Under construction: the vast scale of the Xi’an International Horticultural Expo 2011

Behind the scenes and massive construction effort that made the Flowing Gardens of the Xi'an International Horticultural Expo a reality
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The Guangyun under construction

1 / 19 The Guangyun under construction

The Guangyun under construction

2 / 19 The Guangyun under construction

The Guangyun under construction

3 / 19 The Guangyun under construction

The Guangyun under construction

4 / 19 The Guangyun under construction

The Theme Pavilion under construction

5 / 19 The Theme Pavilion under construction

The Theme Pavilion under construction

6 / 19 The Theme Pavilion under construction

The Theme Pavilion under construction

7 / 19 The Theme Pavilion under construction

The newly planted landscape

8 / 19 The newly planted landscape

The newly planted landscape

9 / 19 The newly planted landscape

The newly planted landscape

10 / 19 The newly planted landscape

The newly planted landscape

11 / 19 The newly planted landscape

The Flowing Gardens landscape under construction with The Theme Pavilion in the foreground

12 / 19 The Flowing Gardens landscape under construction with The Theme Pavilion in the foreground

The Greenhouse under construction

13 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

14 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

15 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

16 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

17 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

18 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction

The Greenhouse under construction

19 / 19 The Greenhouse under construction


Flowing Gardens is a vast project, a design collaboration between London-based architecture practice Plasma Studio and landscape design company GroundLab for the Xi’an Horticultural Exposition 2011 (until 28 October). This gallery shows the great structural exercise this project warranted.

The slogan of the expo is 'Green leads the trend', evident in the careful design of Flowing Gardens. The project spans an area of 420 hectares, and is designed with sustainability in mind. The landscape intertwines natural and artificial systems, for example channelling rainwater to be dispersed for irrigation.

The Guangyun Entrance, located at the north-east of the expo site is the main entrance. Two 18-metre wide walkways into the expo and a 15-metre wide walkway exit route are designed to feature the surrounding waterscape, whilst plants along the bridge provide shade. Although made of reinforced concrete, materials such as natural wood and granite decorate the entrance building.

The next structure, The Theme Pavilion, is designed to integrate with the dock and surrounding areas. Again reinforced concrete is used and combined with a steel structure. A bronze and glass façade allows stunning views of the surrounding lake. Interconnected zones and ramps enable visitors to move through the different levels of the pavilion to reach an observation platform on the roof of The Greenhouse.

Shaped like a horseshoe, The Greenhouse provides exhibition areas with an array of plants and a public space for scientific research. Combining glass, wood and a little concrete, the structure integrates with the surrounding topography. Minimising the height of this structure ensured that the views of the lake and scenery are visible from the pavilion. 

Although the expo runs for six months, the design is planned to outlast the event.

Follow the links to see a gallery of the plans for the Xi’an Horticultural Expo and to read an article with more details about the project.

 

Rebecca Carr


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