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World Photo Day: Hertha Hurnaus by Ulla Hell

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Ulla Hell of Plasma Studio writes on behalf of Hertha Hurnaus.

© Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus

AD Round Up: Women Architects Part II

In honor of International Women's Day, we've once again rounded up some stunning architecture designed by female architects (In case you missed Part 1, featuring work by Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, and more, click here).

"Processing Environments" Symposium

The Processing Environments symposium is organized by the Architectural Association in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and sponsored by the Bilbao Municipality and the Institut Français in Bilbao. It will take place next 19th June at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Exclusive Interview: Plasma Studio on Xi’an International Horticultural Expo

© Aidan Flaherty
© Aidan Flaherty

In conjunction with our recent coverage of the Xi’an International Horticultural Expo, we would like to share Aidan Flaherty’s interview with Holger Kehne, co-principle of Plasma Studio and GroundLabPlasma Studio, GroundLab and LAUR Studio worked together to win this international competition with a 37-hectare master plan for the International Horticultural Expo, a 5,000SM Exhibition Hall, a 4,000SM Greenhouse, and a 3,500SM Gate Building. The project initiated the re-development of a large area between the airport and the center of the ancient city of Xi’an – known as the home of the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty. The Expo opened in the spring of 2011 and welcomed more than 16 million visitors before it closed in the fall of 2011. The Expo park will remain as a new contemporary addition to the Xi’an region. The particularities of this legacy plan are currently underway. Holger Kehne discusses his firms’ unique design methodologies and multidisciplinary approach while working on this large-scale project. Read the interview after the break.

Update: Xi’an International Horticultural Expo 2011

© Aidan Flaherty
© Aidan Flaherty

Throughout the past year we have been keeping you updated on the events leading up to the commencement of the Xi’an International Horticultural Expo which ran from May through October 2011 and welcomed over 15 million visitors during its 178-day run. As the largest and best attended international horticultural event of 2011, the Expo offered architects and landscape architects the unique opportunity to design for a traditional event model which became the precedent for the world’s fairs of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. To define the expo’s primary experience, the organizers held an international competition, selecting the “Flowing Gardens” project by London-based design firm Plasma Studio and GroundLab. Developed in collaboration with the local landscape practice LAUR Studio, “Flowing Gardens” is comprised of a 37 hectare master plan, including a 5,000SM Creativity Pavilion, a 4,000SM Greenhouse, a 3,500SM Gate Building and various landscapes which run along an extended spine that delineates the site. The project initiated the redevelopment of a large area of Xi’an between the airport and the city’s ancient center, famous as the home of the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty. More after the break.

© Aidan Flaherty © Aidan Flaherty © Aidan Flaherty © Aidan Flaherty

VIDEO: Xian Expo / Plasma Studio + Groundlab, by Cristobal Palma

Photographer Cristobal Palma shared with us the extended version of his video of the Xi’an Expo, a project by Plasma StudioGroundLab that we saw during several stages, from the award winning entry in 2009, to conceptual design and opening, when it was visited by more than 200,000 people on the first weekend.

The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.  Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials, as seen on the video. As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.

More videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:

Critical Territories / Groundlab and Plasma Studio

Opening tomorrow at the AA, Critical Territories will share the work of Groundlab and Plasma Studio -two interdisciplinary firms pushing the envelope of the relationship between and the expression of landscape design and architecture.   The installation will share the firms’ top projects, such as the Xian International Horticultural Expo which we having been covering extensively on AD,  by way of a site-specific grid arrangement of light boxes covered with technical drawings.  The organization of the installation will showcase the underlying themes of the practices, namely their systemic approach and preoccupation with grids, ground and context. The exhibit will be run through February 11.

Update: Xi'an Expo 2011 Officially Opens

Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper
Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

The Xi’an Expo 2011 has officially opened and, as expected, the international horticultural event has attracted a staggering 200,000 in just the first weekend! We’ve been covering the Expo beginning with Plasma Studio + GroundLab’s conceptual design, and we have been featuring updates about the project over the course of the last few months.  The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.   Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials.  As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage. More images after the break.

Update: Xi'an International Horticultural Expo 2011

With only 16 days until opening day, the city of Xi’an, China is preparing for one of the largest international horticultural events of the year. Unified under the exhibition’s theme of “Eternal Peace and Harmony between Nature and Mankind,” the 418 hectares of well crafted landscape and landmark architecture are rooted in cultural symbolism and designed to illustrate the city’s promising future. Twelve million guests are expected to visit Xi’an and experience the exposition’s new perspective about the harmonious coexistence between human and nature, city and nature.

More about the architecture of the exposition after the break.

We have previously shared Plasma Studio’s amazing master plan  for the exhibition – Flowing Gardens –  which features the redevelopment of a large area of land that acts as a ‘synthesis of horticulture and technology where landscape and architecture converge at a sustainable and integral vision’.  For the main themepPavilion, a dynamic geometric form that boasts irregular interfaces, the structure will showcase new achievements and products in horticulture and floriculture as well as new environmentally-friendly and energy-saving technologies and materials.

Plasma Studio Nodal Landscapes Exhibition

In physics the term ‘plasma’ describes a particular state of matter in which energy is readily conducted through a material. Folding space into space, Plasma Studio draw landscapes into buildings, streets into facades, inside to outside.

In Progress: Flowing Gardens / Plasma Studio

© Plasma Studio
© Plasma Studio

About a year ago, we shared one of our favorite Plasma Studio designs with you – an International Horticultural Fair Complex.  The project is a large master plan that blends architecture, landscape and circulation into one system using a network of organic paths.  Four major buildings and a range of smaller interventions are scattered within the landscape.  The studio has shared recent construction photos with us, and more renderings, that we’ll share more with you after the break.

Datong Twin Towers / Plasma Studio

© Plasma Studio
© Plasma Studio

New Ideas for Ordos 100 / Ordos 20+10 / Plasma Studio

© Plasma Studio
© Plasma Studio

Previously, we have covered the Ordos 100 project quite extensively, giving you an inside look at the Inner Mongolia development.  Back when Cai Jiang proposed the initiative to build one hundred 1000sqm villas designed by 100 up-and-coming architects in a mere 100 days, most questioned if the project was a hoax while others felt the development’s free-for-all attitude would not yield a unifying strong result.   Yet, even with these concerns, the 100 firms responded to  Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei’s invitation to design the villas and transform a barren land.   However, this development took quite an unexpected twist. Read more about the project after the break.

Flowing Gardens / Plasma Studio

London-based Plasma Studio will begin construction on the International Horticultural Fair Complex in Xi’an, China this year.  The project, entitled Flowing Gardens, features the redevelopment of a large area of land that acts as a ‘synthesis of horticulture and technology where landscape and architecture converge at a sustainable and integral vision’.

Further project description after the break.

Plasmastudio + Groundlab to develop Xi'an World Horticultural Expo

Plasmastudio has recently won the competition to develop the building and landscape design for Horticultural Expo in Xi’an, China. The project comprises 15,000 exhibition hall building, a series of conservatories, a 37Ha park around an artificial lake as well as ancilliary buildings.

The next stages of development will take place during the next months with the collaboration of Plasmastudio and Groundlab.

Seen at AALU Landscape Urbanism. For more information, click here.

More images after the break.