Imagine a large park comprise of small plots where each country will be represented by a national pavilion. In our proposal for the Dutch contribution, we have taken the concept inside out. In contrast to a large pavilion on a small plot, we want to design a garden for the 21th century. In ancient times the garden was regarded as a desirable oasis for contemplation, represented by the Babylonian gardens. Water and exuberant green are a source of life for cities. Nowadays this seems to be forgotten in our contemporary urban landscapes. A come back is necessary; climatic change and increasing urbanization request sustainable solutions. For that reason the garden of the 21st century is more than the ancient paradises. The contemporary garden has the power to bring in nature and production within the city boundaries. The key in today’s conquest of finding harmony between nature and growing urbanization can be found in reprogramming the city and diminishing the ecological footprint of citizens.
The Dutch garden
The Dutch garden represents an image of the polders in the delta landscape. Conditions in the Netherlands are similar to those of other deltas in the world. The presence of water and a fertile soil have enabled occupation of the low land. Today’s challenge in the delta landscape is finding an integral answer to climate changes and sea level rise in combination with urban expansion. The need to create vibrant cities requests urban activities combined with green spaces. It is all about a symbiosis between consumption and production, between dynamics and contemplation. Outdoor space will be more than just anonymous public realm by introducing a diversification of typologies in green spaces: courtyards, roof gardens, communal gardens. Future urban green spaces will be linked to sustainable water management, a healthy energy cycle, recycling commodities/resources, waste and nutrients. Water management in the landscape will be extended within the city boundaries. The garden is more than just a controlled landscape; it represents contemporary relationship between man and nature. Implementation of the water cycle is more than just a technical solution; it has philosophical meaning. The spirals that are the entrances to the underground irrigation canals of the Nazca culture offer cold water in the arid land, but also are a link to the mountains of the Andes. The Cistern basin in Istanbul is a water resource, but also hides the secret of the Medusa statues.
Life cycles in the eco garden The Dutch garden is based on principles of sustainability. Water and nutrients are part of the cycles of production and energy. The garden shall not only be energy neutral, but it will generate energy by solar energy, heat pumps and small windmills. The garden will be a pilot project of water management. It is a linear landscape that refers to the Dutch polder landscape and the colourful flower bulb cultivation. The main design feature is a levada water supply system and consists of a combination of ditches and small canals. The levada system starts at the highest point in the garden and will distribute water on different levels over the whole garden. The sustainable technology of the garden is closely related to life cycles, within an artificial system thus creating harmony with nature and offering an exceptional architectural experience. Innovative cultivation techniques are implemented to show possibilities of sustainable urban farming. Production of plants requires linking the cycle of nutrients to those of the water and energy. Fish farming is matched to cultivation and medicinal plants. Water basins for freshwater fish provide nutrients for plants in the glass houses. Plants filter nutrients out of the water and almost clean water comes out. Completely clean water will be provided by a helophyte filter. Special notice is given to spatial conditions for the fish and fish food. The greenhouse serves as a water reservoir and is part of this water system. Small windmills are the most expressive part of a carefully designed energy cycle that combines solar energy, wind energy and heat pumps.
The Eco-Pavilion uses the water system to service the design in addition to providing an aesthetic feature. The pavilion sits on an earthquake-resistant water basin and generates energy through the use of windmills to circulate water, solar power on the greenhouses, geo-aqua thermal heat system and kinetic tiles. The pavilion acts as continual path situated within the floral context of the landscape. It appears as an elevated strip of land merging with the natural surroundings with its bamboo materiality, vegetation and free-flowing water. The public circulate through the pavilion and in doing so are able to experience and understand the environmental processes that service the pavilion.