Morris Architects shared with us their Houston Pavilion for the 8th China International Garden Expo in Chongqing, China, which is a showcase for a variety of landscape typologies throughout China and the world. The theme, “Better Garden, Better City”, promotes harmony between landscaped and built spaces. The City of Houston is one of thirty-two international cities invited to participate in the Expo. Morris Architects partnered with SWA Group to design the Houston Pavilion. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Houston pavilion is bounded by an embossed concrete wall that refers to the long Chinese tradition of walled gardens; the wall is inflected to allow entry and to retain an earthen hill that is intended to reference the topography of a Houston bayou. Visitors move along a path guided by a water course that winds between the perimeter wall and the hillside. The path is further defined by a trellised canopy to provide shade and to refer to the natural tree canopy of a typical bayou landscape. The trellised canopy is made of plasma-cut plate steel, welded and painted white, covered by a perforated steel layer that will produce intricate patterns of shadows along the path.
An orthogonal stone “bayou” guides visitors through the space, anchored by large steel cisterns that serve as the source and basin. The basin is flanked by limestone walks and steps, and surrounded by a tall grass and meadow flower prairie. At the top of the hill, visitors will exit down a stair attached to the bounding wall and return to the original grade.
Architects: Morris Architects Location: Chongqing, China Consultants: SWA Group, City of Houston Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, American & Oceania Affairs, Chongqing Municipal People’s Government Client: Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, American & Oceania Affairs, Chongqing Municipal People’s Government Size: 907 m² (9762 ft ²) Completion: November, 2011