Architects: HAS design and research
- Area: 230 m²
- Year: 2022
Manufacturers: Catellani & Smith, HAY, Longman, Prince Iron, RXIN, luci
Lead Architects: Jenchieh Hung, Kulthida Songkittipakdee
- Design Team: Jenchieh Hung, Kulthida Songkittipakdee, Tapanee Laddahom, Muze Ouyang, Marina Rina Miller
- Landscape Consultant: Weili Yang
- Lighting Design: Jenna Tsailin Liu
- Client: Simple Casa
- Lighting Technology: Shanghai Rxin Lighting Technology Co. Ltd.
- City: Hefei
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. The Botanica Meditation Centre is located on the outskirts of the old city of Hefei. In the past 30 years, with the rapid growth of Hefei's population, the city has transformed from a single central area to a multi-center model in a very short period and has been under unprecedented pressure of intensive development. This kind of development phenomenon not only occurs in Hefei but also in every Chinese metropolitan city, reflecting the need for Chinese people to adapt to and cooperate with the pace of work and life under the rapid development that has occurred in a short period of time.
The owner of this project has been working in the real estate industry in the past, under the high pressure of the work rhythm, she has always had an incomparable love for plants. She dreams to establish a botanical garden that is open to the public and can provide community residents with meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and other spiritual training courses to educate them on the aesthetic concept of a "slow life".
HAS design and research conducted in-depth research on this project and found that traditional botanical gardens have huge water tanks. Although they can be used as watering systems for botanical gardens, they are spatially separated into two systems: plants and equipment. In the Botanica Meditation Centre, HAS (Hung And Songkittipakdee) reversed the conventional method. First, the traditional equipment water tank was hidden under the ground, so that the water tank structure that is on the ground could be transformed into a multi-functional space, including places for meditation, lookout, and emptying.
Then there is the extended underground watering system, which extends to every corner of the botanical garden. The extended watering system not only solves the problem of the traditional water tank and the botanical garden deviating from each other, but also adds to the uniquely designed water mist device in a more poetical way that reflects the ritual sense of meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and other activities. During the day, the Botanica Meditation Centre presents a quiet and rich sense of the landscape hierarchy, providing a natural resting space for people and local insects, birds, and squirrels; in the afternoon, the water mist system will automatically water, in addition to generating a lot of fog. All these elements are added to simulate the scene of the morning mist surrounding the Emerald Lake around the site and to provide a spiritually open place for meditation.
In addition, the facade materials of the Botanica Meditation Centre and landscape stone are all taken from the local travertine in Hefei. Hundreds of stones are hand-beaten by local craftsmen with irregular edges as if it is a natural phenomenon formed by water mist erosion. The Botanica Meditation Centre, which can provide a large amount of water mist irrigation system, not only brings a cool micro-ecosystem to the environment, but its hidden form allows residents to have a dramatic and extraordinary experience in the morning, afternoon, and night.