Penda Designs River-Inspired Landscape Pavilion for China’s Garden Expo

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

Selected as the winner of an international competition, Penda’s landscape pavilion for the 10th international Garden Expo in Wuhan, China seeks to highlight the importance of clean water and protecting the environment. Dubbed “Where the River Runs,” the pavilion takes visitors through a landscape of hills and valleys on a pathway resembling a river. Each visitor is given seeds to plant, taking over “the function of a river as they bring life to the pavilion.”

The 1,500-square-meter-pavilion is currently under construction and is set to be completed this year. Learn more about the design after the break. 

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

From the architects: Our proposal for the Garden Expo 2015 in Wuhan/China describes a landscape pavilion and a statement for the importance of clean water and the preservation of our natural environment. The project ‘Where the river runs’ was chosen as a winner in an international competition and is currently under construction for the 10th international Garden Expo in Wuhan /China, which will be held from October 2015 to April 2016. The EXPO will stretch over 200 acres with an estimation of more than 12 million visitors for the event.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

An ode to water:

Water is life. Water is the well of our origin. It is the main designer of our environment. Water is the connecting circulation system of our world and a precious resource, on which life on earth survives. It makes up two thirds of our body, just like the map of the world. Our vital fluids are mainly saline, the same as the ocean. Water is our physical connection with the planet.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

Water brings a sense of history. The amount of moisture on earth has not changed. The water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago is the same water that falls as rain today. But how will global warming effect the natural resources? And will there be enough clean water, if the pollution and population of our planet continuous to grow as expected?

We are not important to water. It is the other way around. Our task is to find a reasonable way to survive inside its boundaries. A sensible use of our natural resources, a heart to protect the common goods and a guidance of new achievements in science and technology: Theses will be the tools, that guides us into a sustainable century.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

History and concept:

Throughout its history, the life and growth of Wuhan was linked to water in a very direct way. Located at the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Han River, first settlements arise along the river-shores more than 3500 years ago. The river brought goods from around the world and Wuhan rise to an important hub for trade. But the rivers didn’t just bring wealth to the city, it also brought a rich flora and fauna to the people. The natural beauty of Wuhan and the grand variety of plants inspired many poet and painters throughout its history.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

Our proposal for plot 1590 of the garden expo is a natural statement for the importance of clean water and a healthy environment. A river-like pathway guides visitors through an artificial landscape of hills and valleys. Seeds of different plants are given to the visitors at each entrance and they get the opportunity to plant local flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs along the “riverbed”.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

As people are hiking through the landscape and seeding their plants, they take over the function of a river as they bring life to the pavilion. Like the river does in an natural environment, the visitors become the starting point in the lifecycle of plants. They are an essential part to design the pavilion and that will increase the sensibility towards the importance of clean water and clean air.

We see the location of plot 1590 as a connection in-between other pavilions and it can be entered from 3 sides.Visitors are naturally guided through the riverbed. On their way they will pass by various landscape formations, like a narrow shore, high cliffs or a natural cave.

© penda architecture & design © penda architecture & design

As visitors are strolling through the pavilion, all paths are leading to the central plaza, where people have time to rest, reflect or have a drink.

A natural canopy offers shadow to the plaza.On their walk through the pavilion, the landscape offers the visitors a wide variety of visual, haptic and scented expression from different terrain-formations to various colourful plants, while they become an essential part in the circle of life.

  • Architects: Penda
  • Design Team: Chris Precht, Dayong Sun, Bai Xue, Quan He, Li Pengchong, Frank Li, Snow Sun
  • Area: 1500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: penda architecture & design

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