Xi’an International Horticultural Expo
The Flowing Gardens and the Guangyun Footbridge
The World Horticultural Expo has become instigator and hub for the redevelopment of a large area between the airport and the centre of Xi’an. The ancient capital of the Qin Dynasty city, home of the Terracotta Army is today a major business centre for the vast interior of the Chinese mainland.
The Creativity Pavilion
The building’s massing as three parallel volumes enable the landscape to flow in-between and beneath as well as inside. The interior is organized as multiple plateaus, systematically interconnected by ramps to form a continuous and multidirectional maze to be explored without a predetermined order.
Conceived as a precious crystal, semi-submerged in splendid isolation, reached by boat across the lake, followed by a short walk from the shore, the greenhouse blends into the hillside. Visitors access the building through a prolonged cut, literally scooped up from the ground, emerging into a light-filled reception space. From here the visitor passes along a tessellated mesh of paths to three different climatic zones with corresponding plant environments.
Design: Plasma Studio, AA Groundlab
Project Location: Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
Typology: Masterplan exhibition area, cultural set-up, exhibition, public space, Infrastructure
Flowing Gardens and Guangyun Footbridge: Jorge Ayala, Kezhou Chen, Steve De Micoli, Hossein Kachabi, Elisa Kim, Nadia Kloster, Rui Liu, Filippo Nassetti; Groundlab, London.
Creativity Pavilion, Greenhouse: Mehran Gharleghi, Katy Barkan, Nicoletta Gerevini, Evan Greenberg, Tom Lee, Dongyun Liu, Peter Pichler, Benedikt Schleicher, Danai Sage; LAUR Studio, Xiaowei Tong, Ying Wang, Beijing, China; ARUP, London, Beijing; John Martin and Associates, Los Angeles
Client: Chan Ba Ecological District
Photo credits: © Cristobal Palma
Plasma Studio is an architecture and design practice with worldwide scope and outlook, engaging seamlessly a wide range of scales and types including furniture design, houses, hotels, cultural projects as well as landscape and urban planning.
Climate breakdown is the biggest challenge humanity is facing and requires a radical transformation of the design profession to address it. In response to this, Groundlab has teamed up with the Architectural Association to form AA Groundlab, the first design laboratory of the AA residence program. It aims to investigate ways in which design can help tackle the climate crisis through a diverse range of projects, scales, and stakeholders as well as to test new forms of collaboration. They are producing visualisations and cartographic tools to understand current dynamics of urbanisation so we can project and depict future scenarios and design strategies.