Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
World Horticultural Expo Pavilion in Qingdao, China by UN Studio
June 24th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: UN Studio
The World Horticultural Expo 2014 will be held in Qingdao from April to October 2014 and is expected to attract 15 million international visitors. Landscape design, gardening, flowers and different types of horticulture from around the world will be exhibited during the event. The 2014 Expo aims to encourage the exchange of culture, technology and horticultural knowledge and will consist of seven different themed areas, with the Theme Pavilion located at their centre.
UNStudio’s 28,000 m2 Theme Pavilion consists of the Main Expo Hall, a Performance Hall, Conference Centre, and a Media Centre. The landscape elements, designed by Melk Landscape Architecture / Urban Design, are understood as domains in relation to the buildings they surround, as they are essentially one and form a continuous entity, softly enveloping the buildings and dissolving their connection to the ground.
The design focuses on the relationship between Science and Nature. Whilst scientific achievement serves as an inspiration, the design communicates the essential generative and structural principles of nature through architectural gesture.
In UNStudio’s design, the creation of new plant species and combining features from different plant types, is reflected in the blending of architecture and landscape. The buildings become gently absorbed in the landscape, whilst maintaining their individual identities. The architecture of the Theme Pavilion further responds to the dominant skyline of the mountains surrounding the Masterplan by means of carefully composed roofscapes on the individual buildings. These roofs are envisioned as elevated landscaped plateaus, each addressing a different portion of the Masterplan with its inclination and terracing, providing panoramic views which extend far into the surrounding landscape.
The design for the permanent Theme Pavilion marks the focal point of the Masterplan, the place where many different elements come together, binding it together into a cohesive and balanced whole. Within the Masterplan, the pavilion incorporates multiple scales. Firstly, it brings together and reflects the different floral gardens which are gathered around it. Furthermore, it scales the influence onto the two bodies of water extending North and South of the pavilion site. And finally, the ‘Rainbow Ribbons’, which permeate the entire surrounding landscape as pedestrian bridges, eventually come together at the essential place which gathers all the flows, colours and themes of the Expo site – the Celebration Square.
The conceptual anchor of the Chinese Rose – the symbol of the City of Qingdao – is not interpreted in the design in a literal sense, but instead is incorporated based on its performative qualities. The blooming flower develops from a bud of small petals, tightly packed together into a rich texture, which then springs in growth from the center outward as the petals form a mature bloom. A natural rule of growth is therefore embedded into the design and organisation of the buildings, reflecting the principles of nature.
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