The Vortex

The Vortex is a low-budget and recyclable display garden at the 2021 Shenzhen Garden Show. In a context where mostly garden materials are turned into trashes after the garden show is completed, the landscape architects propose to reconsider the life cycle of a temporary garden. A prefabricated module system was devised, through which the garden could be restored with 90% of the items after the garden show. After a short period (40 days) of exhibition, the landscape architects had retrieved the planter modules right before the dismantling process started. The recycled modules were successfully reused in three places separately – public roof deck, street corner by the sidewalk, and community garden.

The Vortex was composed of two spiral landform structure made of 220 prefabricated planters, resembling the waves above the sea. A gradient selection of white, pink, purple, and dark blue flora spread with the planters. 

Along with the path that was framed by the rising vortex, visitors gradually walked into underseas, where succulent and herbal plants with various shapes and colors represent the coral reef. The back sides of the vortex were made of mirror-finish steel panels, which reflect adjacent images, that sensually enlarged the space. The dangling light fabrics were so soft that the light breeze effortlessly made them swim like jellyfish. Even though the footprint of Vortex was modest, the mini garden provided an interesting experience for people to interact with.

The recycled modules were reused separately in two places within Shenzhen: a public roof deck and a street corner by the sidewalk. Thanks to the thoughtful consideration of the modules’ afterlife, the planters were reorganized as furniture and new planters based on the sizes and locations of the new sites. Whether in the empty roof deck or at the street corner, the reorganized module pieces turned the places into active social spaces.

Despite The Vortex’s extremely limited timeframe and construction budget, the aggregation of modules improved its construction efficiency. More importantly, the modules could be recycled and reused in another places permanently, instead of being destroyed. The Vortex has proved that prefabricated modular design could be one of the sustainable solutions that are economic as well as environment-friendly while maintaining creativity in the context of garden shows.

Role of the entrant in the project: landscape architect

Project location: Lianhuashan Park, Shenzhen, China

Design year: 2021

Year Built: 2021

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