Tianjin, China, 2016
‘AND LET TODAY EMBRACE THE PAST WITH REMEMBRANCE AND THE FUTURE WITH LONGING’ – Gibran Khalil Gibran on time.
The issue of time is central to our concept with sustainability and resilience as our target. Our approach is to consider the context of the project, a mountainous area home to a cluster of vernacular stone dwellings of extraordinary design and layout, interspersed among grotesque rocks, primeval trees and rare plants, and to turn it into an ecological village for visiting artists.
This will create the first level of ecology, turning a derelict site into a living human habitat.
The village, rebuilt using building material found on site, stone and timber, will have no source of fuel power. The artists will live the cycle of day and night with only candles as a source of light. A zero waste community will be achieved through a system of duckweed wastewater treatment. The economic sustainability of the site will be provided by renting the rooms of the village, agricultural produce and crafts from the installations and the rent of the venue around the water reservoir. The site will also provide work opportunities for both farmers and local artisans.
Trees are the basic design element of our intervention. Starting at the entrance, willow trees bow to the visitor and provide shaded areas for waiting and gathering. Through their structure, foliage, seasonal changes and the sounds they create, trees will delineate spaces and make up installations, which will receive the man-made art. Local species of trees will create the narratives: spaces of meditation, exhibition, awareness and performance. Trees become the natural negotiator between man and the natural setting and the agricultural history of the site.
TREES AS SCULPTURE…
A simple, majestic walnut tree, symbolizing strength and resilience is surrounded by a viewing platform that also acts as a water collection channel. The rain is collected in a reflective pool under the tree creating a contemplative space of calm and tranquility.
TREES AS PAINTING…
Persimmons and Peaches create a dialogue together across the different seasons with their vibrant colors while providing a backdrop for an art exhibition space.
TREES AS RHYTHM…
A linear arrangement of pear trees provides rhythm, fruit production and highlights a major issue of agriculture: pollination. The installation creates a habitat for wild bees that produce honey and wax while raising awareness.