In International Horticultural Expo 2011 Xi’an China, there is a special zone, where there are 9 parcels in an 18000m2 area. 9 of the best landscape architects in the world are invited to design one parcel, known as the Master Gardens. Atelier DYJG was invited to design one parcel and curate the design procedure of the Master Gardens Zone, including determining designers, inviting them, coordinating with them and client on the schematic design, construction design and construction service.
The other 8 designers are, Martha Schwartz of MSP (USA), Adriaan Geuze of West 8 (Netherlands), Stig L Andersson of SLA (Denmark), Martin Cano of Topotek 1 (Germany), Eelco Hooftman of Gross Max (UK), Catherine Mosbach of Mosbach Paysagistes (France), Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT(Spain), Vladimir Sitta of Terragram (Australia).
In our design, we use rammed-earth walls to enclose the garden, and use stone, wood, brick and other construction materials to build four boxes. Each of boxes has a one seasonal atmosphere, spring, summer, autumn and winter, symbolizing a cycle of seasons. These walls and boxes form one main courtyard and 10 small side yards, which is similar to the spatial structure of Chinese traditional garden. We name our garden “Si-He-Yuan” (Four Boxes Garden), the same pronunciation of Chinese Quadrangle.
By using local materials and simple form language, we actually create unpredictable spaces in such a small parcel. This garden shows the seasonal cycle and appeals people to explore the fun. Whenever walking or meditating in it, people can feel the deep poetic sense and similar space of Chinese traditional garden.