Guizhou province is in the hinterland of southwest China. It has historically been isolated from the central area and has thus developed a unique culture and climate. There is a saying that describes Guizhou, “eight mountains, one water, one field”, therefore the first thing that came to mind was a design that brings out the natural mountains in the landscape. However, the conditions of the site were undesirable when Antao first started the project. It was surrounded by construction sites and was far from the main roads of the city, even the entrance was poorly placed. The investor requested a timely project which also added to the pressure.
We believe the current lacking state is just temporary. The first step to landscape architecture is to reconstruct a sense of order and a warm ambience, so that it will sustain throughout future development. Great minds think alike, both the landscape designer and the architect agreed on one thing: a rigorous geometry design may not be the best option in the mountainous landscape. A complex space requires a more organic form to reconstruct its configuration. This design was inspired by the 2010 Shanghai Light of the City, which was also designed by us. In the 2010 design, Antao established a sense of landscape order in the chaotic background of high-rise buildings through the metaphor of swimming fishes. This time, using similar but more advanced method, Antao encouraged the audience to explore the boundaries and freedom of landscape.
Boundaries are firm on the outside, but open on the inside; just as fishes swimming freely in the mountains, enjoying their time. The two curved lines in the layout resembled two swimming fishes. The entrance was designed in a curved shape, so the audience can immerse themselves in the tranquility and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind when walking through it. The contrast between openness and restraint and the contrast between hardness and softness served to diminish the density of the structure and added a sense of dynamic into the space.
As people walk through the “canyon” and the “lake” and stop above the waterfall to look down upon the views, the space is connected in a spiral shape. The landscape as a whole is an organic form that is alive and active, like fishes swimming freely in the water. When dealing with the height difference between the reception and the display house, the Antao team designed a half-spherical waterfall that connected the upper and lower levels. The spiral descends, and the curved extension of space enriched the sense of layering in the space. The spiral staircase also connected the gardens with the external view, and the height difference made the Zen garden a hidden surprise.
The oriental design has successfully established a sense of order in this complex and dynamic geography. Behind the seemingly improvised creation lies the re-emergence and re-emphasis of Antao’s natural philosophy.
Team: Liming Zheng, Hongyu Fu
Project location: Wanhao avenue, Shuanglong economic zone, Guiyang city , China
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2018