Wuhan, the city between two rivers

The city of Wuhan extends in an area that has always been marked by the presence of the Yangtze River and its intersection with the Huangshi River. The importance of the hydrographic network and its control exercised through the dams deeply marks the landscape of the city.

The area of the park in which the intervention is inserted is in fact obtained in a very recent period (2000/2015) on the shore of Lake Shazu, which is colonized by the soil thus constituting the site of the park project.

In particular, the area was once occupied by water. There have been realized 26 gardens enclosed by quadrangular perimeters of hedges pruned according to a geometric outline. A vegetable frame of topiary art, within which each designer develops his own project.

The impressive images of the water, its shrinking over time and the multiple forms that the sandy ground below give to the landscape affect the imagination and lead to tell in the development of design the story of these places where the conflict between water and sandy soils and the needs of a metropolis is obvious. So, the operations are distinguished in two different but interpenetrated suggestions.

The Labyrinth

The labyrinth has been a theme linked to the garden for millennia. The images of the river estuary and the diamonds have suggested a labyrinth as an iconographic reference, a carpet of islands that melt and reunite, thus forming the parterre.

The Geography

The geography of the site spreads inside the garden, thickens and shrinks, giving life to a flat parterre from which a few elements emerge with blooms. Water is the protagonist, its shapes are recalled by the vegetable and mineral textures that alternate but then also decline on one side in small streams which, like cracks in the ground, insinuate themselves to define a pattern of moving water, on the other in punctual elements such as basins, which welcome vertical jets that dilate the sound and finally the whole garden is immersed in a cloud of nebulized water that hides and reveals the blooms and contributes to the irrigation of trees and herbaceous plants.

It is a garden made up of local elements, fresh water, fertile land, aquatic plants, rice, reeds; it is the landscape of the site that takes back its space.

In some points, the internal perimeter of the topiary hedge escapes the work of the gardener and takes on a spontaneous shape. The garden wants to express the delicate balance between man’s action on nature, the force of nature which inexorably takes back its spaces and consequently its enormous potential.

The vegetable areas are flat, whenever they meet the edges, they are planted with ground cover grasses, towards the innermost areas of the flowerbeds there are mostly slender herbaceous perennials, Allium, Digitalis, but also Salvia, Echinops, Astilbe, etc., which guarantee the recurrence of blooms over the course of the seasons. At the end of the flowering season the herbaceous plants will be completely cut and the garden will keep its shape and texture only thanks to the ground cover.

Project details

Design: Lorenza Bartolazzi, Claudia Clementini
Project Location: Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
Typology: Temporary garden, show garden
Built: 2022
Client: Wuhan Flower Show 2022 – International Garden

Lorenza Bartolazzi, Claudia Clementini

The group is constituted by Lorenza Bartolazzi and Claudia Clementini, architects in the field of garden and landscape. The team has origin from different working experiences that let them crossing each other several times in collaborations within 20 years. They shared years of working experiences in Franco Zagari landscape architecture firm. Both held landscape teaching activities at QD University in Rome. In 2017 they won and realized the Italian Garden of the peace in Craonne for Art & Jardins Haute France. In 2019 they won the international competition for Piazzale del Verano in Rome and the Golden Medal in Flower Jam Festival in Moscow, in 2022 the Best in show price at Shenzen Flower show, China.