2018 HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SHOW
LOCATION: Victoria Park, Hong Kong
KEYWORDS: City Branding / Communication / Landscape Design / Environment
CLIENT: Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau
TEAM: Shiyang HU, Solar JIAO, Neill Mclean GADDES, Xiaohong HUANG
COLLABORATORS: Shenzhen Fairylake Botanical Garden / Shenzhen Flower Association
STATUS: Complete (2017-2018)
The Hong Kong International Flower Show has been held every spring since 2000 by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services department in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Flower Show was first held in the spring of 1987, shifting to its current site in Victoria Park in 2000. Organised by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Shenzhen had participated in the event for the past thirty consecutive years.
Teams of representatives from different countries and cities across Asia participate in the competition under a yearly theme, which for 2018 was Boundless City of Flowers. Entrusted by Shenzhen municipal administration, SANS designed the exhibition and landscaping for Shenzhen's entry, winning gold award for best design.
Compared with cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, which have obvious garden features and heritage, as well as abundant budgets, there was no way to compete through large-scale structures and intricate courtyard landscaping. Therefore, our major challenge was to disseminate Shenzhen city's brand by design and intention. When it comes to Shenzhen's characteristics, Shenzhen's speed and innovation was the themes to work with, but how to express it?
The high-speed urbanization of Shenzhen whilst keeping access to nature high was one aspect that appealed to the client who liked the idea of promoting that from the founding five parks in Shenzhen thirty years ago, now nearly one thousand parks dot the city. From this aspect, the theme 'Boundless City of Flowers' was approached through the elements of the mirror and the layout of the opposite view in space, the infinitude of flowers shown in the repeated mirror reflection, bringing an immersive experience to the garden. In the process of plant selection and landscaping, a new way was found to treat the space as a whole and create a staged ecosystem (rather than arrangement) to contrast the precision of the stainless steel interventions. The natural habitat is simulated on the variety, shape, colour selection and mutual collocation of the plant selection.
As art installations, the five mirrors not only express their own artistic context, but also refer to the Donghu Park, Lizhi Park, Xianhu Botanical Garden, People's Park, and Honghu Park constructed in the early period of Shenzhen's reform and opening up. There are more than 20 kinds of natural flowers and ornamental grasses in the site, which collectively express the nearly 1000 parks in Shenzhen today.
"Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Shenzhen boasts not only the best natural environment within first-tier cities of China, but has also served as the benchmark for rapid urbanisation worldwide. To maintain this balance between the city and nature, Shenzhen had been far-sighted in developing an accessible urban park network.
Since 1978 this network has grown from five original parks, Donghu Park, Lychee Park, Xianhu Botanical Park, Renmin Park and Honghu Park, to now almost one thousand, playing an integral part in the quality of daily life for all Shenzheners.
The five sculptural elements within a diverse field of flora were intended to multiply and reflect not only Shenzhen’s green network but also the part people play, not only enjoying nature but in actively bridging the gap between the city and nature. Immersing the viewer, the impression is a taste of what it means to live in Shenzhen, a holistic experience in a future-focused city striving to be the synthesis of nature, art, science, and technology."
The centre of the site was reserved for a variety of unique species of Gesneriaceae developed by the Shenzhen Xianhu botanical garden, giving the professionals responsible for the upkeep of Shenzhen's parks an opportunity present their skills to the wider public.