Three years after winning a competition to design the World Horticultural Expo Theme Pavilion in Qingdao, UNStudio’s vision has been realised
Now taking place in the Baiguoshan Forest Park in the Licang district, the World Horticultural Expo 2014 is the first event of its kind to be held in a mountainous area and in a coastal city in China. Kicking off in April and running until October 2014, the expo is expected to attract 15 million international visitors, with its main theme being ‘From the Earth, For the Earth’.
In its design for the Theme Pavilion, UNStudio combines expert knowledge of logistics, spatial organisation, specialised typology, future flexible usability, function programming, façade intelligence, user comfort and sustainability.
“The architecture for the Theme Pavilion overflows and interacts with the surrounding landscape,” says Ben van Berkel, founder of UNStudio. “The forms of the pavilion buildings respond to the nearby mountains, with their carefully composed rooftops acting as plateaus, each addressing a different portion of the master plan by different inclination and terracing and providing panoramic views which extend far into the surrounding landscape.”
The 28,000 sq-m Theme Pavilion comprises the main expo hall, a grand performance hall, a conference centre and a media centre. The architectural design gesture for the pavilion is borrowed from the shape of the Chinese rose — the city flower of Qingdao — and converted into the floor plan layout of the design. The four pavilion volumes or ‘petals’ are connected by internal and external walkways and frame a central square which becomes a ‘stage’ for the visitors: a dynamic focal point surrounded by viewpoints on varying levels.