‘The design for masterplan of the 30.000sqm site, is a assembly of modular building-blocks, that contain five main functions of the pavilion. Each block connects at the corners to its neighbors and offers a continuous space inside and one linked “urban gardening” area on the roof.’
After entering the pavilion on the eastern border of the site, a path is guiding the visitors to a plaza in the center. This central plaza is a major pivotal point and meeting spot for visitors. From the plaza, people are taken further to the main functions of the pavilion. A food-court with a restaurant, a bar and several tea-houses and a Multipurpose hall on the northern border, a large indoor greenhouse for untypical plants on the western side and a centre of education and exhibition on the southern edge.
‘In most Expo Pavilions, the paths are guided and that makes their exhibitions boring. We believe that architecture and its spaces need to be explored by the visitors. The hunt to make a unique discovery. Surprising discoveries create a special bond to a place and we believe that architecture needs to make space for those possibilities.’
The masterplan of the pavilion was inspired by the rules of urban planning in ancient Chinese cities. We used traditional urban thoughts of orientation, zoning and infrastructure and implemented them in the typology for the pavilion. We took the ancient Chinese “Li” (an old area-measurement) as a base unit and developed a modular system of 8x8m units around it. By adding further units, the aggregation can grow in each direction to meet all needs and demands of each function.
Visitors get a package of seeds at the entrance and are asked to plant vegetables, fruits or herbs in the gaps between the timber structure on the roof. Ramps connect the green roof to the public areas of plazas and yards, inviting all visitors to leave their own “ecological impact” on the pavilion. All plants from the roof get harvested by the pavilions staff and prepared into healthy dishes in the restaurant area.
By seeding plants on the structure, Visitors not only bring life to the pavilion, but are also a main designer of the building. While people are strolling through the structure, they are constantly surrounded by nature and “home-grown” food and they get a better understanding of the life-cycle of plants what it takes to harvest healthy incidences for our daily dishes.
In times of severe food, air and water poisoning, this marks an important topic for fast developing countries and should promote a path that nature, architecture and people live in an ecological co-existing.