted out. They help verify the operation and management routes of the pulp mill. The relative spatial and structural relationships were outlined. Three pits (with the area of about 1,019 m2), five pools (with the area of about 3,979 m2), half-size train tracks, pipeline bridges, half-size train slab bridges, bunkers and other relics were excavated from the warehouses of the pulp mill. The design involved the creation of a hydrophilic environment that passes through the two retreats and lifts along the water bank. This allowed the roaming paths of history to cut across the coordinates of space and time creating a series of post- industrial landscape elements.
The spaces between the existing three pits were not connected due to the uneven floor elevation with a maximum height differential of six meters. Therefore, the excavation of the central atrium and the surrounding terrain were designed as connections and transition points between the three pits. Furthermore they act as retention ponds along the embankment of the Shashe River assisting in future flood management.
The existing finishes of the pit walls are left in the original state as much as possible, allowing preservation of the original color, texture, and materiality. Thick steel plates of different shapes were used in some parts of the wall as structural reinforcement. The steel plates fulfilled not only a safety requirement, but they provided visual connections between the new and the old.
The remaining five pools are of different sizes but the same structural form. In concert with preserving the original shapes, different outdoor spaces for recreation, theatrical performances and sports have been introduced and installed. The five pools show a special geometric topography as a whole, creating a sequence of landscape changes.
The second key feature of the design is the installation of interception wells continuing the water quality improvement and silt removal projects of the Shashe River. The goal is to return the water corridor to its original state prior to the construction of the pulp mill. The terrain will conform to its natural ecology and flood detention function. As outlined by our overall design, the existing embankments were pushed back and lowered, creating a more hydrophilic and water friendly environment. Given due consideration to flood control, a water retention area of approximately 5,882 m2 was set up providing habitats of multiple species in the terraced wetlands. Aquatic plants, wild ginger flowers and sedges, were planted in the adjacent low-water wetlands. These would act as ecological demonstration zones for the Pingtung region.