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. Guanyin Bridge Commercial Area is Chongqing's hub for business, entertainment, economic and cultural activities. 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, blurring the boundaries between 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 space not only soft but also dynamic and fun. Visitors of diverse ages 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 environment'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 through the journey. The use of 4900 * 900 artistic texture hot-melt glass allows the surrounding natural environment and light to penetrate the site 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, which is as ethereal as the clouds. Layers of distinct branches and leaves extend from the clean and straight trunk. Each layer has its 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 as the symbol to create an inclusive, free, and adaptive experience, which are the most distinctive characteristics of clouds. It helps change people's existing stereotypes of urban fringe communities, encouraging more diversified values and a more artistic lifestyle.
A&N Shangyuan Landscape Design is a research and development based landscape design firm dedicated to curating a better life. Our practice includes landscape design, urban planning, green system planning, ecological restoration ranging from parks and plazas to cities and tourism towns. Since its establishment in 2006, A&N Shangyuan has been well recognized for refinement and completion of work, developing long-term strategic partnerships with well-known developers, and receiving worldwide design awards. We currently operate in Chongqing, Shanghai, and Los Angeles, with over 150 employees.