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Greenhouse

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Conceived as a precious crystal, semi-submerged in splendid isolation, reached by boat across the lake followed by a short walk from the shore, the greenhouse blends into the hillside. Visitors access the building through a prolonged cut, literally scooped up from the ground, emerging into a light-filled reception space. From here the visitor passes along a tessellated mesh of paths to three different climatic zones with corresponding plant environments.

The greenhouse has a horseshoe plan, creating a loop that changes radically in section to accommodate a series of unique planting and spatial conditions. With the interior and exterior ground planes gradually shifting in relation to each other, the visitor experiences a sequence of visual enclosures alternating with long vistas out and across. The horseshoe shape also generates an interior open-air courtyard, making it the natural centre of the building and creating a three-dimensional web of interior and exterior circulation.

TYPE_

Exhibition, Infrastructure, Public

status_

Competition, Built

location_

Xi'an, China

year_

2009-2011

client_

City of Xi'an

budget_

Undisclosed

size_

4,000 sqm

program_

Greenhouse

awards_

Wallpaper's Best Building Site 2011, This Decade of Architecture in China 2000-2010

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partner in charge_

Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Ulla Hell

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