YUÁN
International Master Garden

An exploration of the meaning of Chinese garden art in the Anthropocene Age

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Kristoffer Holm Pedersen

Head of Communications

Location

Beijing, China

Size

1,100 m2

Year

2019 — 2019

Client

Beijing International Horticultural Expo

Typology

Services

SLA’s founder Stig L. Andersson was, together with four other internationally renowned landscape designers, selected to create International Master Gardens for the Beijing International Horticultural Expo 2019.

SLA’s Master Garden is YUÁN, a new Chinese sign for ‘garden’. In the project, SLA aims to create a new meaning of the Chinese garden in the Anthropocene era. YUÁN draws on a deep knowledge of China’s cultural history, nature, art, architecture, and philosophy and re-uses these elements in a new and profound way. Thus, YUÁN shows how we can use traditional Chinese culture and nature in modern city planning to improve the quality of life for China’s population, while at the same time solving many of the challenges our cities, our world, and we ourselves, face today.

Sketch by Stig L. Andersson The first concept sketch for YUÁN

SLA’s Master Garden YUÁN creates a new ‘landscape morpheme’ for the Chinese garden in the Anthropocene Age. Drawing on traditional Chinese culture, nature, art, landscapes, architecture and philosophy, YUÁN re-interprets these historic elements in a present setting, addressing many of the challenges our cities and our world face today, while (re)connecting the visitors with nature – a connection so many modern city-dwellers, not only in China, have lost.

Inspiration Section of the taoist landscape painting 'Listening to the wind in the pines' by Ma Lin.

“YUÁN is an exploration of the meaning of Chinese garden art in the Anthropocene Age. It is a search for a New Garden - founded in China's thousands of years old cultural history that at the same time can provide a new understanding and connection between man, culture and nature”

— Stig L. Andersson

YUÁN is – beside being a new interpretation of the Chines Garden – also a beacon for urban sustainability: The garden uses only recycled, upcycled and local materials (such as upcycled building waste, locally grown trees and carbon-reducing bamboo scaffolding) while also providing eco-system services such as natural pollution cleansing, reduction of stress and rainwater management. Thus, SLA’s YUÁN master garden becomes a reference for how to use traditional Chines nature, art and philosophy in modern city planning to improve the quality of life for China’s population, while at the same time solving many of its largest urban challenges.

Fundamentals

Come explore the fundamentals of our office together with us

fund. 27

White

“In the beginning was chaos. While the universe began to expand after Big Bang it also decreased in temperature. It became more and more ordered. With that order, the Universe changed its background colour toward…

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fund. 19

Essay: The Bark Room

“Bark is both living and dead, growing and cracking, a shell, a protective layer and an integral part of the wood’s tissue. It’s the bark structure and the way it peels, which separates the different…

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fund. 26

Atmosphere

“Atmosphere is a thin film of enclosure around our world. Without our vaporous, water filled atmosphere, life on Earth – or indeed life anywhere – would not exist. But atmosphere is also what you sense…

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fund. 20

Sakuteiki
– The Book of Garden

Sakuteki – The Book of Garden is a manual, a textbook for Japanese gardeners in the 11th century. This introduction sounds like this: “In making the garden, you should first understand the overall principles. According…

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fund. 12

Mist

Mist is a phenomenon caused by small droplets of water suspended in air. Physically, it is an example of a dispersion. It is most commonly seen where warm, moist air meets sudden cooling, such as…

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fund. 25

Roots

“A tree consists of three parts: Its foliage, its trunk, and its roots. All three parts are important for the aesthetic feeling of nature. But of these three I find the roots most intriguing, most…

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fund. 26

Sound

“Sound. The soundtrack of our lives often passes us by without us noticing. But I have begun noticing the poetry of the noises around me. The rhythm and the song of the poet. The calling…

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