Architect: UNStudio Landscape Architect: !Melk Landscape Architecture Location: Qingdao, China Client: Office of 2014 Qingdao World Horticultural Expo Executive Committee Building site: 35.000m2 Program: Main Expo Pavilion with integrated Landscape Design Status: Awarded Competition For the International Horticultural Expo 2011 in Xi’an, we followed the design, construction and completion of Plasma Studio’s geometric design that extended from the grounds into the water. Currently, Qingdao, a major city in the Shandong province of Eastern China, is preparing for the 2014 Expo under the thematic notion “Let life walk into nature.” The event, which will be held from April through October, will feature three different pavilions (a theme pavilion, plant pavilion and garden culture center) and seven different themed areas that will display local horticulture and allow visitors to experience international gardens, such as displays from Europe, America and Oceania. The focal point of the Expo will be marked by a 28,000 m2 thematic pavilion designed by UNStudio and !Melk Landscape Architecture. The design focuses on the relationship between Science and Nature, using scientific achievement as a source of inspiration to “communicate the essential generative and structural principles of nature through architectural gesture,” explained the firm. More about the pavilion after the break.
The Theme Pavilion will include a Main Expo Hall, a Performance Hall, Conference Center, and a Media Center. As the focal point of the masterplan, the pavilion must fuse the different elements of the exhibition into a cohesive whole. To do so, local vegetation will create different experiences to reference the seven themed areas of the larger exposition. In order to provide framework to the open spaces between the buildings, !Melk designed seven landscape-”patterns” inspired by microscopic or molecular geometries which represent the core essence of the seven themes. Such patterns are fully composed integrated landscapes that merge the varying themes together in a functional and educational manner.
The pavilion also acknowledges the two bodies of water extending North and South of the pavilion site, and the ‘Rainbow Ribbons’, which permeate the entire surrounding landscape as pedestrian bridges and meet at the Celebration Square.
Most importantly, the design seeks to balance the notion of building and landscape as the landscape will form a continuous entity, softly enveloping the buildings and dissolving their connection to the ground. The roofscape, articulated to respond to the dominant skyline of the mountains, 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.
We will continue our coverage of the Thematic Pavilion as it takes shape and look forward to the 2014 Expo.