Austrian firm DMAA has completed a botanical garden complex in Taiyuan, China, featuring three domed greenhouses positioned on or alongside an artificial lake.
The project introduces a vibrant artificial landscape with an attractive topography with mountains and hills, wild and elegant vegetation, lakes and waterfalls, paths and buildings. Nature and architecture communicate here in a harmonious way – the green space assuming a leading role. The architectural concept is based on the already existing landscape plan and balances natural landscape, architecture, technological and ecological solutions.
The project stands not only as a landscape design model that is so essential in China, but also contains a building infrastructure that can be used for researching into and offering people access to and information about natural ecosystems. The need to create high-quality leisure areas in cities and to find ways of controlling the resulting large numbers of visitors formed the basis for the definition of a spatial program. The project includes not only the park itself, but also a sculptural concrete entrance building with a nature museum and administration facility, three greenhouses, a restaurant, and bonsai museum.
The greenhouses are placed close to the entrance of the landscaped park and are connected by walkways that extend around the lake. Each of the three domes was built using double-curved laminated timber beams arranged in two or three intersecting layers.
"The construction of the greenhouses required the pooling of technical know-how in the areas of energy design, thermal performance, structural integrity and glazing, as well as assembly and logistics," DMAA pointed out.
The entrance building leads visitors down an open stair that passes through a circular opening in the slab onto a large roof terrace. Here, visitors can oversee the entire park and become aware of the building’s twin function as an interface between architecture and landscape. the cantilevered viewing platform soars above the area of water at the heart of the park and directs visitors towards the three greenhouses in the Taiyuan Botanical Gardens.