The ‘Path Garden’ is designed to inspire visitors with a playful sense of wonder, excitement, and discovery. The engine of this design is a vertically and horizontally exaggerated path that guides visitors through a cinematic arrangement of bold chromatic juxtapositions of plants, water, topography, and garden structures typically experienced in larger landscapes.
The hyper meandering vertical and horizontal curvature of the crunchy granular path is exploited to physically and physiologically slow down visitors, sharpening the pedestrian experience while providing a multitude of ways to see and understand the garden. Choreographed around a series of unfolding views, the path gently lifts visitors into the sky with sculptural landforms that seamlessly transition into an elevated canopy walk. This exciting design feature provides visitors the unique experience of walking among tree canopies and the feeling of an elevated perspective to view the garden from above.
The interrelated organic logic of the planting strategy creates a living painting expressed as a flourishing carpet of drifting and swirling groundcover, flowers, and shrubs that comes to life while moving through the site. Undulating ribbons of planting are punctuated by groupings of a mixture of large canopy and flowering understory trees that help to define the spatial complexity of the garden. Landforms become dramatic presentation devices for tapestries of plants as they engage the steep slopes and tilt towards the viewer to present the shifting compositions in elevation for detailed viewing. The wooden underside of the multi-purpose garden structure is supported by slender wooden columns erected by pile driving eliminating the need for conventional foundations. The function and program of this signature design element changes relative to one’s location and elevation in the garden.
While moving through the space this design element transitions from a covered pavilion, a vine trellis, an integrated piece of sculpture, into an elevated viewing platform from which one can enjoy views of adjacent gardens and the expo. The interrelated composition and compression of garden elements define its contemporary design expression, which aspires to offer a few of the exciting possibilities of 21st century garden design.
2013 CHINA INTERNATIONAL GARDEN EXPO | Path Garden | Beijing China | Christopher Counts Studio with Jay Lee
The 9th China International Garden Expo Committee
Christopher Counts Studio with Jay Lee
Robert Silman Associates, Structural Engineers
IMAGE CREDITS | Christopher Counts Studio