Xi'an, China


A series of gardens and buildings housing the Xi'an International Horticultural Exposition 2011. The three main elements—the 37,674-square-foot Guangyuan Entrance, the 53,820-square-foot exhibition pavilion, and the 43,055-square-foot greenhouse—form the backbone of a 37-hectare park. The expo, located outside Xi'an, is part of the new Chan-Ba Ecological District, in which flat terrain has been reconfigured into a hilly landscape with a manmade lake. The Expo opened on April 28 and runs through October 22.

Design concept and solution:

Conceiving the expo as a hybrid of natural and manmade systems, Plasma Studio wanted to create a seamless blend of architecture, planting, and water. Visitors entering the expo get a view of the grounds ahead as they cross through the Guangyuan Entrance, a tensile bridge (designed with Arup) featuring a trellis that will eventually support climbing plants and become a green roof. From there, a sequence of paths brings visitors to the exhibition pavilion, whose three long volumes are cantilevered over a lake. The building's exterior is an interplay of geometric planes and folds—some bronze, some seeded with greenery—so the entire structure ambiguously suggests both a building and a rigorously landscaped green. Next visitors travel by boat across the lake to the greenhouse, a crystal-like glass enclosure folded into a hillside. Inside, a horseshoe plan takes viewers through three climate zones encircling an outdoor courtyard. Two paths bisecting the courtyard lead up over the greenhouse roof, turning indoor circulation into outdoor walkways and further mingling building and landscape.

Building Design: Plasma Studio
Room 605, Tower 10,
Grand MOMA,
1 Xiangheyuan Lu, Dongzhimen,
Dongcheng District,
Beijing 10002
+86 10 84388327

Landscape Design: GroundLab
Unit 51 Regent Studios,
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN
+44 207 812 9875

Location: Xi’an, China

Completion Date: March 2011

Gross square footage: 53,820 sq. ft. Exhibition Hall, 43,055 sq. ft. Greenhouse, 37,674 sq. ft. Guangyuan Entrance


Chan Ba Ecological District

Building Design: 
Plasma Studio
Room 605, Tower 10
Grand MOMA
1 Xiangheyuan Lu, Dongzhimen
Dongcheng District
Beijing 10002
+86 10 84388327 

Landscape Design: 
Unit 51 Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN
+44 207 812 9875

Building details: BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architecture and Design)

Landscape details: LAUR Studio, Beijing Forestry University

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Design Team: Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Mehran Gharleghi, Evan Greenberg, Xiaowei Tong with Tom Lea, Ying Wang, Nicoletta Gerevini, Peter Pichler, Benedikt Schleicher, Katy Barkan, Danai Sage

Design Team: Eva Castro, Alfredo Ramirez, Eduardo Rico, Jorge Ayala, Hossein Kachabi
with Nadia Kloster, Steve De Micoli, Elisa Kim, Filipo Nassetti, Rui Liu, Kezhou Chen, Clara Oloriz

John Martin and Associates, Los Angeles
ARUP, London

General contractor:
China State Construction and Engineering Corporation

62 Nan Li Shi Lu,
Xicheng District,
+86 1068028790

Silk Road