Officially opening on July 25, 2014, the International Wine Exhibition is part of a broader program of initiatives sponsored by the Chinese government for the 11th International Conference on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics, that took place in China for the first time from July 28 to August 2, 2014.
The conference is an international event with a worldwide scope covering issues related to agriculture and grapevine cultivation, in particular, taken as a key to developing contemporary wine culture.
The exhibition garden covers almost 200 hectares designed and built for the occasion with artificial lakes, greenhouses, museums, gardens, a visitor center, landscape towers and bridges that enhance the visibility and use of this garden near the Great Wall.
The master plan and building project was the winner of an international design competition by invitation put on in 2012 by the People’s Government of Yanqing County Beijing, part of the Chinese government. This is a major recognition for Italian design and architecture.
The Chinese government built the project with great skill and speed given the exceptional scope and importance of the works built. Pavilions have been deisgned as circles as a metaphor for grape bunches spread over the landscape.
The overall image forges an extraordinary relationship with the surrounding nature and the contour of mountains on the horizon. It perfectly epitomizes Italian and Chinese cultures, which share having elements of very old traditions merged with contemporary culture.
The individual building facades echo this narrative concept in an alternation of the gray of traditional Chinese bricks with ash-gray concrete surfaces shaped into bas-reliefs and sculptures.
The images offer a mere preview of this event, which also gives an idea of what is being done in Italy for the universal expo in keeping with the program theme, “Feeding the Planet”.
Archea Associati has also designed the new Antinori Winery in Tuscany and other projects related to nature and architecture in China. With this project, it hopes to show that we can build the landscape and in the landscape, making it better and more pleasing.
Chinese construction sites: Impressions by Cristiano Bianchi
Yanqing, a small (for chinese standards) satellite city of Beijing, close to the Great Wall, on the way to the mountains. The mountains where the Winter Olympics games will be hosted, if Beijing wins the competition next July. And there will be another flood of concrete.
The Beijingers are buying cars, learning how to ski, buying a house on the mountain, on the seaside, in the countryside, or maybe in Yanqing. For all of this reasons, and because it’s a saturday morning of a sunny early summer, we are all stuck on the highway. Me and some millions of Beijingers.
A grape expo garden is a concept not immediately understandable. It is an hybrid between a park, a vineyard, and a botanical garden. It is a display of the national production of grapes ... no, we are not talking about wine, as it would be normal for european or american understanding, but grapes, edible grapes. There is something about wine, but it is just a side effect. Agricultural production has always been a priority for such a populated country, and the development presents new challenges.
The construction site is in the final phase, the buildings are almost completed, and the big work in now on the landscape, it looks like a farm. Between the vineyards, a wide system of pavilions, bridges, viewing towers, corridors, gates, sculptures ... the entire repertory of the chinese garden is reinterpreted in a game of references between natural and artificial, where colours and materials alternately merge or contrast. The park is huge, as from chinese protocol, and organized on a north south axis, as from chinese tradition. But everything is round, like a bunch of grapes, to be seen from the moon.
It is a visionary world of rural contemporary architecture, where the grey color of the chinese bricks contrasts the explosion of green in the summer sunshine, and plays with the rusty surface of the cor-ten steel, echoing the colour of the soil. The corrugated surfaces of the buildings remind the trunk of the grapevine, and their skyline plays with the mountains, providing a surreal scene where the workers move as involuntary actors.
The park is designed to host the International Grape Exhibition, a big governmental project, another big demonstration of bigness of the chinese. What will be the destiny of the park, after the big event, is still unclear. A natural reserve, an experimental laboratory to develop new genetically modified vines, or just a nice picnic intermediate stop on the jammed road to the mountain, for the Beijingers.