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visionla:Wang Xizhi’s “Preface to the Lanting Pavilion” depicts a gathering by the water for the Shangsi Festival a thousand years ago. Through the beauty of the landscape and the joy of the gathering, he expressed his feelings about the impermanence of life and death. The concept for this garden design comes from this gathering. The overall layout is based on a U-shaped water system, with outdoor activities in the garden unfolding along the water’s edge. Tea rooms are located by the water, freely arranged.


▽项目鸟瞰 Aerial view



The project is located in the Chrysanthemum Garden area on the north side of Jiading Ancient City, about 2 kilometers away from the ancient city. The east and south sides of the site are internal roads, and the northwest side is by the water.


▽项目区位 Project location

▽项目平面 Plan



The northern entrance is the main entrance. One enters the garden from the courtyard through a moon gate to the south, providing a progressive experience. The southern entrance corresponds to the parking lot on the east side of the road. To set the tone for the subsequent entrance into the “natural wilderness” of the garden, an initial shadowy mountainous entry experience is created. After passing through this entrance corridor, one suddenly enters an open space in the mountains.


▽项目与周边环境整体鸟瞰 Aerial view

▽北侧入口空间 Entrance space

▽项目鸟瞰 Aerial view

▽南侧入口空间 Entrance space



From various paintings themed on the Lanting gathering, it’s clear that the scenes often take place by the water in a rural mountain forest, as referenced in the phrase “meeting at the Lanting in the shadow of Mount Kuaiji…”. The phrases “lofty mountains,” “lush forests and tall bamboo,” and “clear and rapid streams” are mainly portrayed as the latter two in the artwork. To further immerse visitors in nature, we distinguish the external environment from the garden. The west side uses water systems and plants, the north side has artificial mountains and terrains, the south side has plants, and the east side is full of “lush forests and tall bamboo”. In this way, using “natural” elements, people are constantly immersed in the “wilderness” of the garden. As written in “Yuan Ye (The Craft of Gardens)”, “expel the mundane”, we isolate a part of the external environment, so within the garden, one’s view is mostly drawn by the garden’s scenery.


▽元·赵孟頫 兰亭修禊图 Yuan · ZHAO Mengfu «–¯ LAN Ting

▽明·文徵明 兰亭修契图 Ming · Wen Zhengming Lanting repair map

▽寄畅园 Jichang Garden

▽模型场景 Model scene



Similarly, in the choice of materials and craftsmanship, it consistently reflects the “natural wilderness”. The main stones used in the garden are yellow stones, while the partial corridors and retaining walls use raw stones, both expressing a “rustic” charm. The roof of the tea room mainly uses a thatched roof, blending the building with its surroundings. For plants, besides the Osaka pines specified by the owner, mixed woods are mainly used, and moss is used as ground cover, further enhancing the wild charm of the environment.


▽自然山野的庭园景观 A landscaped landscape of the natural mountains



Ultimately, through this project, we aim to explore the relationship between man and water, as well as man and nature, in the context of the literati. We also contemplate how gardens can be presented in contemporary times and the roles they might play.





Project name: Songming Garden
Year completed: 2020
Project area: about 150 square meters
Project location: Jiading, Shanghai
Design Company: No phase landscape
Company website: http://www.visionla.cn/
Contact email: media@visionla.cn
Chief Designer: Guo Wen
Design Team: Guo Wen, Yang Xiaoqin, Bao Yu, Zhang Translation, Gu Hongyu, Zhao Shuangyue (internship)
Client: Shanghai Jiahong Construction Engineering Development Co., LTD
Construction unit: Shanghai Jiahong Construction Engineering Development Co., LTD
Photographer: Wu Qingshan




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