Location: Luojiang, Deyang District, Sichuan, China
Client: Luojiang City Government
Bai Ma Guan (White Horse Gate) is the ancient checkpoint that since the 3rd Century B.C. guarded the northern entrance to the rich Chengdu plains on the Golden Ox Road, a portion of the Southern Silk Road connecting the ancient Chinese capital of Chang’an (Xi’an) to Chengdu. The wheelbarrow grooves carved deep into the stone road passing through the gate reveal over 2,000 years of trade and travel on this vital corridor. During the Three Kingdoms era of China’s history, the White Horse Gate is the site where the legendary Shu Warrior Pang Tong was killed in battle, marked by a large stone tomb. This unique history, along with a celebrated monastery and charming farm-terraced countryside, has established this 14-square kilometer site as a future tourist and resort destination.
Johnson Fain developed a plan for the resort area, with the primary aim to achieve a balanced development of tourism, agriculture and urban development. The plan seeks to preserve the rural environmental character and natural resources of the area in order to maintain and improve the quality of life of the existing villagers as well as provide a charming and abundant setting for a uniquely attractive tourist destination.
The White Horse Gate and the nearby Wan Fu Monastery are the two popular tourist destinations that form the cornerstones of the plan for the new resort area. The plan proposes two cultural and historical tourism resort areas centered on these sites, connected by the restored Golden Ox Road. Nearer to the freeway, the plan proposes a new sports village to become the center for extensive outdoor recreational facilities, including a new golf course. The plan clusters existing scattered farms into villages with consolidated farmlands and new village services such as schools, clinics, shops, and markets.