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2012 Award of Honor - Diamond Bay
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Project Category: Planning and Analysis

Project Name: Diamond Bay

Project Location: Dalian, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China

Date of Completion: Ongoing – Phase One under construction 

Narrative Summary: A New Vision for Dalian – Diamond Bay

Landscape Architect:  EDSA, Inc. - (

Owner:  Sino-Ocean Land Northeast Regional Division - Mr. Li Yansong


It is the soul of the City.  The evolution of the Dalian’s waterfront has long influenced the culture, economy and personality of the City. The waterfront’s subtle influence has continued to ripple change and activity throughout the fabric of this international community. This progression has set in motion a modern transformation of Dalian’s urban waterfront.

The Diamond Bay Vision Plan has become the catalyst for the developer to undertake this unique transformation and bring the Residents of Dalian back to the waterfront. The Master plan served to establish the identity of the overall development, leveraging the active use of the waterfront and providing strong physical connections from the residential developments to the waterfront’s public open spaces.

Historically, Dalian is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in China, mixing old world charm with a modern and vibrant city life.  The Dalian Port, the northern most ice-free harbor and with shipping relations to over 160 countries, is a world-known maritime gateway for China.  Dalian is also a regional financial hub and has become the largest home for foreign banks in Northern China, emerging as one of the fastest growing economic developments in the country.

With a growing population of over 6.13 million, the City is refocusing development around its energetic working waterfront, transforming abandoned industrial and shipping sites into vibrant new developments emphasizing its rich history of maritime and cultural influences.   Continuing to build upon the established brand and identity of the City with the blending of prominent waterfront locations will form new and exciting developments that will capture the ever-expanding needs of an international city.

With this proposed transformation of Dalian’s waterfront, Diamond Bay is envisioned to become the City’s premiere destination, providing memorable experiences and a singular identity for the City of Dalian. This vision creates a vibrant waterfront activity center, anchored by a dynamic, mixed-use core which is supported to the east and west by an active urban waterfront.

Diamond Bay is a 300-acre site with over 3,000 linear meters of waterfront. The property sits across the bay from a very active port whose sights and sounds echo the waterfront it once was. The Landscape Architects goal was to design an active waterfront that draws people to it and provides an active and vibrant amenity for the development and the people of Dalian, while preserving the rich history and culture.

Diamond Bay is defined by a series of districts which help to establish the brand and identity of the community. The Marina Entertainment District, The Central Retail District, and The Fine Arts District establish the heart of the project, while the Creative Cultural District, The Waterfront Garden Living District, The High-Tech Live-work District and The Waterfront Parks District define the edge of the community and provide new residential living, working and institutional opportunities supporting the overall vision.

The districts are linked through a rhythm of parks and greenways, representative of a ship’s wake through the city, symbolizing and paying tribute Dalian’s maritime heritage. All of the districts within Diamond Bay’s enjoy a neighborhood commercial core, linked through a hierarchy of interconnected green spaces which bring the pedestrians to Dalian’s waterfront. These public green ways ripple throughout the gridded fabric of Diamond Day, drawing the waterfront into the City through this strong public realm gesture.

The proposed fabric of the streets, open space, and buildings link Diamond Bay together. Each district boasts a unique identity and special sense of place, inviting variety and diversity to this emerging destination. With Phase I waterfront park currently under construction the strength of this vision is in its focus in establishing an inviting waterfront, supported by a central, mixed-use core  and dynamic residential districts which have been carefully planned and programmed to serve both regional tourists and local residents Dalian’s.


Architect : Frank Butler  - FAB Studio

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