A Home of Constructed Nature

    This project is about revisiting traditional chinese landscape gardens as the paradigm of ideal home and poetic dwelling.

    The Chinese garden is a kind of constructed nature: They were meant to evoke a feeling of being in the larger natural world so that the occupant could capture the sensations of wandering through the landscape. Compositions of garden rocks were viewed as mountains and miniature trees and bushes suggested ancient forest. In other words, the garden presented the larger world of nature in microcosm. Although in present-day it is unrealistic to build and live in a garden anymore, the same principle can still be implied and condensed in limited footprint.

    As the Chinese old saying says “The highest form of retreat is finding serenity amidst chaos.”, The site choice of this project is located underneath one of the busiest highway interchanges in Shanghai, occupying the vacant green space of this urban void. A translucent veil wraps the whole project, gently isolating it from the surrounding world, creating a heterotopia among the banal urban context, just like the traditional garden.

Inside, people live on and among the artificial mountains made out of concrete. The architecture is novel, but the spatial sequence and atmospheric experience is familiar with certain cultural nostalgia.

    The project can be viewed as a blunt translation of traditional chinese garden through digital workflow (the matter to data to matter) and contemporary construction technique.It attempts to go back to origin, finding source of inspiration from traditional art and culture like landscape painting or garden, and rethink contemporary chinese architecture without colonial influence.