John McAslan + Partners (JMP) has been commissioned to design a vast Botanical Gardens and Research Centre in Dongguan, China, for VANKE, one of China's leading developers.
The design is a contemporary re-interpretation of the essential characteristics of a tropical plant leaf structure, integrating architecture and landscape to provide a holistic approach for the site. The building is based around a gridshell roof structure which engages lightly with a landscaped mounded base mediating between the internal and external landscaping.
A glazed element along the base of the building provides visitors with a visual connection between internal and external landscapes. 20% of the ETFE skin roof is openable, providing natural ventilation around the perimeter. The selection of a 2.0m grid for the structure relates to the module for the ETFE panels which form a series of cushions set within an aluminium subframe.
Tony Skipper, Managing Director of JMP and Project Director comments: "The Botanical Gardens will provide a constantly changing scenery of habitats, sub-tropical rare plants, ravines, water and sky. This technically advanced project is a natural progression for the practice, following the success of the new concourse at King's Cross."
The gardens will display a variety of tropical habitats, showcasing the finest examples of horticulture and garden design. The sub-tropical belts at the entrance, with massed flower beds and coloured foliage, will create a spectacular display for visitors throughout the year.
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