The Cloud Garden project, located in Chongqing, is a contemporary art museum courtyard in sync with the city’s distinctive natural characteristics in an artistic way. By embracing such characters in every scene and emphasizing high-quality construction, the design creates an amenity space with a unique sense of place, enriching lives through the power of art and local memory.
Embedded in a mountainous region, Chongqing is a city characterized by a cloudy and foggy climate. Located at the edge where the city hub hybridizes the old communities, the project aims to activate this place with a symbolic artistic destination for public access. Clouds, one of the city’s most distinctive characteristics, are used as the design’s focus to create a poetic journey filled with soft, blurred, and ethereal senses within a series of spaces in nature. Such journey offers extraordinary aesthetic beauty and represents an altitude of traditional ideal lifestyle in Chongqing: inclusive, free, and adaptive.
Clouds are soft and free. A rolling terrain in the core area inspired by the sea of cloud embraces such softness and freeform by creating immersive natural spaces, encouraging self-exploration and engagement, and conveying an artistic perception. The core idea is to restore nature’s softness in a highly urbanized district but beyond a visual replica of nature.
The grass waves, pure installations, and penetrating light and shadows combined with the undulating terrain make this place not only soft but also dynamic and fun. Visitors can enjoy this place by running, jumping, and climbing. Seating areas under the trellis encourage public social interactions and are a perfect place for parents to watch their kids.
The surrounding of the site is challenging. North of the site is old community buildings out of repair. The west is an abandoned playground. To the Southeast is a large area of undeveloped mountains. To shield the surrounding’s unfavorable factors, a U shape semi-transparent glass corridor is created to enclose the courtyard, eliminate the adverse external environment, and offer contrast feelings between openness and enclosure. The use of 4900 * 900 artistic texture hot-melt glass allows the surrounding nature and light to penetrate in like the sunlight go through the clouds and get blurred among the space. Combined with specially design lighting, a series of different spatial visual experience is presented in the corridor. As a result, the courtyard becomes a blurred and dynamic space with various light and shadow changes, enriching opportunities to experience the area’s artistic beauty.
Regarding the plants, we selected the Terminalia Catappa as the primary species used on site. Layers of branches and leaves extend from the clean and straight trunk with different posture, elegant and not messy, perfectly representing the feeling of clouds.
The Cloud Garden project aims to connect the existing with the newly established. The design uses the cloud’s most distinctive characteristics as the symbol to create an inclusive, free, and adaptive experience. It helps change people’s existing stereotypes of urban fringe communities, encouraging more diversified values and a more artistic lifestyle.
Cloud Garden Courtyard
Landscape Architect: A&N Shangyuan Landscape Design
Consultants: A&N+ Group
Client: China Vanke Co.,Ltd. (Chongqing)
Image Credit: Holi landscape photography and Prism Image