The International Horticultural Expo becomes instigator and core for the redevelopment of a large area between the airport and the ancient city centre of Xi’an, known as the home of the Terracotta Army and business centre of the vast Chinese interior.
The proposal comprises of a 5000 sqm Creativity Centre, a 4000 sqm Greenhouse and the 3500 sqm Guangyun Entrance bridge sitting in a 37 ha landscape that will house the International Horticultural Expo and a park for Xi’an City as legacy.
Conceived as a precious crystal, semi-submerged in splendid isolation, reached by boat across the lake followed by a short walk from the shore, the greenhouse blends into the hillside.
Visitors access the building through a prolonged cut, literally scooped up from the ground, emerging into a light-filled reception space.
From here the visitor passes along a tessellated mesh of paths to three different climatic zones with corresponding plant environments.
The greenhouse has a horseshoe plan, creating a loop that changes radically in section to accommodate a series of unique planting and spatial conditions.
With the interior and exterior ground planes gradually shifting in relation to each other, the visitor experiences a sequence of visual enclosures alternating with long vistas out and across.
The horseshoe shape also generates an interior open-air courtyard, making it the natural centre of the building and creating a three-dimensional web of interior and exterior circulation. Through its materiality the building again manifests itself as an extension of the ground with its floors and interior walls made from concrete and bronze is used as expression of local identity.
From here the visitor passes along a tessellated mesh of paths through three different climatic zones with corresponding plant environments. The greenhouse has a horseshoe plan creating a loop that changes radically in section to accommodate a sequence of different planting and spatial conditions.
With the ground inside and out, gradually changing in relation to each other, the visitor experiences sequences of visual enclosure alternating with long vistas out and across. The horseshoe shape also generates an inner courtyard of outside space, making it the natural centre of the building and creating a three-dimensional interweaving of interior and exterior circulation.
Location: Xi’an City, China
Architects: Plasma Studio
Architect In Charge: Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell
Project Team: Sarah Majid, Alfredo Ramirez, Eduardo Rico, Eva Castro, Mehran Gharleghi, Evan Greenberg, Xiaowei Tong with Tom Lea, Ying Wang, Nicoletta Gerevini, Peter Pichler, Benedikt Schleicher, Katy Barkan, Danai Sage, Federico Ruberto
Design Consultants: Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD)
Structural Engineering: ARUP London, John Martin and Associates
Area: 4000.0 sqm